Early Clinical Assessment
All adolescent students at Blue Ridge have multiple layers of clinical assessment within the first fourteen days of their arrival, and from the start, our Primary Therapists begin the family’s therapeutic journey with even more information at hand. Reinforcing the intake assessment process early in a student’s stay results in stronger case conceptualization, more tailored treatment, and clearer goals established for discharge planning.
By combining the best of valid and reliable measurements, licensed Clinical Psychologist, Lorena Bradley, Ph.D. administers an in-depth initial assessment within the first two weeks of an adolescent student’s arrival at Blue Ridge. Unless the student has had comprehensive testing in the last 12 months, Dr. Bradley will meet with each new student and provide an assessment report to the Primary Therapist. This allows for a “second set of eyes” and for the Blue Ridge Primary Therapist to begin with even more information at hand as they develop an individualized master treatment plan for each student.
Dr. Bradley, who is an independent contractor with Blue Ridge, has conducted psychological testing in wilderness programs for the last ten years and regularly participates in clinical team meetings. As a result of this collaboration, she has a solid relationship with the Blue Ridge team. Dr. Bradley believes the wilderness is especially advantageous for assessment because it illustrates an extensive scope of what is happening for the student in a distraction-free environment. Lorena shares,
“Blue Ridge provides an environment where distractions are cleared away, whether it is technology, social structures, the family system….and we are able to get a clear look at the student’s behaviors and see not just what, but why they are happening. We closely examine what is driving these behaviors so that we can help treat the student and give them skills, insight, and support for next steps.”
The intake assessment includes a clinical interview, a mental status exam, a brief cognitive assessment, and a risk evaluation. The aim is for treatment to be as effective and individualized as possible and Blue Ridge is beginning with that end in mind. Dr. Bradley meets with and provides an initial assessment report with Blue Ridge’s adolescent groups (ages 13-18). She is also accessible to the clinical team to help interpret prior testing, participate in group clinical supervision, and case conceptualizations for all students. These additional services are included in Blue Ridge’s tuition. Comprehensive psychological evaluations are often recommended prior to or during treatment for most students and Lorena is available to perform these assessments for an additional fee.