Academic journal article The Professional Counselor

Treatment Fit: A Description and Demonstration Via Video of a Brief and Functional Treatment Fit Model

Academic journal article The Professional Counselor

Treatment Fit: A Description and Demonstration Via Video of a Brief and Functional Treatment Fit Model

Article excerpt

Treatment fit is the degree to which the counselor and the client agree upon the presenting issues, counseling goals and the initial treatment plan. Research indicates that treatment At is one of the strongest predictors of client outcome. As such, a brief functional treatment At model (TFM) is presented to assist counselors in conducting multidimensional needs assessments and developing co-created treatment plans. Application of this model is demonstrated with a case study. In addition, a Ank to a video demonstration of this model is included, along with a discussion as to the need for including links to videos in counseling journals.

Keywords: treatment fit, multidimensional needs assessment, treatment plan, counseling goals, video demonstration

This is an exciting time in the mental health profession as health care specialists and policy makers are recognizing the value of counseling in increasing the quality of patient care while decreasing overall health care costs (Burtnett, 2012; Curtis & Christian, 2012; Lee et al., 2012; Wos, 2013). As such, counselors are increasingly being recognized not just as mental health providers, but as viable health care professionals who may well be the crucial link in improving a flawed and exorbitantly expensive health care system (American Psychological Association [APA], 2012; Brill, 2013; Paquette et al., 2003). With this positive momentum, however, it becomes even more imperative for counselors to consistently utilize evidence-based practices (i.e., empirically supported counseling strategies), which include practice-based evidence (i.e., continuous feedback between counselor and client) to ensure optimal treatment. Unfortunately, the utilization rates of evidence-based practices by counselors are minimal and inconsistent (Beutler, 2009; Olmstead, Abraham, Martino, & Roman, 2012), which may in part be the reason why the general public, when surveyed, have indicated that the primary reason for not seeking counseling was their lack of confidence in positive outcomes (Harris Interactive, 2004). One could argue that while it is critically important for counselors to continue conducting innovative treatment research, it is equally imperative that counselors increase efforts in implementing well-established evidencebased counseling strategies (Olmstead et al., 2012).

One of the best predictors of client outcome is treatment fit (APA, 2012; Budd & Hughes, 2009; Kim, Ng, & Ahn, 2009), the process by which the client and counselor collaboratively assess mental health issues, set goals, and create an initial treatment plan. At the heart of treatment fit is the collaboration between client and counselor including continuous feedback about issues, goals and treatment to ensure the optimal provision of care. A parallel to treatment fit in the medical community is the increasing use of checklists to ensure that evidencebased procedures are being properly implemented. In surgical safety research, for instance, Haynes et al. (2009) found in a large multi-site international study that when medical professionals followed a brief surgical checklist (e.g., the patient has verified his or her identity, the surgical site, and procedure and consent), patient deaths decreased from 1.5% to 0.8% and inpatient complications following surgery decreased from 11.0% to 7.0% (Haynes et al., 2009). As demonstrated in this surgical safety study, the consistent application of evidencebased procedures had a significant impact on patients' lives. Similarly, the purpose of this article is to show how evidence-based counseling strategies that comprise treatment fit can help counselors more consistently and frequently implement treatments that work in order to increase the likelihood of positive client outcomes.

This article is comprised of two primary objectives. The first objective is to describe a brief, functional, firstsession counseling protocol for ensuring treatment fit with clients. …

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