Sometimes people contact Gratia Plena and they have a very clear idea of what they believe is their issue of concern. For example, they may call and ask for help so that they can achieve freedom from an addiction. Other times, people call and report feeling “down in the dumps” but are not sure what is causing them to feel depressed. Then finally, there are people who come and visit with us because they feel that something is just not right with their life…and sometimes they are in crisis.
An assessment involves an interview, but it may also involve psychological testing or evaluation. The interview may begin briefly over the phone. Unless a referral is made, Gratia Plena staff will complete the interview with the person in the office. It is difficult to conduct a full and thorough assessment over the phone.
If a person has medical records or test reports from previous mental health treatment, this information is good to bring these to the office for the assessment. These documents may be helpful as part of the evaluation. Sometimes family members or friends can also provide information as part of the assessment process. New clients complete paperwork for the first meeting, very similar to that of a medical office.
At the end of the evaluation, Gratia Plena staff will provide feedback and recommendations. The feedback may or may not indicate a need for treatment. If treatment is indicated, the options will be discussed and the person is always free to make his/her own decision or choice. This discussion will include the advantages and disadvantages of each option and the person’s personal preferences. It is possible that one or more referrals will be made. If a person chooses to begin treatment at Gratia Plena, the service provider will work with the new client in the beginning to develop a Personal Change Plan, sometimes called a “treatment plan.” This ensures that the provider and client have the same goals.
Sometimes people would like to talk with a counselor about a specific personal, marriage, or family issue…but don’t really want to begin a course of counseling. We are happy to meet with a person for a one-time consultation to hear the concern and offer suggestions or feedback.