If your Michigan operator’s license has been revoked for multiple drunk driving arrests, then a hearing will be required before your license can be reinstated.  At this hearing, you will be required to submit a substance abuse evaluation.  This is defined by the applicable administrative rules as follows:

(o) “Substance abuse evaluation” means a written report regarding the petitioner on a form prescribed by the department that includes a statement of the testing instruments used and the test results, if any exist, a complete treatment and support group history, diagnoses, prognoses, and relapse histories, including those relapse histories that predate the beginning of the most recent treatment program.

To help lawyers understand what a substance abuse evaluation is and to help them understand how substance use disorders are diagnosed, Dr. Elizabeth Corby co-authored an article on this topic with Michigan DUI defense lawyer Patrick T. Barone.  The article is entitled Michigan Criminal Defense Lawyer’s Guide to the DSM-5 for Substance Use Disorders and appeared in the November 2016 SADO Criminal Defense Newsletter. This article covers the basics relative to how substance use disorders are evaluated for court purposes, including driver license restoration hearings.

This is an important article because many defense lawyers have little knowledge about the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM), or even how substance use disorders are diagnosed.  And yet, as indicated, substance use evaluations are required for a driver license review hearing.  Also, the DSM is updated regularly, and the most recent update contains significant changes in the way substance use disordered are diagnosed.  There are new diagnostic codes as well, and a failure to use the updated information can result in a failure to meet your burden of proof at the driver license appeal hearing, even if all the other evidence you present is in order.

A copy of this article may be downloaded here.  Please contact Dr. Corby with any questions about the article, or to schedule a substance use evaluation.

 

 


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  • Bi-Weekly Wednesday Psychodrama Group
    with Dr. Corby

    This 2 hour weekly psychodrama group is an on-going personal growth and training group for men and women. These groups will use psychodramatic techniques, sociometry, and many other empirically-supported methods to enhance personal development. In this group we address a wide variety of issues, such as depression, anxiety, distorted thinking, substance abuse, feelings of not belonging, codependency, shame, trauma, as well as bodywork emotional release, wholeness and mind-body wellness. Cost is $60 per two hour session. Insurance may reimburse part of the cost. Contact me for more information.


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Welcome

HeadshotHello and thank you for visiting my website.

I am a clinical psychologist in Royal Oak, Michigan focusing on the treatment of mental health and substance abuse disorders.

In my practice, as a certified Cognitive Therapist through the Academy of Cognitive Therapy in Philadelphia, I use cognitive therapy and other methods including psychodrama, dialectical behavioral therapy, mindfulness and EMDR collaboratively with people in the transformative process of psychotherapy to grow and learn more fulfilling ways to regulate thoughts, moods and behaviors so that they no longer cause unpleasant or self-destructive outcomes. In addition to teaching the skill of cognitive therapy, I work with people holistically utilizing many scientifically supportive neurobehavioral, relational and action methods through individual and group settings to integrate mind, body and spirit.

I treat a wide-range of emotional difficulties including anxiety and depressive disorders, as well as substance and other abuse and dependence problems. At a deeper level, clients and I often work together to strengthen personal authenticity, meaningfulness and direction, emotional connectedness, and interpersonal effectiveness and satisfaction. I also provide family and couples therapy, and psychodramatic group work, addressing life conflicts and increasing resilience and psychological well-being.

My work includes the treatment of anxiety and depressive disorders, and substance and other abuse and dependence.  Having worked in the expertise area of dual diagnosis for over 29 years, I understand the importance of providing clients with an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan, and utilizing state of the art, clinically proven, empirically based treatment methods. Other conditions that occur with people who may benefit from individual therapy include…

  • Depression or other mood disorders
  • Anxiety, fear, specific phobias, panic attacks or obsessions and compulsions (OCD), general worrying
  • A major life change such as loss of job, loss of driver’s license, legal proceedings, incarceration, illness
  • Loss due to death, divorce, or abandonment
  • Desire to improve personal or professional relationships
  • Desire to heal from experience of abuse or trauma
  • Low self-esteem or other blockages which keep you or a loved one from achieving goals
  • Loneliness, social disconnect or social anxiety
  • Feeling disconnected from yourself or the direction or meaning in life
  • Difficulty controlling your drinking or drug use, or desire to explore abstinence or moderate drinking possibilities
  • Difficulty with a loved one with a mental health or addictive disorder
  • Drawing boundaries, keeping limits, finding your voice, learning not to rescue others.

One of the goals I have with all of my clients is to help them with the initial feelings they may have about being in therapy. I never judge clients, but instead, I help them understand that everything we talk about is confidential, and help them feel safe. Whether you are searching for a therapist for yourself or for a friend or loved one, my hope is that you will find this web site to be both informative and helpful. After helping people like you for many years, I know how painful psychological stress or an addiction can be, for you or a loved one, but I also know how much better life can become with treatment.

I feel honored to be involved in the important personal journeys of people’s lives. I hope visiting this web site will be your first step toward a better life!

Thank you for visiting.

Sincerely,

Dr. Elizabeth A. Corby


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Michigan Teenagers who drink can sometimes find themselves on the wrong side of the law.  This includes being charged with crimes like MIP (minor in possession) and Minor BAC (which is under age drunk driving , also known as zero tolerance), among others.

Many courts in Michigan treat underage drinking very seriously.  Some judges have a track record that includes jail time for crimes involving underage drinking, but most judges understand that severe punishment for these kinds of crimes is not appropriate.  Instead, many courts look at teenage drinking crimes as an opportunity to assess whether or not the teenage offender is at risk for problematic drinking, and then to order that the offender become involved in treatment.  To assure compliance, the court will also order monitoring like daily or random PBTs (preliminary breath tests).

In order to be proactive, and to help the teenage offender and his/her family determine if an alcohol problem does exist, or might be brewing, some lawyers in Michigan will refer their client for a private substance abuse evaluation.  This substance abuse evaluation can be used as a baseline to begin treatment, and it can also be used by the lawyer to help with plea negotiations and sentencing.

Substance abuse evaluations for crimes like MIP and Minor BAC as the same as substance abuse evaluations for “adult” crimes like drunk driving.   As such, the substance abuse evaluation will include an interview and the administration of usually two or three different psychometric tests, the purpose of which is to help the therapist determine if there is a drug or alcohol abuse problem, and then to recommend an appropriate treatment plan.

The evaluator, usually a clinical psychologist or other highly trained mental health/substance abuse professional, will determine from both the tests administered and the interview if the patient meets the criteria for the DMSV 5 diagnosis of an alcohol use disorder.  This diagnosis is one of the factors used in determining the treatment plan with the client. Oftentimes clients will follow up for treatment by using their health insurance plan; however, evaluations that are legal in nature are not covered by health insurance policies. The treatment portion of the evaluation, if recommended, is covered as long as it has not been ordered by the courts. This is another reason for a youth to be evaluated prior to sentencing in the courts. Besides the financial and legal incentive for an independent substance abuse evaluation, the client benefits from early intervention by an evaluator in order to receive guidance and direction toward a healthy relationship with alcohol in the future.

Many times youth will not in need of follow-up treatment, and the evaluation can assist the lawyer in the advocacy of the client in terms of suggesting a lighter sentence. However, when treatment is warranted, early intervention not only assists the youth’s developmental trajectory and well-being, but assists in the planning purposes and shows prior cooperation on the part of the youth at sentencing time.

 


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