# 56 October 2004

"Home is not where you live but where they understand you."

Christian Morgenstern

(continues below)

mental health professional trainings
primary care professional trainings
psychological assessment supervision and consultations
Shawn Christopher Shea
links and recommended readings


# 56 October 2004

Effectively Introducing the Idea of the "Treatment Team"

TISA Description of the Problem: It is important to help clients understand the idea of a treatment team, for it may be a foreign concept to them. It is also important that they realize that they are the most important person in that treatment team, so that they do not feel they are losing control of important life decisions. The following tip by Julie Cabala, R.N. provides a very sound approach, that is enhanced by the creative use of a diagram.

Tip: I like to draw a circle with the client in the middle of the circle. On the perimeter I show all the people who will be potentially helping (casemanager, psychiatrist, nurse clinician, psychologist, social worker, family therapist, vocational counselor, friends, family, pastors etc.). I make the client a big circle inside this circle, and let them know how each of these supports may be of help. I then add something like:

"And you are the most important part of this team. You are the hub of this wheel. It does not turn except for your input and your interest. We will all be very dependent on hearing from you how you think things are going and how well you feel the team is helping you."

TISA Follow-up: I like this tip very much. I believe the graphic can be a powerful learning aid, and I also think it can be given to the patient as a transitional object of sorts. It also strikes me that it might be useful to have a nicely created copy of this circle of support on one's office wall.

Tip provided by:

Josie Cabala, R.N.
San Diego, California