How can a therapist identify short-term goals when implementing the Greenspan Floortime approach?

Discussion: It can often seem difficult to quantify Floortime progress, but it doesn’t have to be.

The question we seem to be asking ourselves is: “how do we use the DIR model in terms of getting funding when the funding agency wants you to earmark ‘short term goals’?” notes Dr. Greenspan.

One way of thinking about this is to look at developmental capacities and target these as your symptoms: the absence of the capacities, of gestures, of engagement, of warmth, and so forth.

“Then,” says Dr. Greenspan, “when the child reaches these milestones, it indicates mastery of those symptoms. This way, you can show nice, short term gains often. In one session, you can see clear changes.

[Researchers and therapist practitioners] sometimes ask how to use this [Floortime] model in terms of getting funding when the funding agency wants you to earmark short-term goals and many HMOs want short-term goals. And it’s important for many research projects.

Obviously we’re talking here about a long-term effect. One way of thinking about the short-term goals is to look at these developmental capacities that we’re talking about like engagement, two-way gestural communication, using ideas. Target these as your symptoms–the absence of these capacities, the absence of gestures, the absence of using ideas, the absence of engagement with warm smiles.

Then obviously the presence of warm smiles, the presence of pointing and gesturing, the presence of problem solving like taking you by the hand walking to the door, the presence of using words in pretend play, or in “Me Want Cookie,” they become the remediation of these symptoms. The mastery of those symptoms of the absence of these needed abilities

Dr. Stanley Greenspan

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