a. Conceptualize the system: Examine and understand the broader system in which the counseling program will be located.
b. Establish philosophy and assess needs: The general philosophy or mission of the counseling program must be established. An assessment of needs is a critical data gathering effort.
c. Develop goals and objectives of the counseling program: Goals are broad statements of the general intentions of the program. Objectives are specific, behavioral, and measurable, and based on the goals of the program. Goals and objectives are developed based, in part, on the needs assessment data collected.
d. Process information: Throughout the planning of the counseling program, a feedback loop of information should be in place to assure program development is proceeding appropriately, all steps are covered, etc.
e. Conduct a pilot study: If possible, a small scale pilot should be conducted in order to determine if development is on target, and any major problems may be uncovered before full-scale implementation.
f. Develop a plan: The plan is a roadmap guiding the development to assure the goals and objectives will be met. Personnel, facilities, resources, and money are part of the plan.
g. Implementation: Depending on how extensive the counseling program is to be, a plan and schedule for implementation, hiring, training and related issues must be developed.
h. Operate the counseling program: The doors open and clients make use of the services. Fine tuning of the procedures and services occurs.
i. Evaluate the program: This is the process of determining whether the goals and objectives established for the counseling program have been met.
j. Modify the counseling program: Depending on the data gathered in the evaluation process, the program will be modified, or perhaps, eliminated.