Clinical Assessment


Biopyschosocial & Comprehensive Assessment
Our licensed clinicians conduct a biological, psychological and social assessment with each incoming client. As a trauma-informed agency, the use of this measure comes from a belief that a person’s overall health is best understood through a combination of biological, psychological and social factors. All these domains play a significant role in human functioning, and the accurate and effective assessment of the “whole picture” will contribute to the development of treatment recommendations most appropriate for the client.

In some cases it may be necessary to complete a more thorough assessment that includes: review and integration of collateral documents from outside agencies, multiple interviews with client, and family member interviews.


Adverse Childhood Experience Scale (ACES)
The ACES Assessment was created by the Center for Disease Control & Prevention as a tool to identify the number of adverse childhood experiences that are present. “Childhood experiences, both positive and negative, have a tremendous impact on future violence victimization and perpetration, and lifelong health and opportunity.” (Center for Disease Control) Adverse Childhood Experiences have been linked to risky health behaviors, chronic health conditions, low life potential, and early death. As the number of adverse childhood experiences increases, so does the risk of negative outcomes.

The survey measures 10 types of childhood trauma. Five are personal: physical abuse, verbal abuse, sexual abuse, physical neglect, and emotional neglect. Five are related to other family members: an alcoholic parent, a mother who’s a victim of domestic violence, a family member in jail, a family member diagnosed with a mental illness, and the disappearance of a parent through divorce, death or abandonment.

Systemic Domestic Violence Assessment
It is important to accurately assess for the presence of any domestic violence in a client’s system. Domestic Violence is an oftentimes undisclosed and misdiagnosed act that can be occurring between intimate partners (parents/caregivers), siblings or other family members within the client’s family system. While substance use does not cause domestic violence, there is a statistical correlation between the two issues. 61% of domestic violence offenders also use/abuse substances. (National Coalition Against Domestic Violence). Studies show that abusers tend to abuse drugs, and victims will tend to use drugs and alcohol.

With a focus on improving functioning in all areas of the client’s life, it is important to understand the dynamics of all the relationships within the family context. Our clinicians will not only assess for the existence of intimate partner violence, but will also look for any occurrences of violence or aggression in the home. By identifying the drivers to any aggression and/or violence, we will be able to develop an individualized treatment plan that will address the specific needs of the client and family.