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Capstone taking extra steps to prepare for Iowa’s regionalization efforts

Published: Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013 11:03 a.m. CST • Updated: Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013 11:31 a.m. CST

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With counties all over Iowa forming mental health service regions, Capstone Behavioral Healthcare has been taking extra steps to ensure they are best prepared to serve the citizens of the Central Iowa Community Services Region.

Capstone has been in Newton since 1966, and Center Director Julie Smith talked about some of the current services they provide and some new methods they are implementing.

“We provide outpatient mental health (services) for adults and children,” Smith said. “We also have services for substance abuse and community-based services.”

Some of the services Capstone currently provides include group and individual therapy, crisis intervention, adult and child psychiatric evaluation, medication management, psychological testing, community support services, and a number of other services.

Thanks to a Mental Health Block Grant from the Iowa Department of Heath and Human Services, Capstone was able to send two therapist to the Beck Institute in Philadelphia for additional training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Parent-Child Interaction Therapy.

“We are just really excited to be able train our therapists so that they are able to provide the best possible therapy that they can to adults and children,” Smith said.

Lori Schoh, a licensed mental health counselor, and Vanessa Shileny, a licensed master social worker, were the therapist who attended the Beck Institute and they were very enthusiastic about sharing some of the new insights they acquired.

“Vanessa and I attended a cognitive behavioral therapy training (session) on children/adolescents to learn how to better approach children that come in that my have a diagnosis of depression or anxiety,” Schoh said. “We just learned different techniques on how to utilize (the method) and help these kids.”

“Some of the things we learned in the training is to help children and adolescents identify their rational thinking,” she continued. “We kind of help challenge them on what their beliefs are. And try to find out what some of their core beliefs are and help them with their self-esteem and to feel more accepted.”

Shileny elaborated on how this new training would help them in dealing with youth core belief issues.

“So if you see an angry teenager, who might have beliefs like, ‘The world is cruel, that I’m worthless, that I can’t trust people.’ And so, if those are their core beliefs when they’re acting out, the first thing that goes through their head when they see something that they don’t like, those would be the automatic thoughts,” Shileny said.

“We are trying to label off the automatic thoughts and catch them and then find the emotion behind them and try and change the automatic thoughts,” she continued, “which will then trickle back to their core beliefs and change their view basically of how they see the world and change their thinking, so that they act more positively.”

Shilney said this service is a needed one with all the negative things occurring in the world from teenagers who may have held some negative core beliefs.

Both Shilney and Schoh will return to Philadelphia in January for additional training. In addition to the training those two received, Capstone had other associates attend training sessions across the United States to expand their service offerings.

Psychologist Amanda Johnson attended training in Seattle for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy and another LMHC Jessica DeBoom attended an Acceptance and Commitment training session in Portland, Ore.

“The great thing about it is Lori and Vanessa are both newly graduated with their masters-level therapist (designations) and (for) them to get to this training is amazing for Capstone,” Smith said. “We have not been able access this type of training in the past and we are very, very excited we will be able to offer this specialized training so that (citizens) can get it locally.”

“We want to be a reference for the region and for people to be able to come here and do that,” she continued.

Staff writer Ty Rushing may be contacted at (641) 792-3121, ext. 426, or at trushing@newtondailynews.com.

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