Starting the New Year with a full schedule? Great! Keep that momentum going by setting sessions for the weeks ahead. Doing this helps you plan your time and commits you to an organized schedule of treatment for your patients. It helps your patients commit to their treatment too. Get in the habit of starting this at intake when you determine their needs so that both you and they pencil these appointments in on your calendars.
Start With Treatment Plan
Many practitioners fly by the seat of their pants and fail to formulate a treatment plan with patients. Don’t be one of them. Outline your treatment recommendations, including the number of sessions you anticipate will address the presenting problem, and communicate this to the patient. Some let the number of visits allowed by insurance policies determine this without ever discussing the actual need with the patient. Even self-pay practitioners often avoid it for fear of appearing “money hungry.” But don’t feel uptight about articulating sessions needed and tentatively scheduling them in advance. It’s good business to remain mindful of the flow of your time and resources, and it’s sound practice for your patients to know you stay mindful of their needs.
Of course, you always get patient consent for treatment, but be sure they agree with the number of sessions you’re recommending. If they don’t, take time NOW to uncover and resolve resistances before you proceed since you can bet these will become problems down the road.
Monitor Treatment Effectiveness
It’s not enough simply to set a treatment schedule. It’s essential to track how well your intervention is working. Is the patient getting better? If not, why not? Discuss this openly and as often as needed to troubleshoot and make corrections wherever treatment is getting stuck.
It’s important to plan your schedule and to ensure that you’re allotting sufficient time, energy, and resources to your patients. But this isn’t just a business issue. If your patients aren’t progressing as anticipated, your priority must be to figure out why and make changes necessary to ensure their success.
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About the Author:
Dr. E. Carol Webster is a clinical psychologist consultant specializing in Success Psychology.
She is author of the book for those dealing with the stress of success ―
Success Management: How to Get to the Top and Keep Your Sanity Once You Get There,
The Fear of Success: Stop It From Stopping You! ―
the book to help you overcome fears that may be holding you back in your life and career
The Private Practice of Clinical Psychology in: Voices of Historical & Contemporary Black American Pioneers
E. Carol Webster, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychology Consulting
Mailing Address: 7027 West Broward Boulevard, #262 Fort Lauderdale, FL 33317