How Collateral Sessions Help
We believe in supporting the family system. Individual recovery often requires support from loved ones and family members. We offer Collateral Sessions to facilitate individual treatment. Collateral sessions are specific, structured sessions where the loved one of the client attends to serve as a collateral support. Whether you are the parent of an adult child who is a current client, or the significant other of a current client, you may be invited to attend a collateral session with your loved one’s counselor to provide support during the treatment process.
Purpose of Collateral Support
If you are invited to attend a collateral session, your role is to be an ally in your loved one’s treatment process. As a collateral attendee, the purpose of your attendance is to:
- Provide information about your loved one, both factual and from your perspective
- Participate in exercises during sessions that are intended to help further your loved one’s treatment
- Support your loved one during treatment in other ways
Structure of Session
Collateral sessions are typically 80 minutes long and highly structured. Before meeting, you and your loved one will review and complete a consent document, which will be reviewed again at the start of the session. The counselor will then begin by asking you about your current concerns to get your perspective on what is happening with your loved one. The counselor may provide information about the treatment process, including what to expect. You may be provided with recommended resources to help support you as your loved one goes through the treatment process.
Your Essential Role
As a collateral support, you are not being diagnosed or treated by your loved one’s counselor. Our team values the involvement of the family system when it seems like this will help further the client’s treatment process. If you are invited to attend a Collateral Session, it’s because we value your input and support at this time.
Frequently asked questions about the Collateral Sessions:
Q. Am I being treated by the counselor if I attend as a Collateral?
Our group provides individual counseling and supportive family involvement when recommended. During Collateral Sessions, the client’s counselor is focusing on their individual treatment. Collateral attendees are not being diagnosed or treated by the counselor.
Q. How is a Collateral Session different from Couples Counseling?
Couples counseling focuses on the health of the relationship. Collateral Sessions focus on the treatment of the individual client. If you attend a session as a Collateral, your role is to support the client’s treatment process. The client’s counselor may recommend - or even require - referral to couples counseling at any point in the client’s treatment process before moving forward with more Collateral Sessions.
Q. Can I communicate with my loved one’s counselor outside of Collateral Sessions?
We ask Collateral attendees to refrain from communicating directly with the client’s counselor. This is to protect the integrity of the individual counseling process. If you call or email the client’s counselor, the counselor will be unable to acknowledge the communication unless there has been written authorization allowing this form of disclosure.
Q. If I am a Collateral, can I contact my loved one’s counselor if there is an emergency?
The client’s counselor can only communicate with you if you are listed as the emergency contact on file.
Q. Can I request Collateral Sessions after attending one?
If you would like to schedule additional Collateral Sessions, you are advised to talk with your loved one about this, who will then talk with their counselor, directly.