Relapse Prevention in Addiction

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Relapse Prevention and Client’s Sobriety

Connie Sutton

Grand Canyon University
PCN 511/Intro into Chemical Dependence Counseling
Meagan Foxx, LSAC
January 25, 2011

Therapists plan treatment with clients in efforts to establish meaningful goals and a strategy to reach them. Treatment planning continues as long as the client keeps returning for therapy sessions. Ideally, a treatment plan emerges from negotiations between the client and therapist to decide what problems are to be addressed in therapy, what goals are reasonable and worthwhile, what pathways and techniques are available, and what steps the client is willing and able to take toward those goals. Periodic review is built into the plan since treatment plans often change as new details come to light or as the client’s situation and the therapeutic relationship evolve. A plan for therapy gives both the therapist and client a sense of direction for their work together. A well articulated plan also potentially enhances treatment efficacy by providing a clear means for tracking progress toward established goals. The therapist has several purposes in developing a treatment plan for a client with a substance use disorder. First and foremost, the therapist wants to motivate and empower clients to make beneficial changes in their substance use behaviors. To that end, the therapist structures the task at hand by helping the client identify a range of available options, and by encouraging the client to make informed choices from among those alternatives. In addition to increasing the client’s knowledge, the therapist also plans treatment to boost the client’s sense of self-efficacy, so that clients will have some confidence in their abilities to make good choices and to implement plans of action. Treatment plans that are negotiated directly with clients invite the client to share both initiative and responsibility for determining the...
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