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During this initial phase of therapy several tasks must be completed including; Laying foundations for trust, Establishing the structure and form therapeutic relationship will take, and completion and explanation of informed consent process and forms. This stage is crucial to counseling in that it defines the roles of the counselor and client, and constructs the foundations and structure of therapy. When this initial stage is executed effectively it allows the therapists to ally with client while gathering pertinent information. Stage Two: Assessment and diagnosis

The primary function of this stage of counseling is to gather information that will better help the counselor understand the clients situation. During this phase of counseling if necessary standardized testing(psychological) and non-standardized test(clinical interview) are considered. The task of this phase are as follows; Identify the nature of the presenting problem, Therapist assist the client in articulating client needs, Therapist places presenting problem in social and cultural context, while identifying clients strengths and possible resources.

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This phase is important in that it beings the process of building a hypothesis of what a presenting problem may be, and possible treatment plans. Stage Three: Formulation of counseling goals The primary purpose of this phase is to have the client articulate their goals. These goals are essential to the development of a treatment plan. Stage Four: Intervention and problem solving Therapist and counselor collaborate to accomplish the goals of the agreed upon treatment plan. The client is usually educated on treatment options and techniques that may help them too cope or relax.

It is integral to the outcome of treatment that the client is included in their solution. Therapist ensures that goals are well articulated and defined. The treatment plan should be adaptable to time as well as flexible. Stage Five: Termination and Follow Up This final step to treatment is a collaboration between the therapist and client. This phase of treatment signifies that either the clients needs have been met, the therapist has decided they no longer can benefit the client or other extenuating circumstances have occurred(death, duty to warn, etc.)

This step allows for closure in the therapist client relationship. Throughout the therapeutic process the therapist has encouraged independence in the client and prepared them for cessation of treatment. This step formally prepares them for transitioning while helping them understand that counseling is available if ever they may need it again. References Pipes, R. B. & Davenport, D. S (1999). Introduction to Psychotherapy: Common clinical wisdom (2nd ed). New York, NY: Prentice-Hall.

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