In my office practice, I offer two types of mental health services: consultation and treatment.
Consultation is the initial phase of all psychiatric treatment. The consultation can be done over one or more office visits, with visits lasting from 1 to 2 hours each. The purpose of the consultation is three-fold. Initially, the most important function is to help you to feel more comfortable talking about yourself, and whatever troubles or difficulties had led you to schedule an appointment in the first place. As you share your story, we begin to work on the second task, which is to formulate your concerns into a coherent understanding of the problem or problems from which you are currently suffering. In many cases, the consultation has proven highly useful and even reassuring to a patient seeking help. Often, knowing that a symptom may not be a sign of something more severe can be therapeutic and quite stress-relieving. The third step of the consultation is to develop a treatment plan with the highest likelihood of helping you to find relief. If both you and I decide that I am the best suited to help you with this plan, then we proceed into the next phase of treatment. If we decide there is someone better suited to help you, then I will offer you a referral to begin treatment in another office or setting. To assist in the consultation, I often like to make use of other sources of information, such as family, friends, previous treating clinicians and/or records of care, etc. Also, if I feel that other experts may need to assess you or if additional testing may prove useful, then I may ask for these as well.
The next phase is the treatment itself. I provide two basic types of treatments:
Medication management means the use of medication to alleviate symptoms of mental illness or maintain stability during recovery from illness. Although we rarely think of treatment in psychiatry in terms of “cure”, many persons with mental illness have been able to lead seemingly normal and symptom-free lives, even in the public eye, with the help of medications. Several celebrities and other famous personalities have recently gone public about their struggles with mental illness, overcome with the help of treatment. I will try to highlight some of these stories elsewhere on my website.
Psychotherapy is the use of talk and communication between patient and therapist to improve a patient’s condition and to facilitate recovery from mental illness, traumatic events, emotional difficulties, loss, etc. In my office, I provide psychotherapy for individuals, couples, families, and groups. Each of these therapy settings require a unique style and approach to the therapy process, and each can be rewarding in its own way. Most of my therapy patients see me from one to three times per week. Length of treatment can last anywhere from 2-3 sessions to as much as 2-3 years, or even longer.
Feel free to check out the FAQ or the references page for more information on medications and psychotherapy.