Psychotherapy and counseling are critical components of the recovery process. At CLAYS, licensed therapists provide emotional support, education and guidance to both the individual and the family. Below is information to familiarize you with the services we provide.
Treatment specialization includes:
What Is Individual Psychotherapy?
Individual therapy is a process that many people think of as “talk therapy,” because that’s exactly what happens. You meet with a therapist for a one-on-one session to talk about issues of concern.
When specific issues in your life are causing distress and interfere with your normal activities, it may be time to seek psychotherapy. For many people, the goal is to cope better with the challenging issues of life. For others, the goal may be to overcome childhood traumas, or to deal with depression or anxiety. Personal growth and greater self-knowledge are always the by-products of psychotherapy.
What happens in psychotherapy?
A therapist can serve as a listening ear, and a guide in teaching you better coping skills and strategies to relieve stress. With the therapist’s guidance, you will learn to explore your feelings, beliefs and behaviors – and how they influence your life. You may work through difficult memories. You might identify aspects of your life you wish to change, or understand better. You can set personal goals, and work toward achieving them.
You and your therapist will set a schedule that works for both of you. You might have a month of weekly sessions, or several years of weekly sessions. The schedule is set based on your unique needs and goals for your therapy.
Through therapy, people gather tools to manage symptoms, alleviate stress, and face challenges.
Psychotherapy prevents relapses
People struggling with moderate depression and anxiety have very positive results from psychotherapy. Research shows they are less likely to have relapses (setbacks) long after their treatment ends. In fact, the combination of psychotherapy and medication has helped many people greatly – better than those who only took medication.
Take time to interview a few psychotherapists, to see which feels right. Do you feel comfortable talking with this person? Could you discuss personal details with them? Do they listen carefully, and respond in a helpful manner?
Don’t be shy about calling to set an appointment for a quick phone interview. It’s in your best interest to find the right therapist – one whose style and personality match yours. Give psychotherapy a try if life has thrown too many curve balls your way. We all need help at those critical times.
Counseling can be very effective when the entire family is involved. At CLAYS, licensed family therapists provide emotional support, education and guidance to strengthen the family unit.
If a family member is recovering from a mental illness, family counseling is very helpful. The therapist can help family members coping with alcohol or drug concerns. With a therapist’s help, family members can resolve conflicts and learn new strategies for handling problems — to develop more positive relationships.
For example: Family therapy helps family members cope if a relative has been diagnosed with a mental health problem like schizophrenia or depression.
In the case of addiction, the family can attend family therapy while the person with an addiction participates in a residential treatment program.
Several family members typically come together for therapy sessions. However, a family member may also see a family therapist individually.
The therapy is often short term — less than six months. However, the number of sessions you’ll need depends on your family’s situation.
How family therapy helps
In therapy sessions, the family can work through frustrations and disagreements. If communication between family members has broken down, a family therapist can help bridge that gap.
In family therapy, you can:
- Examine your family’s ability to solve problems and express thoughts and emotions
- Explore family roles, rules and behaviors to identify issues that contribute to conflict — and ways to work through these issues
- Identify your family’s strengths, such as caring for one another, and weaknesses, such as difficulty confiding in one another
In the end, the person in recovery will be better equipped to cope with their challenges, and the entire family may understand the situation better – to provide better support.
While individual therapy is a one-on-one process, group therapy involves one or more psychologists who lead a group of people. Most groups meet weekly. The participants might also attend individual therapy sessions.
Group therapy sessions are facilitated by a licensed counselor. The members of your group act as a support network and a sounding board. We get people with all types of backgrounds, and very different personalities. They each look at life differently.
Hearing their ideas can help you figure out your own situation. When you see how they tackle problems and make positive changes, you can better face your own problems. In group sessions, everyone learns from the others.
Talking with a group of strangers may seem intimidating at first. But you might be surprised at how much it can help. Psychologists always say that the group members find it a really rewarding experience.
Right now, you may feel like you’re the only one struggling. You may feel pretty alone. When you join a group, you’ll immediately realize everyone has problems. You’ll be better able to put your own problems in perspective. You’ll understand that you’re not alone – and that will help you feel comfortable talking. In fact, you might feel relieved to finally open up about your problems.
Keep in mind, the give-and-take of advice from the group members benefits from the psychologist’s feedback. Therefore, the advice you get will be good advice – to help you better handle your life’s challenges.
CLAYS DWI-Education program is designed for individuals who may be at risk for developing a substance use disorder, or anyone with an interest in learning about the issue. CLAYS offers a state approved curriculum including the topics listed below:
- Review the scope of the current drinking and/or impaired driving problem on the national, state, and local levels, including associated legal penalties
- Introduction to relevant alcohol and drug treatment terminology and definitions, including the medical model of addiction
- Identification of the biological, psychological, social and familial impact of alcohol and drug use disorders
- Familiarization with the recovery process, available treatment modalities, and community based supports
All DWI Education clients will receive an individualized assessment and treatment plan upon admission to the program. Additional referrals for mental health services, social services, and substance abuse treatment will be made at the time, if clinically indicated.
