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Frequently Asked Questions

Most Common Questions 

What precautions and safety measures are you taking for in-person services?

We will closely follow safety and hygiene protocols outlined by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and adjust our approach as needed per their guidance. We will conduct health screenings upon arrival for patients and staff. Small group sizes and physical distancing will be maintained. Increased cleaning and hygiene protocols as defined by MDH will be followed. In addition, our locations are using higher quality air filters and most fixtures are touchless to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Are Aris Clinic sites open for individual appointments and Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) programming?

Our IOP returned to in-person programming in June of 2020.  We have had zero transmissions of COVID-19 within our staff or patient population.

Our nature-based therapeutic program, along with our safety protocols prevents the spread of COVID-19, while still providing a supportive environment for mental health healing. We are continuing to provide care – individual appointments, family sessions and medication management – using both telehealth and in-person services.

Are new referrals being accepted, and if so, how?

We continue to accept referrals. You can find the necessary paperwork on our website under Forms/Admissions. After completing, submit the documents electronically or by U.S. mail. We’ll schedule a follow-up meeting shortly thereafter.

Are you responding to the “Contact Us” form on your website?

Yes. Although, we may need a little extra time.

If a patient temporarily drops out of the IOP, can that patient rejoin without reassessment?

We will reassess if more than 30 days have passed. Group admission has been, and will continue to be, based on availability and clinical approval for the IOP level of care.

Will your main phone line (651) 259-9750 be answered in person?

Yes. We are doing our best to answer calls between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Do you provide education services?

Yes. Northeast Metro Intermediary School District 916 education services are offered as a part of our IOP program. Once approved for programming at Aris Clinic, enrollment in District 196 services should be completed. The enrollment form can be found here.

What is telehealth?

It’s the practice of caring for patients remotely using video-conferencing tools. We are using the ZOOM platform, which is fully compliant with the HIPPA Privacy Rule. Your care provider will give you instructions for online access.

How does video conferencing work for family or group therapy?

Each participant in the session joins from their own device and participates in a voice and video conference. If they prefer, families can connect together from one device. Please join from a private area free of distractions.

Absences and Attendance

My kid is refusing to come to program this morning, just like they have done with school in the past. What should we do?

This is a common problem with many of our families. You can first remind your child that coming to program is not an option each morning. If you have tried to get your child to leave for program and they continue to refuse, first call Aris Clinic’s IOP at 651-259-9750. You can then let your child know that in the event that one of our patients refuses to come into program, we will in all likelihood be calling the police. We do this because your child will need to be monitored daily by our medical and therapeutic staff. Determining whether or not one of our patients is physically well is our responsibility and we will see that it is done, whether by us or an officer of the law. If your child does not come to program that day, we have no way of assessing their psychological wellness, which includes the extent to which they may or may not be a danger to themselves or another. We are too aware that many of our patients are used to avoiding school and other responsibilities and we believe that our firm attendance policy helps our patients and their families lean to make healthy choices with regards to personal responsibility.

We have a family vacation planned for a school break that has been planned months in advance. Can we miss program those days?

Any vacation time or appointments away from the clinic need to be approved by a member of the Aris Clinic Medical Team. Given enough advance notice, the treatment team can accurately answer this question based on the child’s behaviors and progress in medication management. Last minute notice may be denied due to lack of time to adequately prepare for the child’s absence.


I’m not sure if Aris Clinic’s Intensive Outpatient Program is a good fit for us. How do I get more information?

Often, families aren’t sure what therapeutic services a child or teen needs. Aris Clinic staff can recommend a care level after a parent or guardian has completed and submitted our Pediatric Needs Assessment form found on the page linked below. This allows the Aris Clinic staff to gather the clinical information necessary to determine if the program is a good fit for your child.

Admissions – Needs Assessment Forms

We have developed a Care Levels chart that shows the mental health treatment spectrum, based on care intensity. Aris Clinic provides all services listed for Personal Therapy, as well as the Aris Clinic Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP). For services our clinic does not provide, our highly knowledgeable staff can offer recommendations.

If you have any additional questions, please contact Aris Clinic directly at 651-259-9750.


Counseling and Family Meetings

Should my child see their outpatient therapist / psychiatrist while they are enrolled in the program?

