Description of the Book

How do you judge when your client is getting better? How does your client know if therapy is working? Treatment Planning in Psychotherapy: Taking the Guesswork out of Clinical Care provides tools to answer these and other questions important for treatment planning in psychotherapy.

Although psychotherapy research has made great contributions, empirically supported treatments cannot address every clinical problem, and they do not work for every client. Yet clinicians are increasingly being asked to demonstrate the value of psychotherapy for individual clients. This book represents an approach to treatment planning, called Planning and Assessment in Clinical Care (PACC), that takes into account the unique needs of individual clients. The approach uses a system of checks and balances between scientifically tested interventions and sound measurement of a client's progress toward treatment goals. The result is an eclectic approach to treatment planning based on goal setting, measurement of progress toward the goals, and regular collaborative review of goal attainment.

The PACC approach is a simple method applicable to most practice settings, even those that do not explicitly support evidence-based treatment. Practitioners in psychology, social work, psychiatric nursing, and psychiatry will find the methods useful. PACC is also an excellent tool for graduate training programs in these fields and would be appropriate for practica and courses on clinical assessment. The approach views treatment as a series of phases, rather than focusing on a single overall target or intervention. Clients who have complicated problems or multiple diagnoses will progress through several phases of treatment, each with its own planning and measurement. Within each phase, the therapist defines aims that are to be the focus of that particular segment of therapy, develops a measurement plan for those aims, and specifies the intervention strategies to be used within the phase. In addition, the PACC approach incorporates regular reviews of progress as an opportunity for the therapist and client to examine the degree to which therapy is working as intended.

Both seasoned and neophyte practitioners will find valuable tools in the PACC approach. While many training programs and practitioners espouse a scientist-practitioner orientation, very few resources are available to support clinicians who want to use a scientific approach that is realistic for practice. The PACC approach transcends theoretical orientation and emphasizes accountability, efficiency, and flexibility in treatment planning. The book provides not only theoretical background, but also practical advice to implement the approach, and numerous case illustrations to outline the unique elements and benefits of the method.

Readers will learn how to develop a comprehensive problem list that covers a broad range of biopsychosocial domains of functioning, and then prioritize the problems on the list as a first step to designing a flexible treatment and assessment plan. Also included are helpful tips on conducting regular explicit progress reviews with clients. In addition, the book provides concrete suggestions for finding measures, accessing treatment guides, and integrating clinical research with individual case management, as well as potential applications for research and teaching.

Treatment Planning in Psychotherapy: Taking the Guesswork Out of Clinical Care is a helpful resource for clinicians and students who want to more effectively integrate science and practice, or simply respond to managed care organizations who require quantified treatment plans. Ultimately, the PACC approach is a simple method designed for anyone who wants to answer the question, "Is therapy working?"