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Creating an Effective Counseling Treatment Plan [Editable PDF Template]

Open and clear communication between mental health practitioners and their clients is essential to the delivery of excellent mental health care service. One of the ways to effectively communicate is through your clear and concise explanation of your mental health treatment plan, which is considered essential to providing well-rounded health care. Many mental health professionals use treatment plans as blueprints to outline services they provide. A typical treatment plan communicates who is involved, diagnoses, and goals.

A mental health treatment plan template should be clearly and concisely discussed with clients. According to the NIMH, quality communication in your diagnoses and treatment plan are of great importance to effectively treating your clients:

The empathy and quality of this communication correlates with patient satisfaction and knowledge of the diagnoses and treatment plan. Patient understanding of their medical management plan helps enhance outcomes by improving compliance with treatment plans. Furthermore, the patient’s knowledge of their plan helps open up a line of communication with their physician to better help tailor a plan that best suits the patient’s physical, emotional, social, and economic states

Do you have an effective mental health treatment plan template? If not, download our editable mental health treatment plan template PDF below:



What are Counseling Treatment Plans?

Mental health treatment plans are dynamic, multi-purpose documents that allow mental health professionals and their clients to create a plan of action to monitor and provide treatment in a strategic manner. These plans are typically used by most mental health professionals including: Psychologists, psychiatrists, counselors, therapists, social workers, and psychotherapists.

Treatment plans are designed to be collaborative in nature. They combine a mental health professional’s treatment plan with the best interests of the client, creating a bond of trust that furthers the level of success in a practitioner / client relationship.

What is Included in a Mental Health Counseling Treatment Plan?

Typically, effective mental health treatment plans include the following sections:

  • Practitioners/agencies involved in treatment
  • Diagnoses
  • Justification for a diagnostic change (if applicable)
  • Medications prescribed, dosages, frequency, indication
  • Response to medication and concurrent treatment
  • Problem(s) / symptom(s)
  • Long term goals
  • Short term goals with dates established, projected completion, and achieved
  • Intervention(s)/Action(s)
  • Family involvement
  • Services / treatment needed beyond scope of organization or program
  • Estimated level of care completion date
  • Aftercare plans

Why are Counseling Treatment Plans Used?

Mental health treatment plans are important to mental health professionals for several reasons including:

  • Treatment plans can act as a blueprint for how counseling services are to be best delivered
  • May prevent fraud, waste, and abuse that not using an effective treatment plan could cause
  • Treatment plans create a collaborative document that both client and practitioner agree on
  • Treatment plans can provide a documented summary of treatments rendered, which can be translated into billing
  • A treatment plan tracks everyone involved in the treatment process, what they did, and when they did it

Who are Counseling Treatment Plans For?

Mental health treatment plans are designed to be used between mental health professionals and their clients, who may be suffering for a wide variety of issues.

We’ve created a list of mental health disorders that mental health treatment plans are used for. Goals may vary from client to client. A treatment plan may outline a plan for treating mental health conditions such as:


Mental health treatment plans can be created for clients suffering from ADHD. A good ADHD treatment plan will closely monitor how much and whether treatment helps a child’s behavior, as well as making adaptations along the way.

Addictions and Substance Abuse

Addictions are commonly treated using a treatment plan that aims at recovery.  An addiction treatment plan should consider how substance abuse impacts all aspects of a clients life including their financial, mental, physical, and social health.

Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety disorder treatment plans typically aim to incorporate strategies a client can cope with and reduce worrying, over-thinking, racing thoughts, and other symptoms of anxiety by using CBT and other treatment methods. They can also aim to help your clients learn what the underlying conditions contributing to their anxiety may be, while reducing overall symptoms of their anxiety such as panic attacks, stress, social anxiety, and beyond.

Bipolar Disorder

A comprehensive bipolar treatment plan aims to lessen client symptoms, fix problems your clients’ illnesses have caused, restore your client’s ability to function, and lower the likelihood of recurrence.

Borderline Personality Disorder

A borderline personality disorder treatment plan should be flexible and adapted to the needs of each of your unique clients’ needs.


