1. Establish your top 3 current struggles, including any safety concerns. Stabilize safety issues. Connect with support systems; for example, family members, friends, and community resources that can help you with your most pressing issues. Begin emotional support of each family member. Create therapy goals. Explore previous solutions utilized by the family or individual and explore outcomes of each solution tried. Establish treatment plan.
2. Identify current emotions and initial helpful suggestions to begin making positive changes. Discover possible challenges to change that may occur within the family, couple or individual. Discuss how a person's perception of a situation may lead to insights and help facilitate change, compound stress or alleviate stress.
3. Plan and review homework assignments with each client involved in the counseling process, and create positive feedback system for completion. For adults, create success and accomplishments journal or similar written feedback system.
4. Consider creating a family genogram-a history of the family relationships to create understanding of each family member's relationship with each other or for the individual client and lessons learned within the family. Educate individual and family members regarding coping skills, problem solving skills and communication skills. Identify individual and family strengths. Examine the benefits of making positive changes. Begin to build on individual strengths and family strengths. Promote positive language in the family and positive self talk. Collaborate on ways to build individual self-esteem.
5. When treatment goals are reached, set up a plan for graduation from counseling.
Set up a check in plan for after graduation from counseling. Remind individual, couple or family of OPEN DOOR policy.
Only in growth, reform, and change, paradoxically enough, is true security to be found.
Anne Morrow Lindbergh (b. 1906) American writer, poet, and aviator
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