Generally, we say no for two reasons. First, insurance generally will not cover two services that are the same and our clinic, though we are an intensive outpatient program, bill for therapy and psychiatric services much like an outpatient therapist or psychiatrist. Second, our goal is to build a therapeutic bond with your child and expose them to different types of therapy and coping techniques. Seeing two providers can be daunting and counterproductive to therapy. Medication management should also be managed by one person at a time so that the child does not experience negative side effects or have wrong dosages of medication. There are special occasions where seeing two therapists at the same time is approved; however, these must first be approved by the Aris Clinic’s IOP treatment staff. Upon your child’s discharge, we will work with your previous outpatient provider to successfully transfer care back into their hands.

Do both my spouse (or other caregiver) and I need to attend the family meetings?

Yes. While family meetings can operate with only one parent, in family situations where there are two parents or two caregivers, we ask that both parents make themselves available for their first family therapy meeting. This includes parents who might live in separate households and/or situations where there are two separate primary caregivers. It is incredibly important to have all the adults that frequently come into contact with a child/teen on the same page. After your first meeting, your family and your counselor can work together to plan for future family meetings, which may or may not include both parents and/or other caregivers.

My child says that they have not been meeting with the counselor individually on a regular basis. If this is an intensive program, why isn’t my child receiving intensive counseling services?

Aris Clinic’s IOP features group therapy, along with family therapy, as its main modality of intervention. While individual counseling meetings are certainly a part of some patient’s treatment, they will likely not occur very frequently in the beginning stages of treatment. This is so that the patient can become properly socialized and comfortable with their main psychotherapeutic process group, which is to be the focal point of much of the therapeutic work done at Aris Clinic’s IOP. If patients are provided too much individual therapy right away, it takes the focus off of the peer process group, which renders the group much less effective. Once both the patient and functioning group are working productively, individual meetings can be added, depending on the need of a particular patient. Please don’t hesitate to consult your counselor with any questions.

My child doesn’t seem to have improved much and we’ve already been going here for three weeks. Is this program working for us?

While each child and family present a unique set of circumstances, we can say from experience that moving firmly towards remarkable improvement can take the full duration of the program. We typically find that when you as a parent hear the most complaining and we are experiencing strong resistance on behalf of your child, we’re likely on the verge of some really productive work. We ask that you never pull your child without first planning for discharge with your counselor and treatment team. Your counselor invites you to bring your concerns about treatment progress to your next family meeting, as these concerns are very important to address out in the open, with everyone being heard and understood.


When my child discharges from your program, who do I call if I need help or my child will not go to school?

We recommend following up with your primary therapist given to you upon discharge. Building a strong therapeutic bond will help your child in the long run. If it is a medication question, please refer to your current psychiatrist upon discharge. In the event that you have not yet seen your new outpatient providers, you can call Aris Clinic’s IOP at 651-259-9750. Aris Clinic does have patients who need to readmit to the IOP. If you believe that your child could benefit from readmitting to Aris Clinic’s IOP, please call to talk with one of our representatives or simply fill out an updated Pediatric Assessment form, found here.

What does my child tell their friends and family members about where they have been for the last few months?

Although this is a very common question our kids get, it can be a tricky one to answer. If you or your child find yourself worrying about what to tell others about being in our IOP, we ask that you bring this concern to your counselor’s attention, preferably during your next family meeting. Your counselor has a lot of experience helping kids transition back to school and their community, which means finding healthy, respectful ways to answer, “Where have you been?” Although transitioning back to school can be scary, we have found that the vast majority of our kids are able to do so successfully.

Group Structure

Does my child receive any therapy or counseling in their groups?

Yes, your child will participate in three hours of therapeutic programming per day, not including any adjunct individual or family meetings that might also be scheduled. Our adolescent group members will spend one hour a day in a psychotherapeutic process group. At Aris Clinic’s IOP, this is focal point for therapeutic intervention each day. Our younger kids (K-6) also spend one hour a day in a psychotherapeutic, socialization group. Whether a child or teenager, your son or daughter will also receive two additional hours of therapeutic group programming, which may include an activity group, psychoeducational group, nursing group, or mindfulness based awareness group.

My child is “X” years old. How many kids will be in their group and why are they in the group that they are in?

The age/grade level based group placement guidelines are the following:

Stars and Stripes Group: Ages 5 – 11 or grades K – 6

Yellow Group: Ages 12 – 14 or grades 6 – 8

Blue Group: Ages 15 – 19 or grades 9 – 12

If your child is demonstrating a different level of maturity or based on our current group dynamics, the clinical staff will find the most appropriate group environment for your child.

Insurance and Payment

Given that insurance plans and payment plays vary greatly, we ask that you contact your insurance company to determine your eligibility and benefits. We accept most major insurance including BCBS, HP, Medica, UBH, PreferredOne, Cigna, and Aetna. At this time straight MA and Ucare are accepted for outpatient appointments but do not cover the intensive outpatient program. You can contact us to determine out of pocket costs or work to change your coverage to a plan that we accept. 651-259-9750


I’m confused by a new prescription that has been sent home with my child. What should I do?

