Notice of Privacy Practices


First Appointment

Counseling begins with an initial appointment where you will be interviewed for approximately 1 – 2 hours about yourself and the reason(s) you have decided to seek services at CAPS or ISLA. The information you provide during the initial appointment will be used to help you and your clinician make decisions about goals and direction for your work together. During your initial appointment, you may be asked questions about your life experiences, family of origin, and personal issues.

Although talking about personal and private matters can be difficult, it is important to be as open and honest about your life experiences as you can. If it is difficult to discuss some personal matters, be sure to let your clinician know about this. Your clinician can help find ways to talk about difficult issues.

Ongoing Appointments

After your initial appointment, you and your clinician will develop a plan for your work together. These plans have specific goals to accomplish and a time-frame for the process. Over the course of your work together, you and your clinician will evaluate progress toward your goals and make any adjustments or changes to your plan. During your work together, it is important for you to share your thoughts and feelings about the process with your clinician. Counseling can be hard work and you may experience a variety of thoughts and feelings about the process. Your thoughts and feelings are crucial aspects of your work and sharing these with your clinician can help guide the process.

Ending Counseling

Over the course of your work together you and your clinician will continually assess your progress. Together you and your clinician will decide how long to work together and when to end counseling.

Additional information about counseling is available from the American Psychological Association or American Counseling Association.

Assessment and Testing

There are several standardized tests that clinicians use to test various aspects of mood, personality type, and intellectual capacity. Some of these tests are used to help with diagnosis, while others, such as IQ testing, help identify a person's strengths and difficulties in particular areas.

Psychological Testing and Assessment Fall Into Several Categories:

  • Achievement tests are usually used in educational or employment settings, and they measure how much you know about a certain topic (i.e., your achieved knowledge), such as mathematics, spelling, or reading.
  • Intelligence tests measure your basic ability to understand the world around you, assimilate its functioning, and apply this knowledge to enhance the quality of your life.
  • Neuropsychological tests measure difficulties in cognitive functioning (i.e., your ability to think, speak, reason, etc.).
  • Occupational tests attempt to match your interests with the interests of persons in known careers.
  • Personality tests attempt to measure basic personality styles and patterns to help with clinical diagnoses.


The length of an assessment (number and duration of appointments) varies depending upon the age of the individual and the concerns being addressed. On average, younger children take less time than older children and adults. Following the initial intake appointment, your clinician will be able to give you a better idea of number and duration of appointments.

The entire process including intake, testing, and feedback take approximately 2 months. Your clinician will share the estimated timeline with you and update you if there are factors that would extend the timeline.

Try to get a good night’s sleep prior to your appointment. Eat prior to your appointment. If you/your child wears glasses or uses hearing aids, be sure to have those for your appointment.

It is helpful to have the names of providers you work with, for example primary care or psychiatry, as well as their contact information. Clinicians will gather records from current/previous providers, with your permission. You may bring notes of points that you want to discuss, such as symptoms, frequency, intensity, duration, and time of onset. It is also helpful to write down the names of medications, dates, and dosages. If you have court documentation related to custody of a child receiving an assessment, please bring that documentation to your appointment.

Yes, please administer any regularly prescribed medications on the day of the assessment and bring medications if you/your child takes a mid-day dose. In order to get the best possible test results from our assessment, we want to see you/your child at your best. Our staff will talk with you about whether or not the medications help. It is recommended that no changes be made to you/your child’s medication (excluding antibiotics and medication for colds) within two weeks of the assessment.  Any changes in medications during this time could alter the reliability of the assessment.

No, there is not a vending machine in the building. You may bring snacks, a packed lunch, or visit one of the several restaurants nearby during a break.

Yes, at the assessment appointment please ask the staff for an absence letter.

No, CAPS does not provide child care. For assessment of minors, the parent/legal guardian will be involved in interviews. Only the child being evaluated should be brought to the appointment.

Parents participate in an interview and may complete self-report measures regarding their child. For testing to be standardized and accurate, parents do not remain in the room for most assessment measures.

Parents also participate in their child’s assessment. Our clinicians will interview you about your child’s background in many different areas, such as behavior, education, and medical history, as well as have you complete questionnaires. Additionally, we ask parents to remain on site in the event their child needs their support.

No, CAPS does not provide custody or forensic evaluations.

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