What can I expect when I first contact Community Psychological Consultants?
When you leave a message, one of our professionals will return your call and will ask you some basic questions regarding your concerns and the services you are seeking, and whether you are requesting a specific professionals, to determine whether we are able to provide such services. As well, we will request information on whether or not you plan to use your health insurance to reimburse us for services rendered. Mr. Stauber is a paneled provider for a number of different insurance companies. Dr. Sanders does not accept insurance, but will provide a super bill that clients can submit to their insurance company for possible out-of-network reimbursement if their company has such a provision. Services related to legal matters are not covered under insurance. If we feel that we are able to provide the services you request, your professional will contact you directly to discuss services, will provide you with a link to our client portal, which includes forms for you to complete and upload back to us as soon as possible, and will schedule an intake appointment.
Currently, Dr. Sanders conducts intake appointments and most therapy appointments, through teletherapy, and conducts direct testing in-office, with significant precautions taken to protect the health of clients during Covid-19. Mr. Stauber will conduct intake and therapy appointments in-office or through teletherapy, depending on client choices, with significant precautions taken in response to Covid-19. (Please review our Covid-19 agreement.)
The initial intake appointment: What can I expect during my first appointment?
An initial intake appointment is a focused opportunity to understand the concerns that led to your contacting us. An initial contact with your professional may seem somewhat overwhelming, especially for people who have never had such contact. It is important to remember that this session is both an opportunity for the professional to gain needed information about client concerns and history, and for the client to take the opportunity to determine whether he or she feels comfortable in working with that particular professional.
Whether for therapy or evaluation, the initial intake appointment for child or adolescent services is typically conducted with one or both parents; the child or adolescent is not generally included in that appointment. The intake appointment is an opportunity for parents or guardians to frankly discuss concerns without placing the child or adolescent in a position of having to hear potentially painful statements about themselves in front of the therapist/evaluator. At the end of that session, your professional and the intake participant(s) will discuss next steps, including scheduling of further appointments, requests for further information, such as previous reports or contact with collateral resources (such as physicians or teachers), and initial treatment goals.
What is therapy like?
Every therapy session is unique and is responsive to each individual or group of individuals, and their specific goals. It is standard for your therapist to discuss the primary issues and concerns in your life during therapy sessions. Therapy can be short-term, focusing on a specific issue, or longer term, addressing more complex issues or supporting ongoing personal growth. There may be times when you are asked to take certain actions outside of the therapy sessions, such as reading a relevant book or keeping records to track of certain behaviors. It is important to process what has been discussed and try to integrate it into your life between sessions. For therapy to be most effective you must be an active participant, both during and between the sessions. Individuals seeking psychotherapy need to be willing to take responsibility for their actions, to work toward self-exploration and wanted change, and to join with the therapist to actively address identified problems. Here are some things you can expect out of therapy:
Generally, psychotherapy appointments are 45-50 minutes, and are often scheduled on a weekly basis. You can expect that your therapist will actively, and without judgement, listen to your thoughts and feelings. Seeking out therapy is an individual choice. There are many reasons why people come to therapy. Sometimes it is to deal with long-standing psychological issues, or problems such as anxiety, depression, or behavioral issues in the home. Other times it is in response to unexpected changes in one's life such as a divorce or work transition. Many seek the advice of counsel as they pursue their own personal exploration and growth. Working with a therapist can help provide insight, support, and new strategies for all types of life challenges. Therapy can help address many types of issues for children, adolescents, and adults.
Psychological evaluations provide an opportunity to gain helpful information to assist with treatment planning, school/academic interventions, parenting challenges, resolution of relationship issues, and sometimes, information to assist in resolution of court-related issues. Depending on the presenting questions and purpose of the evaluation, evaluation participants will be administered various developmentally appropriate tests, and parents, teachers, therapists, physicians, and other persons who have helpful knowledge may be asked to complete various rating scales or participate in a consultation with the evaluator.
Initially, a detailed history will be gathered through an intake interview and completion of a history form. Any additional helpful information (such as report cards, standardized testing reports, previous evaluations, medical history, or court documents) should be shared with the evaluator. Rating scales will be administered. With children, generally six hours of direct testing are scheduled, often broken into one-, two-, or three-hour sessions, depending on the age of the child and ability to sustain focus and effort. Amount of time spent in direct testing with adults will vary. Following completion of testing, the evaluator will prepare a report and conduct a feedback session to review evaluation findings and recommendation.
Collaborative Practice is a voluntary process in which parties settle disputes without resort to litigation. In Collaborative Practice:
- The parties sign a collaborative participation agreement describing the nature and scope of the matter;
- The parties voluntarily disclose all information which is relevant and material to the matter that must be decided;
- The parties agree to use good faith efforts in their negotiations to reach a mutually acceptable settlement;
- Each party must be represented by a lawyer whose representation terminates upon the undertaking of any contested court proceeding;
- The parties may engage mental health professionals, communication and family professionals and financial professionals whose engagement terminates upon the undertaking of any contested court proceeding; and
- The parties may jointly engage other experts as needed.
Collaborative Practice provides you and your spouse or partner with the support and guidance of your own lawyers without going to court. Additionally, Collaborative Practice allows you the benefit of divorce coaches, child and financial specialists all working together with you on your team. In Collaborative Practice, each person, including professionals, commits to:
- Negotiate a mutually acceptable resolution without having courts decide issues.
- Maintain open communication and information sharing.
- Create shared solutions acknowledging the highest priorities of all.
(from: International Academy of Collaborative Professionals website)
What to do in the case of an emergency:
In case of an emergency, call 911, or proceed to your nearest hospital emergency room. Also, to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, which provides 24/7 free and confidential support for people in distress, and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255).