Get More Clients as the Courts Choose Less Jail and More Counseling

There’s a revolution in the criminal justice system: less jail and more counseling. The result of innovative programs such as Drug Court is a substantial increase of court-referred clients available to therapists and counselors. For many counselors who have struggled with creating successful counseling practices in this economic crisis, the increase in new clients is welcome news. Al Heysteck, an experienced social worker in Michigan, had difficulty making enough to live on while working for a community agency. He’s now created a successful counseling practice teaching men to stop abusing their partners. Al says, “I love my work, and the income is three times what I made at the agency.” Other therapists work with clients referred by the courts because of drunk driving, drug possession, shoplifting, and assault.

Charlie Donaldson, MA LLP LPC CAAC, one of the original members of the Ottawa County (MI) Sobriety Drug court team, has written an exhaustive manual, Restorative Treatment for Drug Court and Domestic Violence Clients, for therapists who want to join this the revolution. Donaldson points out that while other sources of clients are declining, referrals from drug and other problem-solving courts are growing.

Donaldson has drawn on his fifteen years of personal experience to write a book that explains both the theory and practice of work with court-referred clients. Restorative Treatment covers every aspect of building a practice: How courts work, creating a business plan, setting your business plan in motion, marketing and networking, principles and practice of restorative treatment, and programs tailored for the court.