What should I expect with my first appointment?
The first appointment is an important starting place. Leave time to complete paperwork if not downloaded and completed prior to your appointment time. The paperwork forms complement the face to face part of the evaluation but they in no way replace it . The actual interview is one hour in length. I am here to hear your concerns but will frequently ask questions to flesh out important details that connect past with present. Be ready to tell me about your family and any past experiences with medication, or treatment. We need to discuss any past or current chemical dependency issues. Remembering that psychiatry is a part of medicine a portion of the interview will focus on present and past medical issues, medications used, and on your family medical history.
The evaluation is a collaborate effort that starts and ends with your concerns. Its goal is to first glean and then synthesize a way of understanding problems, to next establish priorities, and then finally to discuss options.
What happens next?
There are several directions to go.
If the recommendation is to use medication we will spend time discussing what to expect and what to watch out for. If our decision is to use our time for medication related treatment only, follow up will be scheduled in a way to allow the medication a chance to work. Many of the medicines we use may take several weeks to reach full benefit. At follow up we would need to monitor which symptoms have improved and which remain a problem. Our goal is not to settle for "better" but to push for "best." and more frequent but brief appointments may be needed to reach that goal. When that goal has been achieved, follow up is less frequent but I am always available should your situation change. A minimum frequency of every three months follow up is a requirement for those receiving medication.
If your evaluation suggests that you might benefit from participation in a support group I will gladly make suggestions and help you to know what to expect.
Many people benefit form psychotherapy whether they are using medications or not. If you are not currently involved in psychotherapy and the nature of your situation suggests that you could benefit I will discuss with you more about the nature of psychotherapy. The pacing and energy of a psychotherapy appointment are very different from an evaluation. About 50 % of my practice is with clients in therapy. Much information about the therapy process follows.
In very serious situations there may be a need for support and intensity that exceeds what an office based practice can provide. If that is the case I can discuss both partial hospital and in patient treatment options with you. My practice is office based only but I maintain close and collaborative relationships with several highly regarded facilities.I will gladly facilitate the referral process.
Where is the office located?
The office address is;
3500 Oak Lawn Avenue, St. 370
Dallas, Tx 75219
The cross streets are Lemmon Avenue and Oak Lawn. Parking is provided in a covered garage behind the building and accessed from Welborn St.
Is therapy right for me?
Seeking out therapy is an individual choice. There are many reasons why people come to therapy. Sometimes it is to deal with long-standing psychological issues, or problems with anxiety or depression. Other times it is in response to unexpected changes in one's life such as a divorce or work transition. Many seek the advice of counsel as they pursue their own personal exploration and growth. Working with a psychiatrist can help provide insight, support, and new strategies for all types of life challenges. Therapy can help address many types of issues including depression, anxiety, conflict, grief, stress management, body-image issues, and general life transitions. Therapy is right for anyone who is interested in getting the most out of their life by taking responsibility, creating greater self-awareness, and working towards change in their lives.
Do I really need therapy? I can usually handle my problems.
Everyone goes through challenging situations in life, and while you may have successfully navigated through other difficulties you've faced, there's nothing wrong with seeking out extra support when you need it. In fact, therapy is for people who have enough self-awareness to realize they need a helping hand, and that is something to be admired. You are taking responsibility by accepting where you're at in life and making a commitment to change the situation by seeking therapy. Therapy provides long-lasting benefits and support, giving you the tools you need to avoid triggers, re-direct damaging patterns, and overcome whatever challenges you face.
How can therapy help me?
A number of benefits are available from participating in psychotherapy. Therapists can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress management, body image issues and creative blocks. Many people also find that psychiatrists can be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, marriage issues, and the hassles of daily life. Psychiatrists can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or point you in the direction of a solution. The benefits you obtain from therapy depend on how well you use the process and put into practice what you learn. Some of the benefits available from therapy include:
- Attaining a better understanding of yourself, your goals and values
- Developing skills for improving your relationships
- Finding resolution to the issues or concerns that led you to seek therapy
- Learning new ways to cope with stress and anxiety
- Managing anger, grief, depression, and other emotional pressures
- Improving communications and listening skills
- Changing old behavior patterns and developing new ones
- Discovering new ways to solve problems in your family or marriage
- Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence
What is therapy like?
Every therapy session is unique and caters to each individual and their specific goals. It is standard for psychiatrists to discuss the primary issues and concerns in your life during therapy sessions. It is common to schedule a series of weekly sessions, where each session lasts around fifty minutes. Therapy can be short-term, focusing on a specific issue, or longer-term, addressing more complex issues or ongoing personal growth. There may be times when you are asked to take certain actions outside of the therapy sessions, such as reading a relevant book or keeping records to track certain behaviors. It is important process what has been discussed and integrate it into your life between sessions. For therapy to be most effective you must be an active participant, both during and between the sessions. People seeking psychotherapy are willing to take responsibility for their actions, work towards self-change and create greater awareness in their lives. Here are some things you can expect out of therapy:
- Compassion, respect and understanding
- Perspectives to illuminate persistent patterns and negative feelings
- Real strategies for enacting positive change
- Effective and proven techniques along with practical guida
Do you accept insurance?
I do not accept or file insurance. I am considered an "out of network" provider in managed care systems. Reimbursement may still be available but at a reduced rate. I provide the needed documentation with each appointment that will allow you to file for out of network benefits when they are available.
Is therapy confidential?
In general, the law protects the confidentiality of all communications between a client and psychotherapist. No information is disclosed without prior written permission from the client.
However, there are some exceptions required by law to this rule. Exceptions include:
- Suspected child abuse or dependent adult or elder abuse. The therapist is required to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.
- If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person. The therapist is required to notify the police.
- If a client intends to harm himself or herself. The therapist will make every effort to work with the individual to ensure their safety. However, if an individual does not cooperate, additional measures may need to be taken.