Leading the way in quality behavioral health care and addictions recovery services since 1967


Feeling a little confused about what all these terms mean? Look below for definitions of commonly used terms and phrases at Prestera Center.


A professional review of an individual’s or  child or family needs that determines what services are necessary and appropriate. The assessment includes a review of presenting problems, physical and mental health symptoms and history,prior treatment experiences, school or work performance, family and other relationships, mental status, substance use history, any experience with medications, strengths, needs abilities and preferences. Together, the professional and the person or family decide what kind of treatment and supports, if any, are needed and acceptable.

Case Manager

An individual who organizes, coordinates and arranges services and supports for children and adults with mental health or addictions problems and their families. (Alternate terms:  advocate or facilitator.)

Clinical Psychologist

A clinical psychologist is a licensed, professional with at least a master’s degree in psychology who specializes in psychological testing and therapy.

Crisis Residential Treatment

Short-term, round-the-clock help provided in a nonhospital setting during a crisis. For example, when an individual becomes a danger to themselves or others, a crisis residential treatment service helps avoid inpatient hospitalization. The Crisis Residential (Treatment) staff stabilize the symptoms and determine the next appropriate step.

Couples Counseling and Family Therapy

Couples counseling and family therapy involve discussions and problem-solving sessions facilitated by a therapist-sometimes with the couple or entire family group, sometimes with individuals. Such therapy can help couples and family members improve their relationship and the way they respond to one another. Therapy can resolve patterns of behavior that might lead to more severe problems. Family therapy can help educate individuals about the nature of mental problems and teach skills to cope better with having a family member with a mental illness.

Diagnostic or Psychiatric Evaluation

The purpose of a diagnostic psychiatric evaluation are 1) to establish a psychiatric diagnosis, 2) to collect sufficient information to effectively treat the problem(s), and 3) to develop a plan for treatment that may or may not include medication(s). Consideration is given to any immediate interventions that may be needed to ensure safety.


A discharge is the formal termination of services, generally when treatment has been completed.  Discharge can also occur administratively, for example, when no services have been provided over a specific amount of time.

DSM-IV or DSM-V (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth or Fifth Editions)

An official manual of mental health problems developed by the American Psychiatric Association. Psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and other health and mental health care providers use this reference book to understand and diagnose mental health problems. Insurance companies and health care providers also use the terms and explanations in this book when discussing mental health problems.

Eminent Risk of Homelessness

In receipt of an eviction notice or eminent risk of eviction, or, a person with no established residence. Different governmental agencies have different and sometimes changing definitions of homelessness or chronic homelessness.

Group Therapy

This form of therapy involves groups of usually 4 to 12 people who have similar problems and who meet regularly with a therapist. The therapist uses the interactions and experiences of the group's members to help them get relief from distress and possibly change behaviors.


Person who lacks: a fixed, regular, adequate night time address; or a person who has the following night time residence: shelter providing temporary living accommodations, facility providing temporary residence for people; or a place not designed for regular sleeping accommodations for human beings such as a vehicle.

In Home Services

Counseling and support provided in a family's home either for a defined period of time or for as long as it takes to deal with a mental health or behavior problem. Examples of services can include parent training, counseling, and working with family members to identify, find, or provide other necessary help. The goal is to prevent the children from being placed outside of the home.

Individual Therapy

Therapy tailored for an adult, child or family in a one-on-one situation with a trained professional. The goal of therapy is change.

Case Management

Community services for individuals or children  designed to access community resourcesimprove planning for their service needs. Services include facilitating linkages to community resources and advocacy.   

Intensive Outpatient, Day Treatment and Partial Hospitalization

Intensive programs provide therapy, support and case management services to adults or children that improve coping skills and prevent hospitalization or residential treatment. These services can include transportation and a daily meal. Participants return home every evening after attending four or more hours of services during the day.

Medication Therapy

A medical doctor like a Psychiatrist, Physician’s Assistant or Nurse Practitioner can prescribe helpful  medications. Includes an assessment of drug effectiveness and monitoring of potential side effects of medications. Commonly prescribed medications include antidepressants, anti-anxiety agents, mood stabilizers and anti-psychotics.

Mental Health

How a person thinks, feels, acts and reacts when faced with life's situations. Mental health is how people view themselves, their lives, and the other people in their lives; how we evaluate their challenges and problems; and explore choices. This includes handling stress, relating to other people, and making decisions.


A psychiatrist is an MD (Medical Doctor) and a professional who completed medical school, a residency and training in psychiatry and is a specialist in diagnosing and treating mental health and/or addiction and other problems.

Residential Services

Services provided over a 24-hour period or any portion of the day in which a person resided, on an on-going basis, in a facility and received treatment or supportive services.

School Based Services

School-based  counseling and support services are designed to identify and resolve emotional or behavioral problems or assist parents, teachers, and counselors in a school setting.  .

Employment Services

Employment  services include assisting individuals in finding work; assessing individuals' work skills, attitudes, behaviors, and interest relevant to work; providing vocational rehabilitation and/or other training; and providing work opportunities.

Supportive Counseling

Supportive counseling is a service provided by trained staff that provides help with day-to-day management and practicing problem-solving skills.

Treatment Planning

The process by which a team of qualified professionals meet face-to-face with an individual or their representative in order to develop a plan for services by reviewing assessments, developing goals and objectives, and identifying resources necessary to implement individual treatment plans.

Wraparound Services

A unique set of community services and natural supports for a child or adolescent with serious emotional  problems  that includes  a planning process, individualized for the child and family to achieve positive outcomes.

Our Mission

A united effort dedicated to helping people achieve their full potential.

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