Family Systems Therapy and Counseling Services

Family Systems provides services to children, adults, couples, groups and families to meet a wide variety of behavioral and mental health needs. Skill building services are offered to children and families. The services are primarily provided in Johnson, Linn and Washington Counties.

In all program areas, Family Systems clinical staff and family therapists work on a one-to-one ratio with individual family members or with the entire family, depending on their specific needs. More than one therapist may be involved depending on the frequency and intensity of the needs of the child or family. Our family therapist and clinical staff are licensed or have credentials in the field of social work, mental health or marriage and family therapy. Our services are simultaneously child-focused and systemic in nature.

Family Systems is a partner agency with the College Community School District, the Iowa City Community School District, the Linn-Mar School District, Marion School District and the Washington Community School District.

Family and Community Support

Family and community support services support the child and the child’s family by helping them develop and implement strategies and interventions that will result in a reduction of stress and depression and will increase the child and family’s social and emotional strength.

In-Home Family Therapy

In-home family therapy services are skilled therapeutic services to the child and family. These services are to be provided at the child’s home. Services will increase the child and family’s ability to cope with the effects of serious emotional disturbance on the family relationships. The goal of in-home family therapy is to maintain a cohesive family unit. The service must support the family in developing coping strategies that will enable the child to continue living within the family environment.

Children’s Mental Health Services/Integrated Health Services

The CMH Waiver exists to meet the needs of children under 18 years old with serious emotional disturbance (SED). Many children with serious emotional disturbances must leave their homes to seek support in a medical institution. The parents of eligible children “waive” using services in an institution and choose instead to use services and individual supports to keep their children in their own home. The child, his or her family, chosen providers, the targeted case manager, and others come together to form an interdisciplinary team (IDT), which meets to plan the interventions and supports a child and family needs to safely maintain the child’s physical and mental health in her or his family’s home. They guide the overall implementation of CMH Waiver services.

Services under the Children’s Mental Health Services that Family Systems provides include In-Home family therapy and Family and Community Support Services.

Crisis Intervention

Crisis intervention is covered only for Medicaid members aged 20 or under. Crisis intervention services shall provide a focused intervention and rapid stabilization of acute symptoms of mental illness or emotional distress. The intervention shall be designed to de-escalate situations in which a risk to self, others, or property exists.

Services shall assist a member to regain self-control and reestablish effective management of behavioral symptoms associated with a psychological disorder in an age-appropriate manner.

Crisis intervention shall be provided as outlined in a written treatment plan.

Crisis intervention services do not include control room or other restraint activities.

A unit of service is 15 minutes.

Family Training

Family training is covered only for Medicaid members aged 20 or under. Family training services shall:

♦ Enhance the family’s ability to effectively interact with the child and support the child’s functioning in the home and community, and
♦ Teach parents to identify and implement strategies to reduce target behaviors and reinforce the appropriate skills.

Training provided must:

♦ Be for the direct benefit of the member, and
♦ Be based on a curriculum with a training manual.

A unit of service is 15 minutes.

Individual Services

Behavior intervention is covered only for Medicaid members aged 20 or under. Behavior intervention includes services designed to modify the psychological, behavioral, emotional, cognitive, and social factors affecting a member’s functioning.

Interventions may address the following skills for effective functioning with family, peers, and community in an age-appropriate manner:

♦ Cognitive flexibility skills,
♦ Communication skills,
♦ Conflict resolution skills,
♦ Emotional regulation skills,
♦ Executive skills,
♦ Interpersonal relationship skills,
♦ Problem-solving skills, and
♦ Social skills.

Behavior intervention shall be provided in a location appropriate for skill identification, teaching, and development. Intervention may be provided in an individual, family, or group format as appropriate to meet the member’s needs.

Covered services include only direct teaching or development of skills and not general recreation, non-skill-based activities, mentoring, or interruption of school.

The services must be directed toward the child. Services directed at a family member such as a parent, to meet the protective, supportive, or preventive needs of a child are not covered services.

A unit of service is 15 minutes.

Behavior Health Interventions Services

Behavioral Health Intervention Services (BHIS) are supportive, directive and teaching interventions provided in a community-based or residential group care environment designed to improve the individual’s level of functioning (child and adult) as it relates to a mental illness, with a primary goal of assisting the individual and his or her family to learn age-appropriate skills to manage their behavior, and regain or retain self-control.

Mental Health Counseling and Therapy

Family Systems provides therapy services to children, adults, couples, families and groups. Our licensed professional staff consists of social workers, mental health counselors and licensed marriage and family therapists. They are able to assist with issues including: anxiety, depression, grief/loss, trauma, blended family and relationship issues. Family Systems includes therapist who can provided specialized interventions including art therapy and play therapy. Therapy is available by staff trained to provide trauma informed care when appropriate.



Get the Facts and Materials That You Need.

Download pertinent forms related to our Family Systems services, read up on our privacy policies and browse through a directory of our expert staff members!

View a comprehensive directory of our Family Systems staff members.

See our listing on the Psychology Today website.

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Forms & Applications

The following links are to forms and applications that may be helpful to you.

Children’s Mental Health Waiver Information

Interagency Agreements

College Community School District (all schools K-12)
Iowa City School District (all elementary schools, North Central Jr. High, Northwest Jr. High, West High and TREC)
Linn-Mar School District (all schools K-12)
Marion School District (all schools K-12)
Washington Community School District (all schools K-12)

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