Session Notes Template

An intuitive session notes template designed to make writing documentation easier for practitioners. Guaranteed to elevate the accuracy, consistency, and organization of your notes.

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What is a Session Note Template?

As I’m sure you know, healthcare practitioners are required to write a lot of different kinds of clinical documentation. Staying on top of this note-taking helps to ensure the care delivery process is transparent and that patients are receiving the best care possible. For this reason, many healthcare practitioners are looking for solutions that will elevate the quality of their documentation, which is exactly what our template aims to do. After a healthcare provider has had an appointment with a client, they may choose to write documents recording some of the details of that session.

As opposed to progress notes, this form of documentation is not a legal document. Rather, they are optional notes that serve the primary aim of reminding practitioners of key details about a patient’s health condition. Although writing session notes is not a requirement, they are often recommended. They help to ensure that the practitioner remains well-informed and can make accurate clinical decisions when treating patients, contributing to better overall health outcomes.

Tips for Good Session Notes

Be brief

It is essential to provide the basic information such as the appointment time, place, and other service codes. This includes a basic description of how the client appears concerning their effect and behaviour.

List symptoms

It's important to provide a representative picture of how the patient is feeling.This entails describing their symptoms in both subjective and objective terms to help improve their mental health.

Include testing

You may also need to include other objective data to support your observations. This includes documents, test results, medical information, as well as other therapy notes.

Outline your interventions

It is also highly important that you list the interventions used for the patient. This may include CBT, relaxation, or other mental health awareness and training programs and techniques. Within this, you should outline whether the interventions and their objectives are being met within your session.

Sign off

It's also important that you include signatures to ensure you meet HIPAA compliance standards. This allows for higher authorization processes, and ensures that client information is protected and officially recognized.

Printable Session Notes Template

Check out these templates for Session Notes to improve clinical documentation, productivity, and therapy outcomes.

How to Use This Template For Session Notes

The process of using this session notes template is very simple. We have designed it with the aim of being applicable to as many practitioners as possible, which means ensuring ease of use. In order to make the most of the template, simply follow these steps: 

Step One: Download the template

Naturally, the first thing you have to do is download the template. We’ve included a link to the document a little further down on this page you simply have to click the link and you’ll be taken to a PDF version. From here, you can download the PDF onto your computer, where it can either be edited directly or printed if you’d prefer a physical copy. 

Step Two: Complete the note

After you have a session with a client, it’s time to complete the note. Although there are no specific requirements regarding when you have to write these notes, we recommend writing them immediately after your session. This way, the details of the encounter will be fresh in your mind and you can ensure you don’t miss any important points. 

Step Three: Double check you’ve included the date and time 

Our template has a section for you to write the date and time, and before you finish the note you should double check you have completed this. Medical records that chart a patient’s treatment journey are only accurate and able to be used if they include dates and times. Without these details, it will be much harder to trace the progress of your patients.

Step Four: Save the note securely 

When the note has been written, it’s time to store it securely. Although session notes aren’t legal documents they still contain confidential information, which means they need to be stored securely. In order to guarantee the privacy of your patients, there needs to be adequate safeguards in place that prevent unauthorized people from accessing patient data.

Session Notes Example (Sample)

To help you visualize exactly what our session notes template may look like in use, we’ve created a sample document. Although the specific information included in this sample will differ depending on the content of your sessions with clients, it should give you some insight into how these templates are used.

Download this Session Notes example here: 

Session Notes Example

Who Can Use this Printable Session Note Template?

The healthcare industry is extremely diverse, with a range of different specializations and fields. It can sometimes be hard to find useful resources that can be used by a range of these fields, which is why we’ve tried to ensure our template is diverse in its applicability. Some of the healthcare specializations that can easily use this template include:

  • Nurses
  • General Practitioners
  • Psychologists
  • Psychiatrists
  • Counselors
  • Social Workers 
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Physical Therapists 
  • Chiropractors 

This template can also be used by healthcare practitioners regardless of their experience. It will be useful for junior or trainee providers who are just beginning to learn how to write notes. On the other hand, it can help more seasoned professionals elevate the organization and general formatting of their session notes. Regardless of what type of healthcare you work in, or how long you have been working there, our session notes template will help you optimize your documentation.

