Achieving Successful Treatment Outcomes with a Team Approach to Therapeutic Placements
I prefer a team approach to therapeutic placement. When a family engages my services, they are often feeling exhausted and hopeless. While their child’s behaviors and symptoms are not improving, they have worked with many skilled professionals up to this point. It is important that I look to their experience with the family and child to gain further understanding of the situation. Creating a strong therapeutic team aligned around the same goal is key to a successful outcome in a therapeutic placement. Parents/ family( along with the identified client when appropriate), the referring professional ,program staff, along with myself all hold an important role with the treatment plan.
Pre- placement: I first speak with parents and get detailed information on their family and their child. I learn how they show up at home and interact within the family. I gather and review all clinical reports, IEP’s academic information, and I spend time interviewing all professionals involved with the adolescent or young adult. I want to gain knowledge from those who have been working with the family and build a comprehensive and detailed profile of the client and their needs. From this, I develop a thorough profile of the adolescent or young adult and create a program checklist for critical program elements for the identified client.
Program Research & Evaluation- I develop a target list of programs that meet the needs of the client based upon my personal knowledge and experience with a program that I have gained through program tours, meetings with clinical and administrative teams and continued professional development and education. I speak with each of these programs about the identified client and how their program will work specifically with the identified client. A strong partnership with program staff allows for strong program recommendations that include specific therapists, therapeutic approaches, and treatment plans for the client.
Recomendations- When I turn my recommendations over to the family, I am relying upon their knowledge of their child to identify which option will fit best for their child. At this point, we will often speak with the referring professional for input as well. I want parents (and the identified client, when appropriate) to have a voice in the decision and feel comfortable moving forward.
Treatment Program- I work closely with the family and the program treatment team to ensure that the client and family get all of their needs met and feel supported throughout the program stay. Creating a strong alliance with the family and program creates
an opportunity to gain trust within eachother and allows the client to maximize their time in treatment and reach their goals.
Continuing Care - Creating a strong continuing care plan for the client post treatment is a critical piece in successful outcomes. This is when we come back together with the referring professional and support the family in continuing the treatment plan started at the program. I work closely with the family, the client and the referring therapist to make sure the client is getting everything they need to support their mental health recovery- so to speak. I also look to local treatment providers to provide continuing care and develop a comprehensive continuing care plan.