FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: What are the dates/locations of AA/mental health support or therapy group meetings?
A: LCL provides information on 12 step meetings recommended by our volunteers and other similar support. LCL offers therapist led support groups and specific groups for families, lawyers experiencing career issues and lawyers with ADD/ADHD. Click here to find out the latest information on groups.
Q: How can I get a referral to a therapist/psychologist?
A: LCL works closely with Sand Creek (formerly DOR and Associates) to provide consistent, high quality professional assessments covering the full range of behavioral health problems. Based on the Sand Creek counselor’s assessment, you will receive an appropriate referral to a therapist or psychologist best suited to deal with your problem. Call LCL at 651-646-5590 or 1-866-525-6466 to learn more or to set up an appointment for an assessment.
Q: How does LCL work?
A: LCL offers peer and professional support throughout the state of Minnesota on any issue that causes stress or distress to lawyers, judges, law students and immediate family members. LCL is funded by donations from individuals and law firms and from grants. The most sizeable grant is based on lawyer license fees and is under the auspices of the Minnesota Supreme Court. LCL has four full-time staff members as well as over three hundred volunteer members, many of whom offer peer support and help LCL in other ways. LCL contracts with Sand Creek to provide 24-hour crisis telephone counseling, assessments, short-term counseling, and referrals to appropriate care providers. CLEs and other educational seminars are presented by lawyer members and LCL staff, who also assist with interventions, personal and organizational consultations, and policy efforts to create more supportive structures within the legal systems and law schools.
Q: Who do I talk to about the possibility of a chemical dependency/mental health problem?
A: People call LCL with questions about their own alcohol/drug or mental health concerns or their concerns for others’ problems. Depending on the depth of interest in self-discovery or desire to obtain help, LCL staff will put the caller directly in touch with a Sand Creek counselor to answer questions about the assessment process and to schedule an appointment for an assessment. LCL will also offer the assistance of a lawyer mentor, matched by gender, age, type of law practice and personal experience. This mentor can support the lawyer prior to the assessment and through the course of professional treatment, if appropriate. He/she can also introduce the lawyer to other members of LCL who have “walked a similar path.”
Q: How confidential is the information that I share?
A: LCL operates under a policy of total confidentiality except in cases where there is immediate danger to oneself or another. LCL has no reporting links with any other group, organization or institution. If any information should be requested by the Board of Law Examiners, the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility, a law school or a licensing office, LCL would simply state its policy of total confidentiality and refuse to provide any information including either affirming or denying that a person had made contact or received services through LCL. While Sand Creek is in many ways an extension of LCL, they operate under rules and protocols governing therapists and will provide specified information to those named in a release if the client signs a release. As an added guarantee of confidentiality, clients may call Sand Creek directly rather than going through LCL. Sand Creek will discuss a client with LCL staff only upon execution of a release from the client to do so. Discussions between LCL staff and Sand Creek counselors never include what was discussed but rather provide a way to work together to identify and pursue appropriate assistance.
Q: I have a colleague/friend who may have a substance misuse problem, what can I do?
A: LCL offers consultation to friends, colleagues and family members of those afflicted with substance misuse and other behavioral health disorders. Identifying the problem is important in determining how to approach the person. For example, in cases of alcohol/drug dependency the intervention process is highly effective in communicating the seriousness of the illness and the depth of concern of those involved. A trained facilitator will work with the people who are concerned to teach them about the nature of this illness, effective strategies for communication, and how to follow-up after meeting with the client. Where mental illness is involved other approaches can be more appropriate. Contacting LCL is the best way to begin educating yourself about effective responses to substance misuse and other behavioral health problems. We’ll talk about how we might assist and then you can make the decision about next steps.
Q: I have a colleague/friend who may have a problem with depression, what can I do, or he/she do?
A: An accurate professional assessment is the first step for anyone concerned about their mental health. LCL provides free confidential assessments through Sand Creek. The counselor will complete the assessment and make a referral to an appropriate provider for counseling and/or medication evaluation. LCL can help a friend, colleague or family member understand the aspects of depression and expected reactions of the afflicted individual. We can also offer effective techniques for communicating genuine concern and the symptoms the individual is displaying as well as a message of hope. Since the number one cause of suicide is untreated depression, LCL offers an approach to assessing the person’s risk for self-destructive behavior and guidance regarding action when the risk is high. LCL also offers a support group for family members of people who have addiction/dependency or mental health issues.
Q: Do you have names of treatment programs?
A: The identification of high quality treatment programs for mental health and alcohol/drug addiction is critical to giving clients the best possible opportunity for recovery. LCL believes in an ongoing evaluation of programs to assure both quality and consistency. Since Sand Creek has the responsibility for the professional assessment, they also collect data on the quality of programs that have previously met their high standards. To avoid situations in which clients attempt to assess their own problems and make potentially inappropriate treatment decisions, LCL does not provide a list of recommended treatment programs.
Q: What is an intervention and how does it work?
A: An intervention is a process in which people who care about the user and who have first-hand data about someone’s alcohol/drug use and its consequences, learn about the effects of addiction on the user and on those who care about him/her. They learn how to use their data and their new understanding of addiction to communicate effectively to the user their care and concern. Having understood the effects of the addiction on themselves through progressive enabling of the disease, the concerned persons resolve to act in more responsible and healthful ways and to communicate those commitments to the user. Experiencing the cumulative effect of concerned person’s love and care, their concern about specific use-related behaviors and their commitment to stop enabling, the addicted person is profoundly moved and usually will agree to accept treatment. In those cases when treatment is not accepted the intervention process continues when the concerned persons begin their new, more responsible and healthy behavior and the enabling ceases. Intervention processes have also assisted people who are struggling with a mental health issue.
Q: I don’t have an alcohol or drug problem and I’m not depressed. I’m just stressed. Can LCL help?
A: Stress, financial, family, career and other issues can stand in the way of doing our best work. By getting help with these issues, more serious problems later on can often be avoided. LCL’s four free counseling sessions through Sand Creek are available for any issue that affects a lawyer, judge, law student or family member. Sometimes a caring but neutral person to talk to can make all the difference. Additional resources will also be identified and offered when appropriate. LCL’s resource page offers additional material and links as well.
Q: Can LCL help with a gambling problem?
A: LCL helps with any addiction, dependency or compulsive behavior issue. This includes gambling, sexual compulsivity, compulsive spending and others. Sand Creek can provide an initial evaluation and referral for additional help. LCL also has peer support available on these and other issues.
Q: I don’t have insurance, what can I do?
A: LCL’s services are free to lawyers, judges, law students and immediate family members. LCL’s contract with Sand Creek covers up to four individual counseling sessions at no charge. In cases where treatment for alcohol/drug issues is recommended, LCL is sometimes able to secure a reduced rate with a provider and can recommend other abstinence based support options. In cases where additional mental health services are recommended, LCL offers a therapist led support groups at the LCL office at no charge. Recommendations are also available for low-cost community options. Medications can often be obtained from psychiatric or other medical providers in the form of samples made available by pharmaceutical companies. In addition, the LCL Board of Directors has established the Founders’ Memorial Fund for lawyers, judges and law students who are without the financial resources to access needed treatment. Contact LCL for more information.