Intake and Assessment Process

January 19th 2016 at 4:00pm View Comments

Ever wonder why we do things the way we do them at Dilworth Center? The next several blog posts hope to shed light on the reasoning behind different procedures at the Center. This first post in particular will focus on the intake and assessment process.

When you click on our website or view our treatment handouts, the first thing you are likely to see is this quote - “The Dilworth Center has been providing comprehensive assessments and individualized treatment placement services for over 25 years.” But what exactly does that mean? To begin with, it means that we are dedicated to spend as much time with a potential patient as needed up front. This starts even before an assessment with a phone call. During regular business hours, we have intake specialists on the line gathering information from callers and discussing different options in terms of proceeding with an assessment.

Our comprehensive services continue to the assessment, where counselors dedicate a minimum of two hours to getting to know a potential patient, learning about their substance abuse history and different aspects of their life, potentially sharing a cup of coffee with them, and answering any questions about treatment options and procedures. During this time, counselors obtain a better understanding of a patient’s family dynamics, mental health diagnoses, major stressors, and several other things that may interact with a patient’s addiction or recovery and may be incorporated in a patient’s treatment plan once they begin the program. This is something that, to the best of my knowledge, cannot be accomplished in any less than 2 hours. However, the goal is for the counselors to provide as much time as is needed for the patient. By the end of an assessment, it is the job of counselors at Dilworth Center to determine the presence or absence of alcoholism/drug addiction. This is determined by the diagnostic criteria from the American Psychiatric Association as laid out in their diagnostic handbook. In addition, appropriate recommendations must be made for the patient. Although the recommendation may be for the patient to begin treatment at Dilworth Center, that is not always the case. One thing that is important to our staff is acknowledging that Dilworth Center may not be the right fit for everyone. If a patient needs a lower level of care (individual therapy), a higher level of care (inpatient treatment), or a different structure for outpatient treatment, we make it our job at the Dilworth Center to help patients find the services that they need.

Another important and unique aspect of our assessment process is the fact that we involve family members. It is required for parents of any potential young adult or adolescent patient to attend a parent conjoint session with a counselor before their child participates in an assessment. This not only gives parents an opportunity to learn more about Dilworth Center and other treatment options, but it also sets the stage for more education about addiction being a family disease and recovery being a family journey. In our 25 years of experience, we have found that involving family members from the start increases the chances of long-term recovery for young people.

Having worked and interned at a number of treatment centers, I’ve seen a myriad of different assessment options. Never, though, have I seen such a thorough and helpful process as that at Dilworth Center. So, trust the process. It works if you work it!


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