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The Perfect Treatment Plan

As addiction counselors we strive to create the perfect plan for each of our clients. Some of us develop a template, and then realize that it’s not quite right for everyone. Others create matrices that account for every imaginable contingency, yet one more crops up and throws everything off kilter. So how do we make the perfect treatment plan? We don’t. Inherently, just as every human being (counselor or client) is imperfect, so too is every treatment plan. That’s why the treatment plan and the process behind it is so fluid. A treatment plan is a document subject to weekly, even daily change and a document that represents compromise with the client and our facility while always being mindful of the law, ethics and regulations.

At every turn we are thrown for a loop, experiencing new challenges that require creativity and thought to get past. Clients cooperate, others don’t – there are just too many factors to account for everything. And that is what makes a counselor so important – the ability to modify course when the situation requires it.

Ultimately, we have to let go of the notion that there is a best or perfect treatment plan for everyone. This requires a certain self-knowledge and even selflessness in knowing that we cannot possibly know everything all the time. Sometimes we may not even be the right counselor for our client and we have to defer to someone else’s skills or abilities. What’s best is the treatment plan that allows us, as professionals, to offer the client what we believe to be the most effective way to treat a very complicated chronic disease. This is not just a concept we learn in class as we work towards becoming a licensed professional – rather this concept of doing what’s best for the client is something that must live at the very core of our work and thoughts.

Following a principled and client-focused treatment plan will help our clients and let us enjoy our very important job.