Determining which Carey Guides to use with your client is part of the case planning process, and the best case plans are ones that are developed collaboratively with the client. So, definitely, clients can—and should—play a part in deciding which Carey Guides to use.
Here’s a process you can follow to reach that decision: Begin by sharing with the client the results of their risk/needs assessment, especially their most influential criminogenic needs. (Tip: Don’t use the term “criminogenic needs” when talking with clients. Instead, talk about “key life areas,” and use terms such as “thoughts and beliefs” instead of “antisocial cognition” and “friends” instead of “antisocial associates.”) Work together to identify their driver: the criminogenic need that most influences their illegal behavior. Then, based on your findings, develop a case plan together. Start by setting one or two goals that address the driver and another criminogenic need or stabilization factor, and develop action steps to help meet each goal. Using the Carey Guides can be one of those action steps!
By going through this process together, you will be doing more than “allowing the client to choose” (and you won’t need to worry about whether the client is being manipulative); you will be working together to create a plan that will help your client be successful. And, you’ll be creating that plan in a way that allows you to build rapport with your client: an important ingredient for your client’s success.
I have just started Carey guides and I have two people already selected to start. The primary one is a female. While discussing the use of Carey Guides with her we went over several topics and to be honest I let her select the guide dealing with Anger. I did not think it would be that one until she spoke about her anger towards her family and friends. So in essence I allowed her to select the topic. Has anyone found this to be useful or is she merely manipulating the facts?