There are a lot of ways that we may be able to help. The majority of our work is with individuals in outpatient individual psychotherapy. We also work with couples, family members and families. While we specialize in addictive issues we are all trained in mental health treatment and so we also work with individuals and families struggling with depression, anxiety, self esteem, stress, relationship conflicts, etc. We can help with appropriate referrals to psychiatry, nutritionists, psychological testing, abstinence based recovery and controlled drinking or recreational using based approaches along with many other sorts of interventions.
Starting with a consultation/evaluation or even just a phone call, we can quickly determine what options you might have and the best way to pursue them. Sometimes, we can refer you right away to a more appropriate resource or colleagues and oftentimes just a few questions can enable you and us to know if it makes sense for you to meet with one of us. It is also always OK to meet with us once or twice and to meet with other therapists to get a feel for who is the best match for you. If we don’t feel we can help you we will point you in the direction of therapists or services that can help you.
We like to think of ourselves as quarterbacks to your treatment. I suppose we should have a more inclusive analogy like “coach” because there are very few female quarterbacks, but if you forgive the sports analogy it seems to work very well. We believe that we can help you by support coordinate leading and directing your treatment but you choose the position you want to play, you chose when and for how long you’ll play and we negotiate together what route you’ll run and we do this collaboratively. Our job is to support you and challenge you and your job is to work, train, practice and play (and have fun playing too.)
We believe in a “stepped level of care” approach for services. What this means is that you “sign up” for preferably more treatment in the beginning and to see how that goes but treatment should be 1) the least drastic, 2) the least intrusive in your life and 3) the least expensive. I.E., we don’t need to whisk you away to rehab, detox or a recovery house. That is usually too drastic, intrusive and expensive. We want to see if clients can make changes while living their normal lives because if they can they are more likely to make real meaningful and lasting changes. In fact most people relapse after inpatient treatment and often it is because of the transition from that “level of care” to coming back home and having less structure and support. If you can build your support at home or in your current environment you may be better off than if you go to rehab in the first place.
On the other hand, this stepped level of care approach is helpful to think about the trajectory of treatment. So if someone starts out with individual treatment and only wants to come twice a month and it doesn’t work then they should come weekly. If still, they are feeling depressed, missing work or school, and struggling to control their drinking, then they need to step it up and maybe come weekly or maybe add a medication consult or a group meeting once per week. If still they are struggling maybe it’s time to start going to AA or to consider an intensive outpatient treatment program or inpatient treatment. So, perhaps don’t just fire your therapist but instead ratchet it up a few notches, raise the ante, double down and work a little harder in treatment and on yourself. The goal of therapy is to eventually not need a therapist anymore and to be able to know yourself well enough to make better decisions in your life so that you are better able to get what you want and what you need in your life.
In trying to determine which services you may need it is helpful to ask us for exactly what you are looking for if you know what that is. Of course, many clients do not know exactly what they want or need, and so meeting with us for a consultation or evaluation allows us to clarify that, together. There are no stupid questions to ask and please feel free to ask ANYTHING that you would like