We will begin with an initial comprehensive evaluation by a psychiatrist which generally takes 60-90 minutes. This comprehensive assessment will allow us to better understand your history, symptoms, and reasons for seeking treatment. Before the end of the first visit, your physician will determine if further evaluation is necessary, or if it is appropriate to begin treatment with therapy, medications, or both.
During this initial evaluation period, you and your physician can decide together whether we are the best practice to provide the services that you need. Your physician will offer their impressions of your presenting symptoms, possible diagnoses, and proposed treatment plans. After which, you are encouraged to evaluate this information, along with your own opinion, and decide if you want to establish treatment and if you are comfortable working with the treatment plan.
Follow Up appointments are typically 20 - 30 minutes in duration, although longer appointments are available if needed or preferred by the patient. The frequency of follow up appointments depends on the challenges you are facing and where we are at in the process of controlling your symptoms. Typically we will meet more frequently as we establish a plan of care and then appointments can be spaced out as your symptoms improve and your health stabilizes. As an out of network practice, we have more freedom in adjusting your follow up care to meet your needs at any point in time.
Treatment with Prescription Medication(s)
Medications are often used as adjuncts to psychotherapy. Some patients choose to have the same clinician for medication management and individual psychotherapy, others choose to see a therapist separate from their physician. If working with separate clinicians, your psychiatrist will coordinate your medical care and medication goals with your therapist.
Due to the underlying biological basis of psychiatric illnesses, medications can be an important component of treating certain conditions. We believe that a bio-psycho-social model of treatment, incorporating biological aspects, psychological factors, and social components, provides most patients the best chances of improving. As such, your treatment plan will be unique to your needs and will be actively monitored and adjusted as needed through the course of your treatment. Together, we will decide which interventions are right for you.
Several modalities of psychotherapy are offered through our practice. Psychotherapeutic interventions are incorporated into all appointments, even if specialized therapy is conducted elsewhere, as this is essential to understanding your needs and appropriate treatment. Psychotherapy can have benefits such as significant reduction in distress, improved social relationships, resolution of specific problems, and clearer understanding of yourself, your values, and your goals. At times, we will refer you to outside psychotherapy providers if a specific modality of psychotherapy has been determined to be the most appropriate and is not currently offered by Dr. Sheehan.