Help the Client Identify Others Who Can Help With the Support Plan

Because the counselor’s role is helping the client identify barriers to addressing marijuana use, formulating a Support Plan (form 3B), and helping the client implement the plan, it may be useful to identify others who can help the client carry out the Support Plan and ways they can help (e.g., accompanying the client to appointments, helping with some of the legwork, helping in negotiating the system or with transportation or child care, providing financial assistance). The counselor adds the names of these people to the Support Plan.

The client may have withdrawn from friends and family who do not use drugs, reducing his or her social circle to only people who use drugs. As the client recognizes the importance of reducing contacts with people who use drugs while trying to overcome dependence, he or she may fear social isolation when he or she needs others’ support the most. The counselor explores the nature and extent of the client’s social network and suggests expansion of that network as a treatment goal.

Assign Between-Session Exercise

The counselor asks the client to select a problem to work on during the week. The client should complete a Support Plan for the problem and be prepared to discuss his or her efforts to solve the problem at the beginning of the next session.

Plan To Monitor Progress

Even though the client is responsible for following the Support Plan and obtaining services, the counselor monitors all efforts to complete the plan; these efforts should be discussed in every session during the check-in phase. The counselor asks about the client’s efforts to implement the Support Plan since the preceding session. A portion of the closing of the session should be devoted to reviewing what the client will do to implement the Support Plan during the coming week.

Review and Conclude Session

The counselor reviews the content of the session, asks the client for feedback, responds empathically to his or her comments, and troubleshoots any difficulties. The counselor explains that the client will report back on his or her efforts to complete the plan at the next session.