Please call the Aris Clinic IOP nurse at 651-259-9751 with any questions or concerns you may have about a new prescription.

Is it okay to just have my child stop taking their medication without first consulting the nurse and/or doctor?

Medications stopped suddenly can cause very significant and sometimes dangerous side effects. Please consult the IOP medical team prior to stopping any medication, including over the counter medications that may have been ordered.

My kid is a teenager, should I still be monitoring and/or dispensing my child’s medication?

Initially, all patients should have their medications monitored if under the age of 18, given there is a risk of skipping doses. Skipping doses can create side effects and mental health symptoms that commonly effect memory, concentration, and compliance.

Will the doctors at Aris Clinic see my child for outpatient medication management?

The doctors do sometimes take current patients depending on the fit between the doctor and your child and the availability in their schedules. If your child is not seen by an Aris Clinic psychiatrist, we will help you to find a psychiatrist in network with insurance and nearby your home. If your child is referred to another psychiatrist, Aris Clinic does, at your request, communicate with the new psychiatrist and will be available for consultation after discharge.


Will my child fail school if we come here since they will be gone for so long?

Every therapeutic hour and school hour attended is counted towards school credits. It is in the child’s best interest to be here every single day, even on vacation days. Vacation days do add to the credits total as days attended in therapy. Often times, therapy hours are counted toward an elective like music, art, or gym. Core curriculum hours are earned during the school portion of the day. If your child does not attend daily or is late several days to programming, we cannot count those hours towards school.


My bus is running late or hasn’t shown up? What do we do?

If there is inclement weather or construction in the area, please allow 10-15 minutes for a late bus. If you are worried, contact your district transportation office to verify if the bus is still on its way. Aris Clinic staff need to be aware of your child’s late arrival to program as well. Please call the mainline to let us know if your child will arrive late to program 651-259-9750.

Where does the bus pick up my child?

Each school district is able to inform you of the child’s pick up and drop off time and location. Please note that these times may change as students begin and discharge from Aris Clinic that are also on your child’s route.

Can my child lose busing privileges? What are the rules of the bus?

All bus rules are regulated by the home district and privilege to ride the bus is determined by the driver. If the school informs staff that your child can no longer ride, then it is up to the parent to provide a ride. If your child feels that their safety is being jeopardized on the bus, we strongly encourage the child to talk to an Aris Clinic staff member with their concerns. Aris Clinic staff is highly concerned with the safety and well-being of each child and will do whatever it takes to make each child safe on and off the bus.

What happens if my child subsequently misses the bus or overslept? Will they come back for the child? Will Aris Clinic send a van?

No. The district bus runs only once each route and it is the responsibility of the parent to ensure that their child is on the bus. If your child does not ride either in the morning or afternoon, the parent will be expected to bring in / pick up the child on time. We recommend each child be at their bus stop 5 minutes prior to pick up.

We have a morning/afternoon appointment, can the district pick up my child late/early from the program?

No. Transportation to Aris Clinic runs first thing in the morning and first thing in the afternoon. We have a delicate system in that the schools are going out of their way to provide a round trip and often do not have the resources to amend to individual schedules.

Can we carpool with other families to make transportation easier? Can our children carpool with each other?

No. It is against rules at Aris Clinic for children and families to associate with one another outside of program. This is also a HIPPAA violation of right to privacy for each patient and family.

What happens when my school is closed? Do they still provide transportation?

Please contact your district transportation office to determine if transportation will be available on days that the district is closed. Some children will be eligible for insurance rides if they have MA insurance or BCBS PMAP insurance. If your school does not provide a ride, and insurance does not cover, the parent is expected to drive the child.

Can my child drive themselves to the program?

Yes, when they are approved by a member of the Aris Clinic Medical Team. This may take a few weeks to clear. The child is responsible for showing a valid license and reporting their license plate number, make, model, and color of the car for safety purposes.

Is there any type of service available to my child? How do I get them to Aris Clinic?

Every child’s home school district (the district that your house is in) will be responsible for driving your child during the school year. During the summer, parents will be expected to drive, unless deemed otherwise by the treatment team.

For any further questions regarding transportation, please contact Aris Clinic at 651-259-9750

1 in 5 children ages 13-18 in the U.S. need mental health services; only 20% are likely to receive professional help

Source: National Institute of Mental Health