Codependency treatment plans aim to help clients become fully-functional while living an authentic life alone and in intimate relationships.


Treatment plans for depression aim to decrease extreme symptoms, address issues of helplessness/hopelessness, correct irrational thinking patterns, Address underlying issues, and increase a client’s understand of depressive feelings.

Eating Disorders

Eating disorders are often complex and can involve many moving parts to effectively treat a client’s eating disorder. An eating disorder treatment plan is used with sufferers of many types of eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, ARFID, binge eating disorder, Rumination, PICA, and others. A common goal is stabilizing weight and normalizing eating patterns while introducing coping strategies to prevent relapses.

Gender Dysphoria

For clients struggling with gender dysphoria, mental health treatment plans are often used with a goal of exploring gender identity, acceptance, dealing with family and societal pressures, managing the coming out process, learning to live according to your true gender identity, among other goals.


Mental health treatment plans are used for grief stricken clients with common goals of validating their past, adjusting to their present, and redefining the future.


For clients struggling with OCD, a treatment plan can be created to reduce the amount of time clients spend focused on obsessive thoughts and performing compulsive behaviors.


There are many different types of phobias so treatment plans will certainly vary. Common goals of phobia treatment plans are to gradually expose clients to their fear in a safe and controlled environment, lessening the impact and control their specific phobia has over them.


For clients suffering with PTSD, treatment plans can be created with goals of easing PTSD symptoms (less intense and less frequent), teaching strategies to manage symptoms, restoring a positive sense of self-worth and self-esteem, and more.

Relationship Problems

For clients suffering from relationship problems, a treatment plan is an effective tool to be used. With so many different relationship problems, your treatment plan should be customized based on a client by client basis.

The above conditions listed are only samples of conditions that can be treated by mental health treatment plans. The goals listed are also only sample goals. A specific treatment plan should only be developed by a licensed professional. 

Mental Health Counseling Treatment Plan Goals and Objectives

Mental health treatment plan goals and objectives vary by condition and are unique to each client and practitioner. Here are some sample goals and objectives at a high-level. Treatment plans:

  • Express both short-term and long-term goals
  • Identify the most important patient needs
  • Identify steps to accomplish goals
  • Set out to accomplish goals in specific timeframes
  • Are malleable depending on how each client reacts to treatment
  • Identify services and practitioners to accomplish each objective

According to the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, “plans should be individualized and address the specific medically necessary needs of the individual for whom it is developed. The same exact goals, objectives, and interventions should not be used for more than one individual.” Therefore, your mental health treatment plan goals and objectives will vary from client to client depending on their specific needs.

Counseling Treatment Plan Example

We’ve included our counseling treatment plan example template below:

Download Our Mental Health Treatment Plan Template Editable PDF

For counselors, therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, and other medical professionals, a treatment plan is essential for detailing information about a client’s disease, goals of treatment, treatment options, expected length of treatment, which provider did what activities on which date, and more.

Benefits of Our Mental Health Treatment Plan Template PDF

Our mental health treatment plan template allows you to:

  • Quickly fill out your treatment plan on a digital device like a computer
  • Organize client documents in an easy to find folder on your computer or in the cloud
  • Search for specific parts your plan quickly by using “CTRL + f” function on your keyboard
  • Legibly read by both you and your clients
  • Print copies that are high in quality
  • Can be uploaded to HIPAA compliant docusharing websites to gather appropriate signatures if needed remotely

Do you have an effective mental health treatment plan template? If not, download our editable mental health treatment plan template PDF below:



Thank you for reading our article on “Creating an Effective Mental Health Treatment Plan [Editable PDF Template].” If you’re a mental health professional, we’d love for you to join our community that connects patients with mental health professionals like yourself.

Anthony Bart
Author: Anthony Bart

Anthony Bart is a huge mental health advocate. He has primarily positioned his marketing expertise to work with mental health professionals so that they can help as many patients as possible. He is currently the owner of BartX, TherapistX, and TherapyByPro.

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