Outpatient

When seeking qualified child behavioral health treatments in South Texas, it can be hard to know what to expect. But at Clarity, you’ll find that our specialists, therapists, and psychiatrists, have professional training in assisting parents and their children with issues related to mental health, substance abuse, family/relationship issues, and childhood behavioral problems. These professional staff members are employed by Clarity and licensed in the state of Texas to provide mental health services in their discipline.

Main types of outpatient services we offer:

  • child, adolescent, and family therapy (ages 4-17)
  • brief therapy (age 4-17)
  • group therapy (ages 14-17)
  • psychological assessment (ages 4-17)
  • psychiatric evaluation and management (ages 5-17)
  • neuropsychological assessment (ages 5-17)

Key facts about professionals

Therapists/Counselors

  • Include Psychologists, Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC), Licensed Social Workers (LMSW), and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFT).
  • Offer traditional "talk therapy."
  • Sessions last 50 minutes.
  • Cannot prescribe medication.
  • Can make a recommendation that you see an MD for medication.

Psychologist:

  • Hold a doctorate, either PhD or PsyD.
  • Offer traditional “talk therapy.”
  • Cannot prescribe medication.
  • Can make a recommendation that you see an MD for medication.

Psychiatrists

  • Medical doctors (MD).
  • Trained to offer both counseling and medication, but mainly help regulate medication.
  • May recommend that your child see a therapist.
  • Medication only - Sessions will last 15-20 minutes to discuss side effects and dosage.
  • Medication and Counseling - Sessions will last about an hour.

What is Psychotherapy?

In psychotherapy, a qualified therapist uses a variety of techniques and methods to help children and adolescents who are experiencing difficulties with emotions, interpersonal problems, and behavior. There are a number of different approaches to psychotherapy, and it is important to ask your therapist about his or her specific practices. Good communication, such as talking through interpersonal problems, conflicts, and feelings, in order to discover new solutions to problems, is one of the most important ingredients of psychotherapy.

Psychotherapy is helpful in a variety of ways. Our patients receive emotional support, work to resolve conflicts with people, understand their feelings and problems, and try out new solutions to old problems. The goals for therapy may be specific (change in a certain behavior, improved relations with friends, reduced impulsivity), or more general (less anxiety, better self-esteem, improved problem solving).

The length of therapy depends on the complexity and severity of the problem. It is important to understand that psychotherapy is NOT like visiting a medical doctor. Psychotherapy is different because it requires very active participation by everyone involved in order to identify problems and make changes.

Psychotherapy Sessions

Psychotherapy begins with an evaluation phase. The customary practice at Clarity is to conduct an evaluation phase, which lasts from 2 to 4 meetings, that are referred to as sessions. In the first session, your therapist will concentrate on gathering a great deal of information in a diagnostic interview. During the next 3 to 4 sessions, you and your therapist will decide if therapy is likely to be helpful and establish goals for treatment.

If you and your therapist decide to continue therapy after the evaluation phase, you or your child will usually be scheduled for one 50 minute session per week at a time that is mutually convenient. Therapists at Clarity see patients by appointment only.

Clarity offers child, adolescent, and family therapy (age 4-17), brief therapy, and group therapy (adolescents).

Psychological Assessment

Psychological assessment usually begins with an initial office visit with you and your child, in which relevant background information is collected and goals for assessment are established. Next, either on the same day or in a subsequent meeting, your child will undergo formal psychological testing.

After testing is completed, another appointment will be scheduled to review the results, and to discuss any additional questions that you or your child may have. Finally, the summary of the assessment is presented, relevant clinical information is addressed, and treatment recommendations are provided.

The comprehensiveness of the psychological assessment will depend on the complexity of the problem and on the types of questions you, your child, psychotherapist, and psychiatrist wish to be answered. Psychological assessment requires active participation by everyone involved in order to accurately identify problems and obtain meaningful information.

Clarity offers psychological assessments (ages 4-17), development assessments (ages 1-7), and neuropsychological assessments (ages 5-17).

Medication management

If your therapist, counselor, or a primary care physician recommends medication for your child, you will need to see a psychiatrist. A psychiatrist is an M.D. - a Medical Doctor - meaning he/she has attended medical school and is specialized in the field of psychiatry. Psychiatrists are trained to prescribe and monitor medications used for mental and behavioral health conditions. They are experts in the various types of medications available, how they work, the possible side effects, and which ones are best suited for each patient’s needs.

The first visit to your psychiatrist will last at least an hour so that he or she can get a good understanding of your child’s condition and needs, and prescribe the right course of treatment. The follow-up visits for medication management generally last 15 to 20 minutes, depending on how well your child is doing. Your psychiatrist will use this time to discuss any concerns you might have regarding your child’s medication. S/he will want to know how the medication is working, if your child is experiencing side effects, and determine if there is a need to adjust the dosage or change your prescription.

How to get help

Please call 210-616-0300 during regular business hours. If you leave a voicemail, please indicate the best phone number and best time to call you back during business hours. Do not hesitate to call several times a day to reach one of our very busy admissions staff.

Please note that there is a high demand for children’s mental health services and San Antonio mental health disorder programs for children. If none of Clarity’s licensed professionals are available within a reasonable time frame, we will do our best to suggest other providers in the community with the appropriate expertise.