Why is This Template Useful for Counselors?

Further, this session notes template has a range of different uses for healthcare providers, including counselors. The day-to-day schedule is typically very busy, especially if the practitioner is treating multiple patients. Implementing this template into the counseling practice will help simplify the workload in the following ways: 

  • Organization: Considering the tight schedule at healthcare businesses, finding ways to elevate organization can be difficult – but this is exactly where our template excels. The template ensures that your session notes are written clearly and concisely and can be easily read by you at a later date. 
  • Consistency: The template will guarantee that your session notes are all written according to the same format, which ensures consistency across your documentation. When you go to read your notes at a later date, not only will you find them much more accessible, but you will easily be able to extract the relevant pieces of information. 
  • Saves time: One of the best aspects of using a template for when you write your session notes is how much time it will save you. You no longer have to format or structure your documents, and instead can quickly and easily access the predesigned template that only requires you to fill in the relevant sections.
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Benefits of Session Notes 

In addition to having various uses, this session notes template is guaranteed to result in a range of different benefits for your healthcare practice. Some of these advantages include:

Informed care & accurate decisions

One of the primary purposes of writing session notes is to keep the practitioner informed about their client’s health condition. This helps to ensure that they are making the best possible treatment decisions and are able to maintain a comprehensive understanding of how their client is progressing. Using a template increases the accuracy of documentation, which in turn contributes to more informed clinical decisions. 

Meaningful client relationships 

If a practitioner utilized accurate and organized session notes, they will be more likely to develop meaningful relationships with their clients. Session notes facilitate better decision-making and allow practitioners to have a thorough understanding of their clients and how they have been progressing. These factors allow practitioners to focus on developing a real and transparent relationship with their clients. 


Although session notes aren’t made to be shared between other third parties, they can still have a role to play in improving communication. Session notes inform practitioners about important information, which can then be relayed to other members of a patient’s care team or insurance providers when necessary. These interactions lead to better communication and improved coordination of care. 


If you choose to utilize this session notes template you are facilitating a streamlined documentation process. The template can be accessed, written, and stored extremely easily, improving productivity at your practice. 

Better clinical outcomes

Overall, each of these benefits of writing session notes will contribute to better clinical outcomes. As I’m sure you know, finding ways to improve clinical outcomes is one of the foundational goals of all healthcare practitioners, which can be achieved by using this template and focusing on improving the accuracy and organization of your documentation.

Commonly asked questions

How do you write session notes quickly? 

Although writing documentation is very important, practitioners can understandably find it very time-consuming. Ensuring the accuracy of your session notes is much more important than getting them done quickly but there are a couple of tips that can save you time. Firstly, we recommend writing brief shorthand notes during your sessions. These should just be a couple of lines and you need to ensure it isn’t distracting for your patient if you are writing during the session, but keeping these notes will help jog your memory. Secondly, you should write your session notes digitally. Although using a physical copy is perfectly fine, it takes much longer, is more likely to contain errors, and is at higher risk of being lost or stolen.

How long should a session note be? 

This is dependent on the session that you had with a client, although around a page is probably a good rule of thumb. You want to include all information that could be of use at a later date, without going into a minute-by-minute summary.

Where do you store session notes?

You have a couple of options when it comes to storing session notes. Firstly, you can store them in a physical location, like a filing cabinet that can be securely locked. Secondly, and this is the option we recommend, you can use an online platform or EHR. These systems employ sophisticated security protocols and features to ensure that your patient’s information is protected at all times, while also allowing you to access your notes whenever you like.

Why Use Carepatron For Session Notes?

Writing clinical documentation, including session notes, is a time-consuming aspect of working in healthcare. This is why finding solutions that help ease this workload will always be of use – which is where practice management systems like Carepatron come in. Carepatron has been designed in collaboration with healthcare practitioners to develop features that streamline the administrative processes at healthcare businesses.

With Carepatron, not only will you have access to a robust set of clinical templates, but you can also utilize voice-to-text transcription software and significantly cut down on the time spent writing. Carepatron also has fantastic storage capabilities, employing bank-level encryption and various other safeguards. This ensures that the privacy of your patients is protected all the time, and also allows you to access documentation from anywhere and at any time.

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How do you write session notes quickly? 
How do you write session notes quickly? 
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