Scope of Treatment Services

Connecticut Counseling Centers, Inc.

Scope of Treatment Services


"Connecticut Counseling Centers, Inc. is a not-for-profit corporation that provides a full range of licensed outpatient substance abuse and mental health prevention, education and treatment services to assist adults in becoming productive members of society."


Connecticut Counseling Centers, Inc., recognizes the need for a variety of treatment services for patients experiencing problems with substances of abuse and/or mental illnesses. We provide a full continuum of quality outpatient, substance abuse and mental health services, from least intensive to most intensive.

Connecticut Counseling Centers, Inc. believes that treatment is effective for many people and can decrease the use of alcohol, drugs, reduce criminal activity, and increase mental and physical health, productivity and employment. For some people, brief interventions can be effective, while others require more intensive services and sometimes multiple treatment episodes. The key to effective treatment and recovery is to match individual patients with the intervention most appropriate for them, something rarely done. Early identification and treatment of substance abuse and mental health problems increases the chances of successful recovery and rehabilitation.

We provide the professional assistance and guidance in detecting and resolving the many problems that are often the result of substance abuse and mental illness; financial drain, legal problems, broken families and marriages, loss of employment and medical problems. Connecticut Counseling Centers, Inc. believes that substance abuse and mental health problems are treatable diseases, which can successfully respond to professional intervention. We specialize in the treatment of substance abusers and the mentally ill by providing the professional psychiatric and/or drug and alcohol evaluation and assessment services that can help patients find the right treatment program for their specific needs.

All programs are culturally sensitive and are offered as bilingual services for those patients more comfortable with a Spanish- speaking counselor.

Outpatient Treatment Programs

The Outpatient Treatment Programs are licensed to treat individuals over the age of sixteen wishing to receive substance abuse evaluations, referrals, urine testing and outpatient counseling. The OPT Program specializes in the treatment of all substance abuse problems, including alcohol, pills, crack and cocaine utilizing individual, couples, family and group counseling. These services include:


Assessment and Evaluation Services

Connecticut Counseling Centers, Inc.'s staff provides professional assessment and evaluation. The information culled from the evaluation will be used to assess the severity of the applicant's substance abuse problems. The substance abuse questionnaire also gathers information on alcohol use, mental health status and history, past substance abuse treatment, criminal involvement, family history, educational and employment history. A treatment plan is developed targeted at solving the patients substance abuse or mental health problems. This comprehensive assessment and evaluation process is the initial phase of admission to all of Connecticut Counseling Centers, Inc.'s treatment programs.


Individual Counseling

Connecticut Counseling Centers, Inc.'s professionally trained, licensed and/or certified counselors can provide patients with confidential, private assistance with substance abuse problems and associated anxiety, employment, legal, health, and mental health related issues.


Couples Counseling

Couples, whether married or living together, can and do experience all sorts of problems, large or small. Problems like substance abuse and mental illness can destroy relationships. Connecticut Counseling Centers, Inc.'s professional staff can assist with problems associated with spousal, child and sexual abuse.


Group Counseling

Group counseling is available addressing topics such as cocaine abuse, parenting skills, dual addictions, pregnancy, life skills training, decision making skills and relapse prevention.


Family Counseling

Current research demonstrates that involving family members in the treatment process will accomplish two things, it will accelerate the course of recovery and it will help sustain abstinence after treatment. Our family therapists can help with family related problems.


Medical Services

Treatment may begin with a complete physical examination provided by our staff physicians. These examinations include blood work and urinalysis. Diagnosis and treatment of health and medical problems begins immediately. Medications are sometimes prescribed to assist the healing process. Staff nurses are available to patients daily and can assist them with medical information and minor health and medical problems.


Psychiatric Services

Connecticut Counseling Centers, Inc., understands the complex needs of people with psychiatric conditions. The mentally ill patient cannot be served by a process that does not allow time for thorough assessment. Connecticut Counseling Centers, Inc. has trained staff including social workers, counselors, and psychiatrists that understand that the first step in diagnosing and treating psychiatric disorders is to assess the patient's current dysfunction and disabilities through the appropriate use of screening tools and evaluations. Other components of our assessment model include self-rating scales, urine and Breathalyzer tests, and interviews with the patient as well as family members if necessary.

Patients may improve along numerous criteria but the goals of the program are that the patient will be abstinent from all non-prescribed drugs and alcohol and will take prescribed medication as ordered as well as recognize the signs and symptoms of their psychiatric disorder and take active steps to manage their illnesses. The patient will also need to address their needs for nutrition, safety, physical health, hygiene and maintain themselves in the community, achieving their highest level of independence and self-management. They will discuss their problems openly with peers and Connecticut Counseling Centers, Inc.'s staff while gaining insight into their illness and behavior. The patient will be educated, made aware about mental illness and learn to give and receive support.


