By Robert Lien, MHA
If the thought of going to an outpatient treatment program for conditions such as anxiety, depression, bipolar or addiction to drugs and alcohol seems scary you’re not alone. The idea of telling other people what kind of thoughts and feelings you have been struggling with for most people is not easy. The mere fact of thinking about calling to talk about an outpatient treatment program alone is overwhelming, so the first step is to realize you’re not alone and that anxiety or fear of joining a treatment program is natural.
At CAST Centers our outpatient treatment program is a place of healing, hope and recovery. The journey begins when making a phone call to have a conversation about what you have been experiencing and what you hope to achieve. During this phone call our admission department can also answer other questions you may have about the program and then investigate your insurance to help determine if there are benefits that can be used for treatment and if there will be any out-of-pocket cost to you. Our admission team will conduct a free screening over the phone to make sure CAST Centers is a safe and appropriate facility for your condition. If the treatment schedule and financial cost fits into your lifestyle we would then schedule a day and time for your admission to begin.
The outpatient admission process begins by reviewing and signing documents. Like any other healthcare provider you are provided with a confidentiality agreement, consent for treatment as well as signing any releases of information that allow our clinical staff to communicate with those that are already supporting you in your daily life. The next step is to complete a one-on-one biopsychosocial assessment with one of our clinicians that reviews your history and helps us get to know you. At this point your individual treatment plan is beginning to come together which is essentially a set of goals that you and the clinician are agreeing on. During the intake assessment if there are any urgent matters that need to be addressed medically or regarding mental health, the clinician will make appropriate referrals and recommendations. Additionally, each client admitted into CAST Centers will be evaluated by our medical director for a history and physical exam. At this point we may also make an appointment to see a psychiatrist if there’s a need for a current psychiatric evaluation or medication management.
Once the intake process is completed you are then able to jump into the group sessions. At CAST Centers we created our own psycho-educational curriculum that involves weekly themes that we call the CAST Alignment Model. The curriculum is put together in such a way that you can join at any time so that means new clients can start any weekday. At the time of writing this blog CAST Centers is offering in person sessions as well as online telehealth sessions so clients may feel safe and comfortable while being mindful of the COVID-19 Coronavirus. Going to the first group therapy session can seem like an overwhelming thing to do, however, our compassionate staff will introduce you to the group and you will be invited to participate at your own comfort level as you get to know the other clients. Many of the clients that attend CAST Centers live in the surrounding area including West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Hollywood and the Greater Los Angeles area. Ultimately, the greatest benefit of a group therapy outpatient treatment program is connecting with other people who have been living with and dealing with the similar issues that you may be facing.
While group therapy alone is usually not enough, outpatient treatment at CAST Centers includes a weekly one-on-one session with a therapist. As we get to know you and you get to know yourself even better we will look for other opportunities to help you recover and grow. This means that any point we may make recommendations for additional services that could even be outside of CAST Centers level of care. For example, if someone is struggling with severe trauma from the past we may recommend connecting them with an individual trauma therapist or if someone struggled with an eating disorder we may recommend connecting with a nutritionist or one-on-one companion to help them learn how to address that specific part of their life. As you begin to get to know the other clients and open up you will find a new sense of freedom and understanding. Putting this into action is a great benefit of being in an outpatient setting because what you learn today you get to practice right away and as you are achieving your treatment goals we will continue to strive for new areas of development to work on.
CAST Centers is here to help you ease into the recovery process, make that first phone call today.