Individual Services

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At CMC, individual therapy is provided by psychologists. During the initial evaluation we make a concerted effort to connect each client to a therapist with the skill set to meet their needs. As well as the core CMC strategies (motivational and cognitive-behavioral), many of our psychologists have additional expertise in adjunctive therapies (CBT-Insomnia, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Autism Spectrum Services).

Individual treatment at CMC can take place in a variety of ways. Clients may engage in individual treatment alone, or they may supplement their individual sessions with a variety of groups. Many of our clients have relationships with outside therapists who focus on other life issues, which we encourage them to maintain. These clients have the option of doing additional, skills-focused individual work with a CMC clinician (usually short term with specific behavioral goals) and we work to create a collaborative relationship with the outside provider.

Our clinicians are available by cell phone for ongoing check-ins.

We also provide referrals as appropriate for psychiatric consultation, medication, nutritional consultation, exercise consultation, massage therapy, or acupuncture.

Taking the first step towards making a change is a very important moment. While it can feel inspiring to finally ask for help, often this step is accompanied by many questions, concerns and uncertainties. The initial consultation process at CMC is designed to be collaborative, encouraging, informative and meaningful. An effective plan for change begins with a clear and in-depth understanding of you and the circumstances that have brought you to this point.

During your initial consultation, we will ask you to share information about yourself that will help us understand your situation and needs. You will likely have many questions for us as well – about your options, what sorts of services we offer, and what the path forward could look like. The consultation is a time to explore these questions and think about how you would like to proceed.

As clinicians devoted to providing the highest quality, science-based care, we believe in the importance of accurate assessment to guide and individually tailor your therapy. Your consultation will include both providing information on a variety of questionnaires as well a comprehensive interview with a psychologist. This allows us to understand you in a more complete way, including your life circumstances, your relationships, your strengths, your vulnerabilities, your life experiences, and your goals.

The initial consultation will conclude with a discussion and initial planning for what will happen next. This plan may include individual therapy, group therapy, couples or family therapy – or you may decide to explore other options. In addition, with your permission, we will consult with any current treatment providers working with you to better understand you and to invite their input in developing a plan. Last, we may also refer you to other clinicians who offer expertise in other areas, or to a different level of care if that is more appropriate (e.g., inpatient care, residential treatment etc). If together we decide an outside referral is the best option for you, we will work to help you identify and connect with the best possible outside support option to meet your needs.

And again…we know how important this step can be. We welcome the chance to collaborate with you and offer you our best thinking and experience in helping develop a way forward that is effective and successful.

After an Initial Consultation, CMC offers clients the opportunity to examine their substance use behavior, costs and benefits of both continued use and change, and personal reasons for wanting to make change. Designed as a low-intensity option (usually 3-5 individual sessions) for tracking substance use over time, this service provides a non-confrontational way to help clients assess their use and its impact. Specifically, this service provides a starting point for individuals who are reluctant to consider or are not considering behavior change at present, but who are willing to examine the issue. The extended evaluation can stand alone or act as an entry into more intensive treatment.
One of our strengths at CMC is the opportunity to work with a clinical psychologist in an individual, one-on-one setting. This individual connection allows us to continue the work begun in the initial consultation, where issues and goals were first laid out. We take care after the initial consultation to connect each client to a therapist with the skill set to meet their needs. In addition to the core CMC approach (motivational and cognitive-behavioral), many of our psychologists have additional expertise in adjunctive therapies (CRAFT for families, CBT for insomnia, Dialectical Behavior Therapy for trauma and emotional distress, Autism Spectrum Services and more).

Individual treatment at CMC can take place in a variety of ways. Clients may engage in individual treatment alone, or they may supplement their individual sessions with a variety of groups. Many of our clients have relationships with outside therapists who focus on other life issues, which we strongly encourage them to maintain. These clients have the option of doing additional, skills-focused individual work with a CMC clinician (usually short term with specific behavioral goals), and we work to create a collaborative relationship with the outside therapist.

