How to Develop Treatment Plans that Make Sense to Clients: Improving Documentation and Clinical Use of the Treatment Plan and Progress Notes



In all treatment, it is important that the treatment plan truly becomes the written expression of the therapeutic alliance with the client.  The treatment plan and ensuing progress notes should reflect an agreement on goals and strategies and methods with the client.

Clinicians struggle with how to focus and target treatment; how to change old ways of documentation to reflect individualized treatment, and how to effectively engage the client into a cooperative and accountable treatment plan.

This workshop will improve participants’ knowledge in providing focused, targeted, individualized treatment.It will provide the opportunity to practice multidimensional assessment (ASAM Criteria 6 dimensions) and priority identification, and translate that into a workable, accountable treatment plan that makes sense to the client.


Participants will

  1. Review principles of individualized treatment planning and how to engage clients in a treatment contract.
  2. Identify ASAM Criteria multidimensional assessment to enhance holistic care.
  3. Apply ways to individualize problems, goals, strategies and progress notes that have client “buy-in” and collaboration.
  4. Demonstrate how to document the treatment plan, progress notes and discharge summary so it communicates to care managers and others, and most importantly, the client.
  5. Discuss any policy and systems issues that present obstacles to person-centered treatment planning.

Workshop Agenda

9:00 AM         A. Principles of Focused, Targeted Treatment Planning

  • Why treatment plans and why use them?
  • Common documentation issues for improvement

B. How to Organize Assessment Data

  • ASAM Criteria multidimensional assessment and holistic care
  • Moving from assessment to treatment plans

10:30 AM       Break

10:45 AM       C. How to Target and Focus Treatment Priorities

  • Using ASAM Criteria multidimensional assessment to identify priorities
  • Treatment planning and documentation skills
    • problem identification; measurable goals; progress notes

12 Noon         Lunch

1:00 PM       D. Skill-Building in Developing and Communicating the Treatment Plan

  • The treatment contract and implications for measurable objectives
  • Person-centered, accountable treatment plans and progress notes
  • Discharge summaries

2:30 PM       Break

2:45 PM       E. Making Treatment Plans a “Living” Document

  • Dealing with meaningless paperwork
  • Implications for Documentation forms and Client Records
  • Policy & systems changes necessary to “re-tool” treatment planning and services

4:00 PM         Adjourn