An initial psychiatric consultation by a board-certified psychiatrist is scheduled for 90 minutes. Children, teens, and adult patients living at home will generally require 1-2 additional 45-minutes sessions in order to complete a psychiatric evaluation prior to beginning treatment. Adults not living with their parents will generally require one additional 45-minutes session prior to starting treatment. The number of sessions to complete an evaluation is determined on an individual basis. A comprehensive evaluation will ensure safe practices by collecting all the medically necessary information, including medical history and blood tests. The initial sessions aim to provide an assessment of your (or your child’s) mental health needs to help determine the best available treatment options, which may include referral(s) to another specialist or programs that offer a higher level of care such as an Intensive Outpatient Program or Residential Treatment Program.
During the initial psychiatric evaluation process, the psychiatrist will act as a consultant to your family. Please note that you have not yet established the doctor-patient relationship through a consultation alone. However, at the end of the initial evaluation process, if you and the doctor feel that this is a “good fit,” then you (or your child) will continue the treatment plan as recommended by our psychiatrists to become an “established patient.” Note that our physicians almost never prescribe medication on the first visit, even if you (or your child) have been on medication. Please read and sign Mind Study Center’s policies prior to your first appointment. These are documents that allow our clinicians the authority to treat you or your child (e.g., consents). Signing this consent form will also authorize us to review your past medication history and Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System (CURES) in order to get a more comprehensive overview of your (or your child’s) medical history.
Initial consultations for psychotherapy are scheduled for 60 minutes. The initial sessions aim to provide an assessment of your (or your child’s) mental health needs to help determine the best available treatment options, which may include referral(s) to another specialist or programs that offer a higher level of care such as an Intensive Outpatient Program or Residential Treatment Program. During the initial psychotherapy consultation process, the therapist will act as a consultant to you and/or your family. Please note that you have not yet established the therapist-patient relationship through a consultation alone. However, at the end of the initial evaluation process, if you and the therapist feel that the professional relationship is a “good fit,” then you (or your child) will continue the treatment plan as recommended by our therapists to become an “established client” and begin working toward the therapeutic goals.
Due to the current status of the COVID-19 pandemic, our office will be operating through Telehealth services until further notice. Telehealth offers quality care through methods of video-conferencing and phone sessions. It increases the accessibility of care to everyone because sessions can be conducted in the comfort of your own home. Our office wants to keep our clients and workforce safe while still providing a high quality of care to everyone. Telehealth sessions will still follow the procedures and guidelines of regular in-office visits. This means that standard privacy and confidentiality laws still apply the same to these types of visits. Furthermore, our office policies regarding rescheduling and cancellations will also apply the same to all telehealth sessions.
Psychopharmacology is the study of the use of medications in the treatment of conditions associated with mind and behavior. Medications can be an essential part of treatment for psychiatric disorders. Our board-certified psychiatrists have the knowledge and expertise to coordinate, monitor, and adjust medications so that all patients will receive the best quality of care. We are committed to practicing individualized care that would best suit each of our clients’ needs.
Before prescribing medication, our psychiatrists will ensure that all parties involved with the patient’s care understand and agree on the specific medications being recommended. We want to ensure that the patient and family are aware of all the benefits, potential risks, and available alternatives that come with each medication. It will be upon the doctor’s discretion to decide the right medication and dosage and to monitor the patient’s progress through follow up appointments. The length and frequency of follow up appointments would depend upon individual needs and medical necessity.
Individual therapy is a collaborative process focused on addressing your concerns and finding ways to achieve your personal goals with the help of a trained mental health therapist. The therapist and client work together to create targeted goals that will help alleviate suffering and struggle. If you haven't been to therapy before, the initial sessions are a great time to ask questions about the therapist's approach to treatment, individual style, areas of specialty, and the process of therapy! Our therapists strive to provide warm, empathic, and caring environments to help their child, adolescent, and adult clients define and achieve their therapy goals.
