“Mistakes are the usual bridge between experience and wisdom.”
– Phyllis Theroux
Clinicians at MBC have been performing a wide range of assessments and evaluation services since the practice’s inception because many of them had established relationships with criminal justice personnel in courts in Quincy, Hingham, and Dedham prior to joining MBC while working in public agencies. Clinicians with substance abuse expertise and divorce related problems continued to receive referrals for treatment and assessments. These clinicians had also developed cooperative working relationships with local criminal and divorce attorneys who also continued to refer clients for treatment and assessment. The role of the clinician invariably contributed to better outcomes for clients who were court involved. Documenting treatment also helps Probation Officers effectively monitor clients on probation.
Since many MBC clients were criminal defendants or involved in family probate disputes, treatment and advocacy for them became a staple of the rapidly evolving practice. Clinicians developed close working relationships with many attorneys, probation officers and judges. Impressed with their evaluative and writing skills, they began to make more direct referrals to MBC. Word of this success in helping clients avoid incarceration spread and a cadre of defense attorneys have been frequent referents for more than three decades. A number of probation officers are regular referents also. MBC clinicians perform Substance Abuse Assessments as well as Mental Health Evaluations and Anger Management Assessments. The latter two often involve standardized psychological testing and are supervised and cosigned by licensed psychologists.
Over the years, there has been an increase in referrals from Family Law Attorneys and Family and Probate Court Personnel seeking all three types of assessments for clients involved in cases of Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) and custody disputes. We also receive referrals of clients involved with the Department of Children and Families. These clients may have lost custody, or are at risk of losing custody of their child(ren).
Since MBC has a large number of contracts with Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs), we also receive referrals from them of clients with job-related problems including positive drug screens, who need to be evaluated. The evaluations typically include treatment recommendations that are geared toward saving client’s jobs. MBC clinicians also perform Fitness for Duty assessment through our EAP contracts for a wide range of employees, both public and private.
Over the past year MBC has also begun to receive referrals from Immigration Attorneys who are representing clients facing deportation. Under recent changes in immigration law, these clients and family members need to obtain mental health evaluations that are included in an impact assessment. This details the likely impact on the family should the client be deported and not allowed to return to the U.S. for a very long time if at all. The evaluation reports are part of an appeal for a pardon that, if granted, allows the client to remain in the U. S. while they pursue legal immigrant status. MBC
does these in Spanish as well as English.
Although MBC has a policy that prohibits treating sex offenders because a significant number of our clients have suffered sexual trauma, we do perform assessments of clients who we deem have been falsely accused of sexual crimes or misdeeds. The attorneys who make these referrals fully understand our policy and respect its intent. Thus, MBC has not received referrals of clients incompatible with our policies. The well respected Vermont Sexual Offender Scale is typically utilized in these cases.
MBC clinicians also utilize a wide variety of screening instruments and standardized testing in it performing assessments and evaluations. Commonly utilized screening instruments include: the Beck’s Depression Inventory; the Burn’s Anxiety Inventory; the Mood Disorder Questionnaire; the Brief Symptom Inventory; Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Screening Test; Social Phobia Checklist; Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Screening Test; and the Vermont Sexual Offender Screening Instrument, among others.
The standardized testing instruments utilized include: the Minnesota Personality Profile Inventory II and the Institute for Personality Profile Testing 16; this test has multiple applications and yields a significant number of useful reports to meet the particular needs of the client being tested.
Clients undergoing substance abuse assessments are typically screened with the following instruments: the Michigan Alcohol Screening Test; the Alcohol Use Disorder Test (AUDIT); and The Drug Abuse Screening Test (DAST).
MBC also has a number of child and adolescent specialists who typically work closely with their clients’ parents on increasing parental effectiveness. In addition to offering groups and workshops on parenting, these clinicians also perform Parental Fitness Evaluations for child welfare agencies such as the Department of Children and Families and the Probate Court.
Finally, all MBC clinicians occasionally find themselves treating clients whose situations have become so overwhelming that we recommend and certify them for a Family Medical Leave of Absence (FMLA), a Federal law that protects employees jobs while they or a family member is seriously impaired and unable to function in the workplace. The leave can be in the form of a complete leave of absence for a recommended period of time or it can an intermittent leave, which allows the employee to work a reduced schedule that allows them to be absent during flare ups of their condition or in order to attend scheduled treatment appointments. FMLAs are closely coordinated with clients medical treatment team. Employers with less than 50 employees in one location are exempt from this law.