I approach my clients’ wellness by examining their physical, emotional, and cognitive well-being and also examining the systems that they exist in (ie. school, family, friendships, romantic relationships). As I was trained as a physician prior to specializing in psychiatry, I will assess whether there are any biological causes or contributors to my clients’ symptoms. Additionally, as sleep, nutrition, and physical activity all are related to mental health, I will assess whether clients’ current habits are contributing to symptoms and may ask that clients work on improving these areas in order to improve their mental health. There is strong evidence that certain psychiatric medications can effectively treat certain psychiatric conditions. With this in mind, for some clients I may recommend that we start a psychiatric medication to further assist in recovery from symptoms.
In terms of therapy, I have a strong background in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), and Mindfulness-based treatment modalities. These therapies all involve work being done in-session as well as practice in-between session. I am of the mindset that it is difficult to make great changes in our wellness if we only work on forming new thinking and behavioral patterns during weekly treatment sessions. Therefore, I will ask and require my clients to practice the tools we learn in-between sessions. Additionally, given my expertise in school consultation, I have seen how changes made in the school environment can significantly improve my clients’ wellness. Therefore, I am a strong advocate for involving the school, when needed, in order to make sure that my clients receive support in the environment where they spend most of their hours. Finally, I expect parents to be involved in my treatment of child and adolescent clients. While sessions are confidential, it is often difficult for my clients to make great changes when those around them are unaware of what changes they are trying to make and how to support them.
From my diverse clinical experiences, I have seen the most success in my clients progressing toward wellness when their families, friends, schools, and entire treatment team all are working together actively. On the other hand, I have seen my clients and their families struggle the most when parents and/or clients are not fully engaged in treatment and, instead, hope to improve in a more passive and isolated fashion. While I ask a lot of my clients and their families, I am fully invested in your wellness and am deeply committed to being your greatest cheerleader and advocate.