Individual therapy is relatively structured and focused, especially initially, when much of the focus is on developing the tools to navigate the early challenges clients are facing. This work includes a behavioral analysis of the client’s life, identification of triggers and risks, understanding factors (including relationships) supportive of change, dealing with ambivalence about change, and developing an internal sense of motivation to change. Individual therapy is also supplemented by our unique, computerized behavioral tracking system to give clients ongoing and real-time feedback on progress.

We also provide referrals as appropriate for psychiatric consultation, medication, nutritional consultation, exercise consultation, massage therapy, or acupuncture.

Approximately thirty percent of Americans experience some symptoms of insomnia, including difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. Difficulty being able to fall asleep or stay asleep is often a cause of (or a reason to maintain) substance abuse in the first place. When compared to patients without insomnia, patients with insomnia have more difficulty maintaining sleep, are more likely to report frequently using alcohol in order to sleep, and have more severe alcohol dependence and depression. While insomnia often has a role in substance use problems, Cognitive Behavioral Treatment for Insomnia (CBT-I) is for anyone who suffers from insomnia. The benefits of better sleep include decreased anxiety, increased mood, and increased energy.

The most common treatment for insomnia is sleep medication, such as Ambien and Lunesta. These medications do help to initiate sleep and often result in people sleeping through the night, but can have side effects such as feeling “hung over” in the morning, sleep walking, sleep driving, and sleep eating. Furthermore, sleep medications are often abused and are therefore not appropriate for patients with a substance abuse history.

CBT-I is an empirically supported, sleep-medication-free treatment. It has repeatedly proven to be the most effective treatment for chronic insomnia, equal to sleep medications in the short term and more effective in the long term. Combining the techniques of sleep restriction, stimulus control, cognitive corrections, and relaxation training, CBT-I’s six-to-twelve-week protocol works to change sleep habits and correct common misconceptions about sleep that help to maintain the insomnia.

  • Sleep restriction is a technique for matching up sleep ability with sleep opportunity. Clients collect sleep data and, with their CBT-I therapist, determine a bedtime, wake-time, and rules around sleep that increase the pressure to sleep and decrease time spent awake in bed.
  • Stimulus control is used to change sleep-destructing behaviors that have developed from insomnia, behaviors like watching TV in bed, using a computer in bed, and otherwise creating a whole world in the bedroom, naturally, since spending so much time awake in bed. Stimulus control means to break those habits and make the bedroom a place that stimulates sleep.
  • There are many unhelpful myths about sleep. For example, a person who believes he must get eight hours of sleep each night may worry about getting less, which worrying makes it harder for him to sleep. Correcting such cognitive distortions and replacing them with facts (many people function very well on less than eight hours of sleep) reduces anxiety and stress that prevent sleep.
  • Relaxation training helps to quiet the body and mind. It is particularly helpful for people who have a lower threshold for anxiety and worry and find themselves unable to stop racing thoughts at night. Relaxation training includes progressive muscle relaxation and breathing and mindfulness techniques.
Early thinking held that individuals on the Autistic Spectrum weren’t interested in substances or were unable to access social situations in which substances would play a role. Increased awareness, early intervention, and early skill building have provided people on the spectrum with a wider range of social opportunities, including opportunities to interact with substances—sometimes in problematic ways.

CMC is pleased to have on its staff several psychologists with training and experience working with individuals diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). We are committed to individualized, evidence-based approaches for all individuals, including those on the Autistic Spectrum. While there are no evidence-based treatments for substance use that have been specifically proven for use with ASD populations, CMC applies what is known about both ASD and substance use treatment to individualize treatment plans and monitor their effectiveness.

At CMC we use cognitive-behavioral techniques to help ASD clients build emotional, social, and communication skills. Our clinicians take into account development across the lifespan, learning differences, and the unique needs of the ASD population to make recommendations regarding treatment goals, referrals for outside services, and psychopharmacological referrals when indicated. We encourage families to be actively involved in treatment in order to foster motivation and help translate new skills into clients’ day-to-day lives.