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.