The Task Planner: An Intervention Resource for Human Service Professionals

The Task Planner: An Intervention Resource for Human Service Professionals

The Task Planner: An Intervention Resource for Human Service Professionals

The Task Planner: An Intervention Resource for Human Service Professionals


A comprehensive, A-to-Z set of task planners for more than one hundred psychosocial problems from alcoholism and anxiety to domestic violence and sexual abuse. This invaluable guide and resource includes: ¿ a menu of actions the client can undertake to effect problem resolution, ¿ a clear, step-by-step guide to the practitioner's role in facilitating these actions, ¿ a glossary of procedures for human service professionals, and ¿ a CD-ROM companion resource. The systematic and streamlined techniques found in The Task Planner present clients with specific tasks for helping resolve their problems. With the task-centered approach, clients are actively involved in reaching their own solutions or coping mechanisms -- both on their own and in treatment sessions -- giving them a sense of empowerment.


This work provides a resource for answering questions of perennial concern to practitioners and students in the human services, such as “What kind of problem is my client facing?” “What can he or she do to resolve it?” “What can I do to facilitate the resolution?” the volume covers a large array of common problems that human service practitioners attempt to help their clients resolve. Although we emphasize problems dealt with by social workers, most are also encountered by other practitioners in the human services, including psychologists, psychiatrists, guidance counselors, teachers, and nurses.

For each type of problem, we provide a Task Menu that contains possible actions that the client can take to resolve the problem as well as suggestions for what the practitioner can do to facilitate these actions or initiate others. These problem—task menu combinations are referred to as “task planners.” Basic principles and methods for using tasks are set forth later in this overview. in addition, frequently used procedures for task implementation that can be used by clients, in collaboration with practitioners or on their own, are contained in the Common Procedures section at the end of the volume.

The Nature and Purpose of Task Planners

Actions or tasks clients can undertake to resolve their difficulties are becoming increasingly important in the human services, due in part to greater emphasis on action-oriented methods of helping, such as cognitive-behavioral, problem-solving, solution-focused, task-centered, strategic, and family structural approaches (Reid 1997). in addition, there has been growing recognition that tasks carried out by clients can augment virtually any helping approach (Burns & Nolen-Hoeksma 1992; Gelso & Johnson 1983; Lambert & Bergin 1994; Neimeyer & Feixas 1990).

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