Medication Assisted Treatment for Opioid Dependence

Connecticut Counseling Centers, Inc.’s Methadone Maintenance and Buprenorphine/Naloxone Treatment Programs are comprehensive outpatient substance abuse treatment programs targeted at providing a variety of medical, nursing, psychiatric and counseling services to opioid dependent individuals 18 years and older.  The programs are staffed with licensed and certified counselors, nurses, physicians, psychiatrists, and support staff.  The treatment staff is trained to successfully treat chronic opiate addiction utilizing counseling, education and psychiatry as well as medication therapy.  The Programs are licensed by the Connecticut Department of Public Health and are monitored and evaluated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, the Federal Center for Substance Abuse Treatment and are accredited by CARF.

The goals of Medication Assisted Treatment are to eliminate the use of opioids such as heroin and prescription narcotics.  In addition, a goal for some patients is the reduction or elimination of the use of alcoholic beverages or other substances when such use has been diagnosed as problematic.  Treatment plans address lack of employment or under employment, lack of education or job skill training, legal problems, medical problems, and family or marriage related problems.  Patients who have been abstinent for some time and have addressed all areas of their treatment plan will be supported by the medical and counseling staff in reducing their medication dosage to zero.

The medication assisted treatment staff also provides specific services to HIV/TB patients, cocaine abusers, pregnant addicts and other support services such as relapse prevention groups, methadone anonymous groups, nursing and medical care, parenting skills training, educational groups, case management and women’s groups to specifically address issues that women wish to discuss and to provide them with mutual support.
A small list of the services we provide are:


Bridge to Recovery

The Bridge to Recovery (BTR) is an innovative treatment initiative designed to increase retention and produce positive treatment outcomes. The initiative provides enhanced services to patients receiving treatment for opioid dependence in the Norwalk and Waterbury Methadone Maintenance Treatment Programs. It was developed collaboratively by both staff and patients at the Norwalk clinic. It is a peer mentoring focused approach which is designed to address the common reasons patients drop out of treatment prematurely; low motivation, lack of a healthy support system and the absence of a therapeutic alliance with the treatment program. The initiative recruits and trains patients who are in long term recovery with medication assisted treatment who desire to help others achieve their own recovery. The mentors meet with patients who are having difficulty maintaining sobriety, missing counseling sessions, and are at risk of dropping out of treatment. In most cases these patients lack a therapeutic connection or alliance with the program and lack motivation to make healthy behavior change. The goal of the initiative is to create a therapeutic alliance between the patient and the treatment program with the peer mentor being the catalyst or “bridge” for the alliance. Hence, the program is called “Bridge to Recovery”.  The program works because the mentors have the ability to quickly form a bond with the patient who lacks one with the program staff. They then extend this alliance to the program counselors. The mentors are literally a “bridge” to connect the non-engaged patient with recovery. The research indicates that the therapeutic relationship between the patient and the treatment provider is the best predictor of treatment success. This initiative helps establish this connection for those who are struggling with their recovery. Outcome studies conducted at Connecticut Counseling Centers, Inc. following implementation of this innovation have been extremely positive.

The concept of peer mentoring is not new. However, the depth of the training that the mentors receive is. The Peer Mentors attend 300 hours of training in the 8 performance domains of an addictions counselor, the same training accessed by counselors preparing for certification as an addictions counselor. The training also focuses on core counseling techniques relating to establishing the therapeutic alliance and Motivational Interviewing which is designed to increase motivation for healthy behavior change. The mentors attend classes with counselors working towards certification in the Connecticut Certified Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor Training Program (CT CADAC Training Program). This exposure has also helped reduce the stigma associated with medication assisted treatment.

The training also provides the peer mentors with a ladder to a career as an addictions counselor. The mentors receive the same training required to become a certified addictions counselor. Following the training, the Peer Mentors are eligible to take the certification exam with the CT Certification Board, Inc. For many, becoming a peer mentor is the first step to becoming a certified addictions counselor and a career in the addictions treatment field. This is not only important for the patient in recovery who desires a career but to the field as a whole. According to the findings of a workgroup convened by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration “The addictions treatment field is facing a crisis. Worker shortages, inadequate compensation, and stigma currently challenge the field. Increasingly, treatment and recovery support providers also struggle with issues related to recruitment, retention, and professional development of staff.” These findings were released in the report “Strengthening Professional Identity: Challenges of the Addictions Treatment Workforce” in December, 2006. Initiatives like the BTR can address these workforce issues by providing an additional portal into the addictions treatment field.

