Suggestions with regard to making referrals for Counselingwpe1.jpg (12422 bytes)

    www.transitions-counseling.com :                                                               Where Your Help Begins OnlineSM

    HEALTH PROFESSIONAL INQUIRIES

Since a fair number of persons, especially in this particular geographic region, continue to experience reticence over seeking counseling services, special care in making referrals may be in order. Emphasis can be placed on the fact that you are referring your patient to a counselor, as opposed to a psychiatrist, where help often can be provided without requiring a DSM-IV psychiatric diagnosis.

Though confidentiality is a major sticking issue in behavioral healthcare these days, TRANSITIONS Personnel & Family Counseling Services offers assured confidentiality to its clients by virtue of the way it does business. (You are invited to read the document regarding the risks of managed care in mental health.) While seeking counseling is seen as something of a status symbol in many parts of the country, some folks in this area may be inclined to perceive seeking counseling as an admission of failure — that they could not solve their own problems. Because counseling actually facilitates clients' strengths and resources so they learn to resolve their problems themselves, you can reassure your patients that they need not worry about feeling inadequate or professionally manipulated in the counseling setting. Often, within the first session, clients begin to have some sense of empowerment over their problems; they are glad they came, and they typically re-schedule for the next session.

Since the first half-hour of the first (90 minutes) session is free, they can be reassured of having no financial obligations during that 30 minute period of meeting the counselor and "trying out" the counseling experience.

AN EXPEDIENT COUNSELING REFERRAL ROUTINE THAT WORKS . . . 

1)      At the time you inform your patient about indications for counseling (taking care to note the issues on this page), patient should receive information about my counseling practice, including web site and phone number (business card and/or brochure).

2)      Invite patient to read my web site (www.transitions-counseling.com); confirm day and evening telephone numbers of patient, and inform patient that the counselor will soon call to discuss the patientís counseling needs and schedule an appointment.

3)      Finally, you or your office staff will call me with information about the referral, including: reason for referral/presenting problem, patientís telephone numbers and level of urgency.

4)      After your patient follows through on established appointment, Iíll call and inform your office staff (or you, if desired) that the counseling process has been established. If patient does not follow through, Iíll notify after second failed attempt to establish the counseling process.  I can amend any aspect of this routine to suit your office practices.

Finally, I have a brochure that you are welcome to download and print, called, Your Physician Has Referred You For Counseling (outside page). (Click here for inside page.) The front page can be printed; then the paper turned in the printer so the inside brochure page can be printed on the back, allowing folding.

It is important that this Web page address be given to your patient at the time you make your referral, as it is often the "clincher" for patients deciding to follow through with counseling.

In most cases, my time is structured so I can see your patient within 24 —48 hours of your referral; the same day in the event of emergencies. I will routinely follow-up with you to confirm that your patient has entered counseling.

My office phone number is (704) 276-1164. Communication through email or "snail mail" correspondence is invited. Pre-printed brochures and the business cards are available to health-care professionals and prospective clients in the immediate geographic region. Arrangements can be made to meet with you at your clinic or treatment site to discuss my counseling agency or to develop a specialized program for your clinic. Excellent references are available upon your request. Thank you for considering TRANSITIONS Personal & Family Counseling Services as a referral resource for your patients or clients, where you can be assured they will receive the highest standards of professional counseling care.

With deepest personal regard,

Granville Angell, Ed.S., L.P.C., N.C.C.