An introductory script is suggested in “Providing Behavioral Health Services in a Community Health Center Setting” developed by the Washington Association of Migrant and Community Health Centers.
Before we get going today, let me explain to you a little bit about who I am and what I do. I’m the Behavioral Health Counselor for the clinic and I’m a [discipline can be mentioned here if desired; it may, however, be sufficient simply to be referred to as a counselor or consultant]. I work with primary care providers [or doctors, as the case may be] in situations where good health care involved paying attention not only to physical health, but also to habits, behaviors and emotions. If your primary care provider, for any reason, is concerned that any of these things alone or in combination are impacting your health or functioning, they can call me in as a consultant.
My job as a consultant is to help you and [primary care provider] be more successful at targeting any problems that have come up for you at this point. To do this, I’m going to spend about 25 minutes with you to get a snapshot of your life; what’s working well and what’s not working so well. Before you leave today we’ll take the information you have given me and together we’ll come up with a set of recommendations that seem doable.
The recommendations might be things you try on your own like reading some self-help material and practicing various kinds of skills on your own. Or, we may decide to have you come back to see me a couple of times if we think we can develop some positive momentum on specific skills by doing so. we might also decide that you would benefit from seeing a more intensive specialty service. If that’s the case, I’d work with [primary care provider] to help arrange that referral using the information you have given me today.
After we have finished meeting today, I’ll meet with [the primary care provider] to go over what we have talked about and what the plan is. This information will be integrated into your medical record so don’t be surprised if [primary care provider] asks you how this aspect of your health care plan is going for you. Do you have any questions before we begin?
[After answering any questions], [primary care provider] is concerned about ––––––––––––––. Is that your sense of what’s going on here or do you have another understanding about this?