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Treatment Matching

Client treatment matching is finding the right treatment plan for the client.  Not all treatment plans work for everyone and this can be very tricky for a person who is seeking treatment.  Not all treatment centers incorporate all the different techniques that are available.  The treatment plan includes goals, objectives, and strategies and it is very important for the health professional to create a plan that will match with the client’s personality, view, and goals.   The counselor should have a lot of education and experience and whether or not they are in recovery doesn’t mean they are “better” at the job, like many believe.

Is In-Patient Treatment Becoming Outdated?
Inpatient treatment is now largely outdated for a few reasons. In the past, patients would reside in an in-patient treatment and would receive around the clock, twenty four hour care. The idea was to keep these patients away from the outside world while focusing on their sobriety. Typically, after about thirty days, these patients would be released into the world, motivated to maintain their sobriety. Unfortunately, it was very common for the majority to relapse soon after treatment which results in the revolving door.

Outpatient treatment programs are programs that are similar to inpatient but the patient does not reside in the facility. Outpatient treatment programs are much more flexible in terms of treatment. For example, if someone needs to attend treatment but is dually diagnosed with another mental disorder, they can continue their care with their doctor while receiving treatment for substance abuse. Whereas, only high level intensity in-patient treatment centers are capable of treating those who have a co-occurring disorder.

Other reasons why out-patient treatment may be a better option would be:
• Gives the patient the ability to learn how to cope outside of the center.
• Is less expensive for the patient in general
• The patient may be able to maintain a job or career
• The patient would not have to leave their family behind. This is especially important for those who have children or pets.
• Treatment can be tailored and more individualized to meet the needs of the patient.

Choosing the Right Facility

Once you have made the choice to get treatment, it is very important to choose a facility that is right for you.  Do not be afraid to ask questions.  Remember, you are the customer and the facility is providing a service to you. Does the facility provide the services that you need?  For example, are they able to provide or give referrals for legal, medical, family, mental health, educational/vocational, and employment services?

The facility that you choose should feel comfortable and have an appealing appearance.  You wouldn't want to walk into a place that is consistently dirty, smells funny, or has broken equipment would you?

Then take a look at all staff members.  Are the staff members generally happy?  Do they smile or frown?  Every staff member in the facility should treat you with respect.

Don't forget to ask about the group experience?  What are the topics?  While not all topics may be appealing, it is important for a facility to have structure.  If they can't provide you with some sort of curriculum it is likely that they will just wing it each group session which can be create chaos and instability.

How does your individual counselor seem?  Are they able to self-disclose to a certain extent?  For example, it is not important to dig into their personal lives but you can certainly ask about their professional experience and credentials such as where they went to school and what licenses they hold.

Lastly, think about from a referral perspective.  If you had a friend who also wanted treatment would you recommend the facility?