Assessment & Evaluation

woman-doctorFirst Step provides a wide range of assessment services which are often covered by third-party insurance providers or other entities. Normally our clients are referred by loved ones or professional agencies to complete the evaluation. Referral sources tend to be physicians, attorneys, probation officers, DHHS professionals, the courts, employers, academic institutions, or concerned parents/loved ones. This does not mean you have to be referred by a professional. We enjoy having individuals come into our office voluntarily to seek help and we guarantee you the same quality of service regardless of referral or reason you are seeking services. Anyone may request an evaluation by calling First Step at (402) 434-2730 to arrange a confidential consultation to determine the type of evaluation needed for your particular situation. First Step offers five broad categories of assessment: substance abuse evaluation, medically assisted treatment & evaluation, mental health status evaluation, gambling evaluation, and a range of psychological evaluations. First Step staff also have security clearance at all correctional institutions within 100 miles and we are happy to travel to the county jails and/or Nebraska Department of Corrections facilities to conduct evaluations upon request.

Substance Abuse Evaluation:

First Step has several licensed substance abuse professionals available immediately. We guarantee you an appointment with an assessment specialist within 24 hours if necessary, otherwise our standard practice is to always have availability never putting any patient out more than 7 days. First Step has several Nebraska Standardized Model Providers on staff so we are approved to conduct evaluations for probation and the courts which we do regularly. We guarantee a quality comprehensive assessment with quick turnaround, usually providing a full completed report within 7 business days to the individual or referring entity.

For all private pay patients without commercial insurance or other third party payer involvement we offer a generous sliding fee scale. In addition to this benefit for First Step patients, the cost of the evaluation can be credited toward treatment if you choose to also attend treatment at our facility.

Medically Assisted Evaluation & Treatment (MAT):

First Step goes beyond traditional assessment and treatment when it comes to addictive substances. There was a time (and this attitude still exists most places including Nebraska) that people believed you had to go to residential treatment to experience success in recovery. We have seen firsthand individuals struggling with alcohol or drug use being referred to as "morally defect in character" or "spiritually deficient". Addiction is a brain disease and should be treated no differently than any other medical slideshow6condition. For those individuals who have experienced multiple treatment episodes, repeated struggles with relapse, continued use despite not wanting to use, medical issues related to their use of substances, or have maybe only tried to stop using on their own with no success and desire a way to maintain long term abstinence - this program offers a unique opportunity. Many referrals come from family practice physicians and internal medicine doctors however the other large patient base is self-referral or family members who are seeking a better way. We understand that you cannot just stop your life. The goal of this program is to keep you in your natural environment in the community while you work on your recovery. We understand something that your addiction does not; you have a life outside of your substance use, or at least you want to. Not everyone can pack up and go to inpatient treatment, nor is it often necessary. With advances in addiction medicine and medical/behavioral health science you can remain at home, involved in your marriage and/or other family commitments, working at your job, and not accrue thousands of dollars of debt and lost time as a result of this disease. You can regain your self-worth and you can improve your health in the community.

Mental Health Status Evaluation:

First Step has several licensed mental health professionals available immediately. We guarantee you an appointment with a mental health specialist within 24 to 48 hours if necessary, otherwise our standard practice is to always have availability never putting any patient out more than 7 days. First Step has several dually credentialed professionals who possess superior assessment skills addressing the entire person. We then develop a report reflecting First Step’s standard of excellence including biopsychosocial history, diagnosis and clinical impressions, and recommendations for treatment. First Step takes great pride in the assessment process because this is the foundation for change which sets the tone and creates the blueprint for what the desired change looks like.

Gambling Evaluation:

Gambling evaluations are FREE to Nebraska residents. The gambling evaluation is a comprehensive assessment performed by a gambling specialist that is covered by a grant through the State of Nebraska. All gambling services including the assessment, individual and/or family counseling sessions, and group therapy sessions are offered at no cost to the individual or family receiving services. In addition to this, one of First Step’s gambling specialists will also come out to academic institutions or other academic or professional settings to share gambling education or other gambling outreach services at absolutely no cost. We believe in treating gambling issues which benefits not only the individuals and families directly affected but the community at large.

Psychological Evaluations:

Appointments for psychological evaluation services can usually be scheduled within 7 to 10 days if not sooner. Daytime and evening appointments are available. We are privileged to have three experienced psychologists on staff with a range of knowledge and specialties. Psychological evaluations include standard psychological assessment, parenting assessment, child custody assessment, IQ and other cognitive functioning assessment, and a variety of other specialized assessment upon request. First Step does not have anyone currently on staff who specializes with sexual offender risk assessment, however we would be happy to make a referral to a community provider upon request. Most psychological assessments can also be provided at all correctional institutions within 100 miles. We are happy to travel to the county jails and/or Nebraska Department of Corrections facilities to conduct evaluations upon request.

How do you get someone you care about to First Step for evaluation?

Making the first move on behalf of a loved one isn’t easy. Please call our office and allow us to be a part of this process. Since 1991, we have helped hundreds of individuals and families increase their awareness, coordinate and provide treatment services, and create lasting meaningful change through integrated care, individual and family therapy, and evidence based practice. Our methods are time proven, and the underpinnings of the work we do are truly patient centered and outcome driven. If your way is not working and you are willing to try something else please contact our office. Remember, we are experts in this change process and in this field. It doesn’t cost you anything to find out more and you do not have to do this alone so please call now (402) 434-2730.