Behavioral Health FAQs

General Questions:

  1. What treatment options are available through the Outpatient Behavioral Health program at Focus on Youth, Inc.?
  2. What therapy is best for me?
  3. How long will I be in therapy?
  4. How does your agency calculate fees for service?
  5. What happens if I have a financial hardship?
  6. How long will sessions last?
  7. How often will I come to therapy?
  8. What are my rights and responsibilities as a client?
  9. What if I am not happy with the therapist?
  10. When can I expect to see change and benefits from participating in therapy?
  11. What are some reasons clients may be discharged?


For parents seeking services for youth under the age of 18:

  1. How will I be included in my child’s therapy?
  2. What will my role be while my child is in therapy?


General Questions:

1.  What treatment options are available through the Outpatient Mental Health program at Focus on Youth, Inc.?

Focus on Youth provides Evidence Based Practice/Treatment – is referred to as EBP or EBT, refers to the preferential use of mental and behavioral health interventions for which systematic empirical research has provided evidence of statistically significant effectiveness as treatments for specific problems.  Focus on Youth is proud to offer the following evidence based treatments.

Specific treatment options that are available at Focus On Youth Inc. include:

Play Therapy - Generally play therapy is used as a way to communicate with children who have trouble verbally expressing difficult feelings and emotions of a past or current event that needs to be addressed by the therapist.  Play therapy uses play as a means to engage and build rapport with the child, so that the therapist and child can work toward the self-healing process.  However play therapy is not limited to a child, but can also be beneficial with adolescents as well as adults.  Types of Play Therapy utilized include Child-Centered Play Therapy, sand tray interventions, and Cognitive Behavioral Play Therapy.  A Meta-Analysis of 94 separate play therapy research studies was conducted in 2001 and found a clinically significant large effect size.  Many types of play therapy are considered promising Evidence Based Treatments and research studies continue to be conducted nationally and internationally.  An additional type of non-traditional play therapy utilized is Theraplay Principle Services.  This type of Play Therapy is described in more detail below under “Non-Traditional Therapies”

You can find out more information about Play Therapy at www.a4pt.org.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) - A type of psychotherapy (or "talk therapy") that is based on the theory that psychological symptoms are related to the interaction of thoughts, behaviors, and emotions. In cognitive behavioral therapy, the therapist and patient will work on identifying and directly changing thoughts and behaviors that may be maintaining symptoms. Cognitive behavioral therapists often assign homework for the patient to complete outside of sessions.  Treatment for CBT is used with a variety of different problems such as depression and anxiety. CBT is an Evidence-Based Treatment.

Trauma Focused- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT)- TF-CBT is a conjoint child and parent psychotherapy approach for children and adolescents who are experiencing significant emotional and behavioral difficulties related to traumatic life events. Children and parents learn new skills to help process thoughts and feelings related to traumatic life events; manage and resolve distressing thoughts, feelings, and behaviors related to traumatic life events. TF-CBT is an Evidence-Based Treatment.

Family Therapy - views change in terms of the systems of interactions between family members.  It emphasizes positive family relationships as key with a strong focus on parent-child interactions, family strengths, healthy communication, and conflict resolution skills.  We provide family therapy services to birth families, adoptive families, foster families, or any important individuals involved with the client.  Our approach to family therapy looks at the individual needs of each member, as well as the family as a whole.  Depending on each family’s needs, we incorporate elements of Play Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Family Systems Therapy.

Nurtured Heart Approach – This is a parenting approach and therapeutic intervention with a growing base of research showing effectiveness with youth of all ages in various settings including mental health agencies, school systems, Head Start programs, Juvenile Court, and foster care.  It is child specific and effective for all ages of youth, teaches parents progressive discipline strategies to recognize and increase the youth’s positive behaviors and successes, builds and improves the parent/youth relationship, improves youth’s self esteem and ability to make positive and health choices, reduces power struggles between the youth and parent, reduces stress for parents when handling a crisis with youth.  NHA is a promising Evidence-Based Treatment.

You can find out more information about NHA at www.childrenssuccessfoundation.com.

Motivational Interviewing – Motivational Interviewing is a client-centered, directive method for enhancing motivation to change by exploring and resolving ambivalence.  Motivation to change is elicited from the client, and not imposed by direct persuasion. This type of treatment is found to be effective with adolescents and with various treatment issues.  Motivational Interviewing is an Evidence-Based Treatment.

