BY GABE LICHT
DELANO, MN When Dr. Lois Schlutter purchased Professional Counseling Center from Richard and Marilyn Melki in 2011, she paired mental health counseling with the substance use disorder counseling the center was already offering.
Now, with a move from 620 Babcock Blvd. to 1262 Crossings Way, the center is able to improve and expand services again.
“We have mental health services I’ll be expanding, now that I have the space to do it,” Schlutter said.
Not only is there more space, but also better space.
“This is a bigger space for us, it’s better soundproofed, it’s built out for us,” Schlutter said. “We have an additional group room. We have more office space.”
One thing the center will be able to offer now is Driving with Care classes Wednesday evenings.
“It’s for people who have had one DUI, but don’t qualify for treatment, but need to start looking at their relationship with drinking and driving,” Schlutter said.
The center will also offer evening outpatient treatment a couple nights a week.
Another offering is Telehealth services, both for groups and individuals.
These services and programs will complement existing services and programs.
“We mostly deal with substance abuse and the mental health issues that go along with that,” Schlutter said.
Schlutter and fellow professionals at the center assess their clients’ behaviors.
“We have quite a bit of programming that is behavioral in nature,” Schlutter said. “We have the ability to do psychological testing, not just regular psychotherapy, but we also have the capability to do family work.”
That testing is very important at the center, which offers co-occurring, or dual diagnosis substance abuse treatment.
“If a person on a screening has red flags for mental health things that are fueling their use, they will get an evaluation to see how problematic that is,” Schlutter said.
The center offers intensive outpatient treatment with lodging.
“The men going through this program don’t live in this facility,” Schlutter said. “They live in residences.”
There is one full-time counselor at the Delano center, while there are a number of other professionals and psychology doctorate students that split time in Delano, Buffalo, and St. Louis Park.
More doctors and counselors will be providing services out of the Delano location now that it has expanded.
Sometimes, prescriptions are used to treat substance use and mental health disorders.
Schlutter said there are always challenges in the substance use and mental health fields.
“There are challenges with some of the funding pieces shifting,” Schlutter said. “We do a pretty good job of getting things funded. We can work with most insurance companies.
“Medicare is another challenging situation,” Schlutter continued. “There are ways sometimes to work with this.”
There are also opportunities.
The national administration has made a pilot program and grant for Minnesota to be one of the states to address the opioid crisis. We hope to be a part of that.”
That fits with Schlutter’s modus operandi.
“I like to focus on proactive steps to fill a need I see,” she said.
For more information about Professional Counseling Center, follow the link at www.delanoheraldjournal.com or call 763-972-6527.