Mental Health and Trauma Assessment

Thira Consulting provides holistic clinical assessments for healing program clients. For many clinets, participating in a healing program is an essential step on the path of recovery. Without the intensity and safety of a healing centre, they would still be lost in their suffering and, as a result, harming those close to them. However, if the recovery process is not continued on return to their home, the clients will succumb to the addiction once more. A mental health clinician’s role is to assist the client to explore the trauma wound and mental health challenges that underlie the addiction and to identify the requirements of the client once they leave the program. The report written by the mental health clinician offers a biopsychosocial history of the client, a description of client challenges and strengths, a clinical analysis of the client and their functioning within their context, and recommendations. On completion of the report, the clinician reviews it with each participant, in order to ensure that they client’s understand and agree with the findings. Differences are discussed until a document is created that meets the personal and cultural needs of the participants and the integrity and clinical intentions of the assessor. The result has been a high level of participant “buy in” and, thus, willingness to use the report as a tool in their recovery. For many of the clients, the report is the first time that they have “told their story,” so that the history and the analysis of its impacts on the client’s experience is a foundation for further counselling. By attending to the mental health needs of clients while they are safe within the program, the participants are offered an opportunity to identify community resources that will support them as they pursue their “healing journey.” Many of the community counsellors who receive the report are not trained in holistic mental health assessment, so that the report provides a map that assists counsellors to offer richer therapeutic interventions and better refer the client to formal and informal mental health-related resources in the home community.