Risks, Benefits, and Alternatives to Treatment:

Sometimes bringing up past issues, past experiences, and processing emotional and behavioral functioning may cause the client to have discomfort with some behavioral and emotional reactions.  Discomfort and behavioral and emotional reactions are normal and are addressed as part of the treatment process. If a certain type of treatment does not seem to be working for the client or if the client has concerns about treatment, other types of alternative treatment options will be discussed.


2.  What therapy is best for me? Determining which therapy is best for the client depends on what issues the client presents as well as the type of goals being set mutually between client and therapist.  Sometimes the issues that need to be addressed will be handled in more than one type of therapy, depending on the needs of the client.


3.  How long will I be in therapy? Determining how long a client will be in therapy will be considered individually based upon the needs of the client.  After the client is assessed by the therapist, the therapist will schedule an ongoing appointment time with the client.  Therapists review the duration and length of time for therapy based upon progress in treatment.


4.  How does your agency calculate fees for service?

Focus on Youth accepts Medicaid insurance, dual insurance (private and Medicaid), and self-pay. For self-pay, the fees for service are:

Mental Health Assessment: $ 129.99 per hour

Behavioral Health Counseling: $ 67.50 for 50 min. session  ($22.50 per 15 min.)

CPST Services:  $ 85.32 per hour ($ 21.66 per 15 min.)

Group Services: $ 39.48 per hour per individual ($ 9.87 per 15 min.)


5.  What happens if I have a financial hardship? Focus on Youth, Inc. will offer a negotiated reduced fee to working poor families, families experiencing financial hardship, and for whom the cost of Mental Health Services could make getting services for their children prohibitive. This offer will be made as long as there are designated and unencumbered funds available to defray the fee reduction.


6.  How long will sessions last? Therapy sessions can last a range of time up to 60 minutes.  The length of time depends on the client and the ability to   stay in the session the length of time or if the client chooses to end the session early. 


7.  How often will I come to therapy? New clients are generally seen for services weekly but based on the needs of the client, the frequency of service can be increased or reduced. The therapist will assess quarterly as to the frequency of services depending on the client’s identified treatment needs. 


8.  What are my rights and responsibilities as a client? Clients will receive a copy of the Client Rights Handbook. When beginning services, the therapist will review the information and clients will have an opportunity to ask any questions or share any needs or concerns.  


9.  What if I am not happy with the therapist? You will receive a copy of the Focus on Youth grievance procedures.  If a client or legal guardian is not satisfied with services received for whatever reason, it is suggested that the individual first talk to the therapist about issues and concerns.  If a solution is not found, it is next suggested to speak to the therapist’s clinical supervisor. Finally, if a solution is still not reached, share your concerns verbally or in writing with the Executive Director of FOY.  If you still do not find a solution to your issue you have the right to file a formal written grievance.


10. When can I expect to see change and benefits from participating in therapy? Change for clients varies from individual to individual.  Change is determined by the client’s motivation to work on identified treatment issues.


11. What are some reasons clients may be discharged? There are a number of reasons why a client may be discharged from services. These reasons include:

- the client achieves the identified treatment goals;

- the client or legal guardian no longer desires the agency’s services; and

- the client no longer meets eligibility criteria.

- Additional reasons for discharge include refusal of the client to meet program standards or requirements, a client whose needs exceed the services the agency is capable of providing, and when the court approves discharge of clients who were mandated to participate in treatment by the court.


For parents seeking services for youth under the age of 18

1.  How will I be included in my child’s therapy? For best practice, Focus on Youth Inc., believes that children need a safe and confidential environment to work on treatment issues.  There may be times when the parent will come into session.  The therapist will generally share information with the parent addressing the treatment goals worked on and suggesting interventions for the parent to use at home with the child.  Children feel safe and express concerns and issues they are having while in therapy.  Confidentiality is important to the therapeutic relationship between the child and therapist that must not be broken.

2.  What will my role be while my child is in therapy? The role of the parent while their child is in therapy is to collaborate with the therapist on interventions, progress, and concerns.  Therapy is a support to assist parents to help their child learn new coping skills, ways to problem solve and healthy pro-social behaviors.  A large part of the role of the parent during treatment is to help encourage, support, engage, and practice newly learned behaviors with your child in between sessions. 

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