Characteristics of Effective Prevention Programs

Characteristics of Effective Prevention Programs

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
–Benjamin Franklin

Mental health services can target families and couples already experiencing severe problems, those couples and families experiencing common life stage transitions, and even couples and families that have not yet shown any signs of difficulty at all. Primary prevention seeks to intervene with the latter group on a mass scale with the goal of impacting the greatest number of couples and families as possible. As attractive as primary prevention sounds, and equally common-sensical and time-honored, the development and implementation of primary preventative interventions and programs proves difficult. For instance, it is difficult to measure the impact of an intervention or program that seeks to forestall some future outcome that may be one or more years away. Fortunately, much research has been conducted on what constitutes an effective, or good, preventative intervention or program. The dilemma for mental health professionals as a whole, and for you as a future marriage, couple, and family counselor, is how to carve out space in your professional work for the creation and development of prevention programming. This is challenging because in clinical practice, the majority of time and money may be spent on tertiary prevention or remedial counseling.

To prepare for this Discussion, use the Internet to find a prevention program for an area of professional interest. Consider how this program is effective or ineffective using the characteristics of effective programs outlined in the Learning Resources.

With these thoughts in mind:

Disscussion.  the title for the prevention program you selected. Describe three characteristics that make this program effective and explain why. Then, describe at least one characteristic that the program is lacking. Finally, explain how you would redesign the program to effectively incorporate the missing characteristic.

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