Network of Practice “an excellent resource for clinicians and clients”

Submitted by: 11/04/2014 by Maureen Fitzgerald

Molly Pellettiere, CRAADC, CAMS-II, facilitates the Adolescent Chemical Dependency Intensive Outpatient program (CD-IOP) and an Adolescent Anger Management program at Crittenton Children’s Center in Kansas City, Missouri. Molly was randomly selected to win a Kindle Paperwhite for posting to the ATTC/NIATx Network of Practice website at least three times during the months of August, September, or October 2014.

“I’m on my second book already,” says Molly. She’s taking advantage of the free books available from Kindle and will also be using the library feature to share books with friends and family members.

Crittenton Children’s Center is a psychiatric hospital and part of St. Luke’s Health System in Kansas City. “The majority of clients admitted have issues with alcohol, marijuana and prescription drugs, but we’re beginning to see signs of the heroin problem that’s moving across the state,” Molly explains. Most clients have co-occurring mental health and trauma issues as well.

Crittenton is part of the Jackson County COMBAT (Community Backed Anti Drug Tax) coalition. This group brings treatment and prevention providers together with law enforcement and anti-violence groups to focus on the legal and public health issues of drug problems. COMBAT receives a voter-approved, ¼ of 1 cent sales tax and then awards grants to county treatment and prevention programs, along with the local DARE programs. This funding accounts for about half of the clients being served by Crittenton’s CD-IOP, as the program accepts most major insurance coverage and receives funding from United Way as well.

The Network of Practice site is new to Molly, but she’s very familiar with both the ATTC Network and with NIATx. She completed most of the coursework required for her counselor certification through the MidAmerica ATTC Regional Center, and recently participated in a NIATx Change Leader Academy that has helped her increase hospital referrals to outpatient SUD treatment.

Molly was interested in the Network of Practice because it looked like an excellent resource for finding new ways of implementing evidence-based practice and locating tools to help clients support their recovery.  “I like that it brings practitioners from all over the country and the world together,” she says.

Reflecting on the different types of training on evidence-based practices that she’s completed, Molly cites an online course that NIDA offered in 2008 on cognitive behavioral therapy as particularly helpful. “The online lessons were followed by group phone calls where we had to report back to the group on how we’d used what we’d learned online to apply CBT with clients. This was a really helpful way to hone my skills.”

Molly and her colleagues at Crittenton use the Teen Matrix Model for treating teens and young adults. The approach combines CBT, dialectical behavior therapy, and motivational interviewing, and has been an effective treatment option for the program. This approach and others used in IOP settings include a lot of written work, which Molly reports the teens in her program do not welcome having to do after a long day at school. She’s exploring a technology option to overcome that hurdle. 

“Many of the teens that I work with are from lower income families, and while everyone has a smartphone, they don’t always have active service. Crittenton offers free, open Wifi, and I’ve learned to use my clients’ Internet fixation to enhance their treatment,” she explains. She’s found some Internet sites that the IOP participants can connect to by smartphone to get some of the work done in the group session and to support their recovery.   

The Network of Practice is one place that clinicians can turn to find out what others are doing to make written work—or other therapy tasks embedded in EBPs—more appealing to their clients.

 “I am very happy to have found the Network of Practice, so that I can add it to my resource toolbelt and continue to explore new ways to increase my skills as a counselor and better help teens in our programs,” says Molly. “This will help me to support Crittenton Children’s Center’s long-standing tradition of providing the highest quality, most effective treatment of mental and behavioral health needs of area children and adolescents and their families.”

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