Areas of Expertise
The first visit is mainly about establishing a therapeutic relationship, understanding key information and laying down the path that assessment and treatment will take. Due to the complexity and varying presentations of psychiatric issues, an absolute diagnosis is often not made on this first visit. If this is the case, diagnoses often evolve over time during the ongoing process of assessment and collection of information.
My initial visits with patients under the age of 18 vary. Depending on the situation, I may meet with the patient and his or her parents together for half the time and then the patient alone, or meet the parents first and later the child. It generally depends on the age of the child and/or the nature of the problem and the relationships between the child and parents. I can usually give a clinical formulation and give recommendations within the first 1-2 visits. This initial visit is 75 minutes.
I meet with adults for 75 minutes for the first session, summarize with a clinical formulation and give recommendations. We will collaborate together on goals and treatment course, and then establish an appropriate follow-up time.
Based on the initial assessment, a treatment plan is designed in collaboration with the patient. If it is in the patient’s best interests, medications will be discussed and education will be provided on the actions, uses, and side effects of the suggested medication options. If and when the patient agrees on a medication and treatment option, the medication is prescribed for a trial period to observe the effectiveness. The effectiveness of the medication will be monitored over a course of time to determine if the treatment meets the patient’s goals. It is recommended that medications be utilized at the same time as other forms of treatment such as counseling, life management skills, and/or behavioral therapies. Through careful monitoring and on-going discussion my goal is to find the right medication and treatment plan to improve the patient’s mental health.
Integrative psychiatry is a holistic approach that utilizes both conventional and complementary therapies in the treatment of psychiatric disorders. Personalized treatments are developed to suit each person's lifestyle and strengthen self-awareness and resources for self-care. These treatments may include:
Functional and nutritional assessments of individual health differences and needs, which can be addressed in a natural manner through diet, exercise, and/or supplements
Mind-body centering exercises that increase the relaxation response
Guided imagery to engage the mind in the healing process
Integrative treatment allows people to take responsibility for their well-being by addressing the effects on health of lifestyle, emotions, and social interactions. This approach to treatment can be particularly beneficial for patients who have not tolerated or responded optimally to traditional psychiatric treatments.
As a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, my practice embodies a philosophy of holistic care, based on the principle that health of the mind and body are strongly intertwined. My approach is to understand and appreciate all aspects of a person, focusing not only on client concerns but also on strengths and abilities to reach optimal wellness. I believe that empathy, compassion, and intuition form the essence of psychological healing, and this is what my practice is based on. With each client, I strive to create a collaborative relationship that is nurturing, motivating, challenging, and authentic, and that leads to achievement of goals and positive change.