Call our office at 410-284-3070 or walk-in during regular office hours. A staff member will complete a screening with you and schedule you for an orientation, intake or evaluation appointment.
Make sure that you have the following information when you contact Epoch:
- Insurance Information (if applicable)
- Legal Requirements – Are you required to complete treatment or only an evaluation and treatment if recommended? Who is requiring treatment or evaluation? (Name and telephone number for Probation/Parole officer, DUI/DWI monitor, TASC agent, DSS/DJS worker, etc.)
An orientation appointment is a group session where you will be given more information about the program, complete some basic paperwork, and determine your fees. In some cases, an orientation session is omitted, and a client is scheduled for either an intake or evaluation. An evaluation is an assessment to determine if a client is in need of treatment. An intake includes assessment and additional procedures for admission.
The intake/evaluation is the first clinical session. The frequency of sessions, treatment modality (group, individual, family, etc.) is determined and the client is then assigned to a primary counselor and scheduled for their first individual, group, or family session with their primary counselor.
Your fee will be determined by your insurance coverage or annual household income. If you have health insurance, you (and the policyholder, if different) will need to bring in your insurance card, and sign a consent form in order to verify your benefits. Your insurance must be verified prior to your intake or evaluation appointment. Therefore, you cannot be scheduled for an intake/evaluation until you have provided your insurance information and signed the appropriate insurance paperwork.
If you do not have health insurance coverage, you may be assessed on the agency’s sliding scale or off-grant fee scale by providing documentation of income and dependents. If documentation is not provided prior to or at the time of intake/evaluation you will be responsible for paying the agency’s full fee for each service provided thereafter unless documentation is provided to support a lower fee.
There is no fee for orientation. You must have your fee for your intake/evaluation (in cash or money order) at the beginning of the session. If you do not have your fee or you arrive more than 10 minutes late you will not be seen for your intake/evaluation session.
Please bring the following to your first appointment:
- Insurance Information (must bring to orientation or prior to intake/evaluation)
- Fee in cash or money order (except orientation)
- Proof of Income (pay stubs, letter from employer, unemployment letter, tax return, etc.)
- Picture ID
- Any documentation or papers from agency referring you to treatment outlining requirements
If this is your first experience in counseling, you are not alone. It is normal to have questions and even be unsure about what you will experience. Clients are encouraged to discuss any concerns or questions they may have with their counselor early in treatment. However, as a start, the following information should help to give you a little more insight into the process of counseling.
Treatment at Epoch will likely include a combination of individual, group, and possibly family counseling session. Your first clinical session will be your intake assessment, which will be one on one with a counselor. This is a fairly structured session, where the counselor will gather information and background in various areas of your life in order to assess your needs and accurately place you in the appropriate treatment program and with a counselor that can best address your concerns. The counselor who you see for intake may or may not be your counselor for the duration of your treatment at Epoch. The intake session usually lasts anywhere from one to two hours. After your intake assessment session, you will be assigned to a counselor and scheduled for your first group or individual session.
Most of our clients are seen in a group setting with occasional individual sessions. A group session usually consists of one or two counselors facilitating a group of six to 12 clients. These sessions promote growth by developing support, modeling healthy relationships, and gaining insight by sharing with others who are similar in some way. Although education about various topics is provided, these sessions are different than “classes,” and clients are encouraged to be open to sharing and listening to other members of the group. Group sessions usually last 75 to 90 minutes.
A client may have sporadic individual sessions or this may be their primary mode of treatment. Individual sessions are similar to intakes in that they are one-on-one in format, but they are much different in their structure. Although some individual sessions may include treatment planning or structured activities, they are usually more of an open format directed primarily by the client’s needs, concerns, and priorities. The client is encouraged to present their experiences, feelings, concerns, etc., while the counselor works to develop understanding and guide the client through the process of change. Individual sessions usually last 45 minutes to an hour.
In addition to group or individual sessions, clients may choose to include a partner, family or another person from their support network in their sessions. These would be considered family sessions and are very similar to individual sessions in duration and format, except to include the additional person(s).
As with any treatment, substance abuse counseling has both benefits and potential risks. Risks sometimes include uncomfortable feelings such as sadness, guilt, anxiety, anger, frustration, loneliness, and helplessness. Sometimes, a client’s problems may temporarily worsen after beginning treatment. Making changes in personal beliefs, behaviors, and relationships can be difficult and sometimes scary. On the other hand, substance abuse counseling has been shown to have many benefits for individuals who undertake it. Over time, therapy often leads to significant reduction in feelings of distress, increased satisfaction in interpersonal relationships, improved physical health and self-care, greater personal awareness and insight, better problem-solving and coping skills, resolutions to specific problems, and a renewed sense of hope. While there are no guarantees of what you will experience, research shows that clients with substance use disorders who remain actively engaged in treatment for at least 90 days have better outcomes than those who receive no treatment or those who leave prematurely.