Your therapist's approach will depend on both their style and on the target of treatment. Our therapists have experience providing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Psychodynamic Therapy, Exposure Therapy, Art and Play Therapy, Narrative Therapy, and more. Treatment will always be individualized to meet your needs, and your therapist will always keep you informed of potential adjustments or additions to your treatment plan.
Relationships are hard work, and no partnership is immune to obstacles. Topics that may be appropriate for couples therapy include:
-Emotional distance / lack of connection
-Conflict around finances
The key to successful couples therapy lies within each participant's attitude. A common pitfall is to show up hoping that the therapist will make your partner realize that they're wrong and you're right; this expectation rarely leads to a good outcome. Instead, each member of the couple must be genuinely open to examining and changing their own behaviors in order to improve the relationship. A genuine desire to better understand your partner is the key ingredient.
Family therapy is a way of resolving conflict through a systemic lens. Much like in couples therapy, it is most effective when participants approach with a willingness to examine their own thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, in order to see how it may be impacting the functioning of the family unit.
Family therapy emphasizes the interconnectedness of each person, operating under the principle that what happens to one family member happens to the entire family. When one dynamic changes, the entire system will change. For this reason, it is usually important for most or all of the family to be present in each session.
Your therapist will work with the unit as a whole to help improve and strengthen awareness and understanding, communication skills, conflict resolution skills, and family bonds. He or she will also work to ensure that every family member gets a chance to feel heard and understood by the others. Over time, families will notice reduced conflict and more positive connections in the home.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, or EMDR, is an empirically validated treatment for trauma-related disorders. During traditional EMDR, a person confronts their distressing memories while moving their eyes back and forth, as guided by the therapist. This makes use of two mechanisms: dual attention, and bilateral stimulation.
Dual attention is when a person focuses on more than one thing at a time, such as focusing on a memory while also focusing on eye movements. This is a useful tool for trauma processing, as it can make confronting the memories much easier and less intimidating. It also allows the brain to simultaneously hold the present and the past together, helping to distinguish between the two, thereby relieving intrusion and hyperarousal symptoms.
Bilateral stimulation, or BLS, is the alternating activation of left and right sides of the body, and it is tied to the processing of memories. Notably, most memory consolidation occurs during REM sleep, while a person's eyes move rapidly back and forth beneath closed eyelids. While the reason for this is not fully understood, activating this mechanism therapeutically has been proven effective in processing traumatic memories. But eye movements are not the only option for BLS; your therapist may ask you to tap your knees or shoulders, or hold two buzzers in your hands, utilizing whichever method makes you most comfortable.
During EMDR, your therapist remains present and active, guiding and supporting you, and ensuring you feel safe throughout the process. Treatment is complete when the distress associated with the traumatic memory is significantly reduced or resolved.
Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health (for children age 0-5)
People are often surprised to learn that mental health treatments exist for babies and toddlers, but in fact this is an opportune age to recognize and address any early signs of mental struggles, in order to prevent further issues down the road. Children's brains at this age are extremely elastic, meaning that treatments can be more effective and long-lasting. Randomized controlled trials have shown that therapies designed for this age group improve behaviors and symptoms in both child and caregiver.
Therapy sessions for this age group will involve working with caregiver and child together on the following tasks: understanding and responding to each other's cues, talking and playing through difficult experiences, creating a family story, improving the child's sense of safety, and strengthening the caregiver-child relationship. Modalities for working with this age group include Child-Parent Psychotherapy (CPP), Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), and Child Parent Relationship Therapy (CPRT).
Most frequently these treatments are appropriate for children who have witnessed or experienced traumatic events, children who have significant behavioral problems, or children who are struggling to build secure attachments to adults. It is often useful for families who are fostering children or in the foster-to-adopt process.
Culturally Competent Services
MSC places a high value on cultural competence and cultural humility in the services that we provide. We strive to always acknowledge and consider each client's lived experience within their social and cultural contexts. In our roles as clinicians, we aim to bridge cultural boundaries through both self-education and curiosity. We acknowledge the broader need for greater diversity of race, gender, sexuality, and socioeconomic status in the field of mental health. We are always amenable to feedback on ways to bring more sensitivity and inclusivity to our practice.