Diagnostic Assessments / Clinical Comprehensive Assessment
A mental health diagnosis involves many steps, including an evaluation by a doctor or mental health professional. In addition to a physical exam, there will be questions about symptoms and medical history. Doctors also use tests to make sure a medical condition isn’t causing the symptoms. If no other illness is found, you may be referred to a psychiatrist, psychologist or mental health professional.
Psychiatrists and psychologists use specially designed interview and assessment tools to evaluate a person for a mental illness. The doctor will base the diagnosis on the person’s report of symptoms — including any problems caused by the symptoms. The doctor will also observe the person’s attitudes and behavior to determine the diagnosis.
The standard manual used by experts for the diagnosis of recognized mental illness in the U.S. is the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder (DSM), which is compiled by the American Psychiatric Association.
Our staff has expertise in diagnosing mood disorders, anxiety disorders, personality disorders, psychotic spectrum disorders and addictive disorders. In addition to making the diagnosis, the assessment will help uncover the person’s strengths which will be essential in the recovery process. The assessment also reveals other challenges that should be addressed, like a learning disability.
Your assessment is your plan for treatment, and will be based on:
- Initial interview with a counselor, including information on symptoms, substance use/abuse, and family/social history. Records from other doctors/counselors will be included.
- Complete history and physical examination, including symptoms.
- Comprehensive laboratory testing, including blood and urine analyses, serum fractionated cannabinoid levels (as indicated) and pregnancy test (for women). Additional tests might include genetic testing for prediction of medication response, serum synthetic cannabinoid levels, medication levels (lithium, Depakote, tricyclic antidepressants), EKG, SLE antibody, and rheumatoid factor, CRP, serum hormone levels.
- Psychological Assessment with a family psychologist to clarify the diagnosis, assess cognitive function and other standardized tests.
- Psychiatric Evaluation with a staff psychiatrist.
- Summary report which indicate the treatment plan, including interventions and referrals to specialists.
This assessment takes place over several weeks, beginning with your first visit and ending with the summary report. Because this process is so detailed, it helps ensure that you get the help you need – so you can move on to create a better life.
Substance Abuse Assessment
CLAYS provides addiction treatment and recovery services for those experiencing problems related to substance abuse. We provide short, intermediate and long term substance abuse and mental health services for both adults and adolescents. With effective services, education and support, addiction can be successfully treated so our clients can live full, meaningful and productive lives in the community.
Our substance abuse program is a Maryland State Licensed Level 0.5 Early Intervention Services and Level 0.5 Education Program. Our Early intervention programs are services for specific individuals who, for a known reason, are at risk of developing substance‐ related problems, or a service for those for whom there is not sufficient information to document a substance use disorder. They are designed for adults or adolescents who are at risk of developing a substance use disorder but do not display any diagnostic criteria to be admitted to rehab.
During our early intervention program, treatment focuses on the risk factors that predispose the person to drug addiction and educates the individual about the negative repercussions of drug misuse.
Re-entry Assistance For Returning Citizens
CLAYS Ex-offender reentry program is to help all ex-offenders regardless of sex, race or creed. Many ex-offenders have a very hard time on the outside after serving their sentences. Ex-offenders have difficulties finding jobs, adequate housing or even attaining photo identification. These difficulties lead to more problems and often cause the ex-offender to get into trouble again.
The purpose of ex-offender reentry programs are to mitigate these problems to allow the offender to concentrate on adjusting to life on the outside. Many programs offer short term housing, job assistance and often have other spiritual and therapy aspects within the program.
Reentry programs also allow ex-offenders to befriend others that are in their same position. This offers a support system that can be helpful and also promotes a team environment. Some reentry programs are coed while other may only be for male or female ex-offenders.
Even if you feel that you do not need the help of a reentry program it may be wise to at least investigate any programs that are in your area. We wish you all the best and hope that you are able to find a program that meets your needs.
Medication therapy management (MTM) is a term that describes services to improve and optimize each patient’s health outcomes.
If you’re taking more than one medication, it’s very easy to get confused about the pill schedules. You might accidentally skip pills, which will affect your condition. That’s where Medication Management Services can help. This program has three goals:
- Educate you about your medications
- Increase adherence to medication therapy
- Prevent problems if you forget to take pills
As part of this program, you will meet regularly with a pharmacist or a nurse. They will review your medications, answer any questions you have, and discuss your pill-taking practices. The goal is to make sure you stay on track with your medications. They may advise making changes in medications to simplify your pill regimen – or other changes that help you adhere to your treatment.
Medication Management Services is all focused on what’s best for you – to help you lead a satisfying, productive life.
Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services (PRP)
For more information, click the PRP tab at the top of the page.