The Bridge to Recovery Program has been recognized by the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) as a model program to be replicated at other sites. The Program also received the U. S. Department of Health & Human Services, Substance abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Science and Service Award for demonstrated excellence and innovation in the treatment of mental health and substance use disorders at the American Association for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence Conference in Las Vegas, NV on April 24, 2012. The SAMHSA national awards program promotes excellence in the treatment of addiction by recognizing programs that have demonstrated implementation of exemplary innovative services, practices, and/or strategies, resulting in improved patient outcomes.


For more information about the “Bridge to Recovery Initiative” contact:
Robert C. Lambert, MA, LADC at 203.838.6508 ext. 238. or

For more information on the “CT CADAC Training Program” contact Robert C. Lambert, MA, LADC, Director of Academic Affairs at 203.838.6508 ext. 238 or



Outpatient Withdrawal Programs

These programs employ methadone hydrochloride to withdraw patients from heroin and other narcotics. The goal of these programs is to assist narcotic addicts to achieve an abstinent state within six months or less. The patients have a primary counselor who is responsible for treatment planning and weekly individual and group counseling. In addition, a wide range of services is available to patients.


HIV/AIDS Tuberculosis And Hepatitis Services

Connecticut Counseling Centers, Inc. provides HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Hepatitis prevention, testing, education and counseling by our Health Educators. Our Health Educators primary task is to provide educational information and materials focusing on immediately eliminating risky behavior and implementing safe sex practices. If a patient wishes, HIV tests will be provided free of charge. The results will be shared with the patient when they are received by our Health Educator. If the tests are positive, a medical treatment plan will be developed to treat and/or refer the patient to clinics and hospitals for medications and medical treatment that our nursing and medical staff cannot provide on an outpatient basis.

Our Norwalk Clinic receives funding under Ryan White Title II for individuals affected or infected by the HIV virus. Under this funding all primary medical care and substance abuse counseling is provided free to qualified individuals.

BIRTH (Born in Recovery Through Healthcare)

Connecticut Counseling Centers, Inc. provides on-site pre-natal evaluations and health care, patient education and post-partum care for pregnant narcotic addicts. Our Pregnant Addicts Care Liaisons provide direct pre-natal care and coordinates services with local hospital obstetric units. The Liaisons are supervised by a licensed Gynecologist/ Obstetrician or Medical Director. Each pregnant patient is seen on a routine basis by the OB/GYN. This program is designed to provide a wide range of care. Upon the initial visit the OB/GYN takes a complete family, medical, obstetric, social, menstrual and sexual history.

Patient teaching is an integral function of the Liaison. This teaching includes assessment of present nutritional status and instruction in pregnancy diet, the importance of proper rest and exercise, the child birthing process, early baby care and parenting skills. Pregnancy hazards are stressed including the problems of smoking, alcohol and drug abuse, caffeine and environmental hazards.

Educational literature on the trimesters of pregnancy, developmental stages of the fetus, detrimental effects of alcohol, drugs and tobacco, nutrition, and lifestyle changes are provided as well as discussed at each visit. Hepatitis, Tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted diseases, and other diseases are discussed.


Integrated Co-Occurring Treatment for Mental Health

And Substance Use Disorders

Connecticut Counseling Centers, Inc. treatment for the dually diagnosed or those with a co-occurring disorder mental health and substance use disorders begins with a proper assessment. Connecticut Counseling Centers, Inc. is aware of the difficulties in making a dual disorder diagnosis, including the diversity of psychopathology among substance-abusing individuals and the fact that patients rarely volunteer information that would point to a concomitant disorder. Connecticut Counseling Centers, Inc. understands the complex needs of the dually disordered person and has specific assessment, education and a variety of treatment services available for this type of patient. These services are fully integrated and available within all of the treatment programs.


Intensive Outpatient Treatment Programs

Connecticut Counseling Centers, Inc. recognizes that for some patients experiencing alcohol, drug and/or mental health problems there is a need for more comprehensive outpatient services than are historically offered by outpatient programs. In response to this need Connecticut Counseling Centers, Inc. offers this more intensive treatment.

The Intensive Outpatient Programs meet in a group setting three times weekly for three hours each day. Licensed and certified clinical staff provide evidenced based interventions to assist the patient in reaching their recovery goals.  Intensive programs specific to substance use, mental health, and co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders are available mornings, afternoon, and evenings Monday through Friday. In addition to group treatment, the intensive program also provides individual counseling and psychotherapy as needed.

Some patients may require more than one type of treatment program. Therefore, access to multiple levels of care is available if needed. For example, a patient may need to access Medication Assisted Treatment for opioid dependency in addition to Intensive Outpatient Treatment for a mental health problem.