Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Neuropsychological Testing Services for Athletes

Clinic Philosophy

A talk about clinical philosophy with
the Medical Director, Neevon Esmaili, M.D.

* for information about our other providers please see the providers page.

At our clinic we provide athletes of all levels with mental health assessment and comprehensive treatment plans that can include psychiatric medication, psychotherapy and support for lifestyle changes for a wide spectrum of mental illness. We feel it is important to consider all factors affecting each patient, including medical issues and life stressors (sport specific and general), to determine the cause of the presenting symptoms.

We view treatment as a partnership and shared responsibility with each patient, tailored to their specific situation, and offer gentle support for patient growth and work outside of the clinic.

Many of the evidence based and effective psychotherapies such as cognitive behavior therapy and dialectical behavior therapy include components that require the patient to challenge themselves outside of the therapy sessions independently with a variety of activities and mental exercises.

We believe that making changes where indicated in the patient’s lifestyle is important. For example, we screen for athlete burn out, either physical, mental or both, as it can be contributing and in some cases the primary issue. Attempting to identify and modify causes for symptoms is part of our assessment and treatment approach that may also include psychiatric medication and psychotherapy.

Child & Adolescent Athletes

Adult Athletes

"The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind."
– William James (1842-1910)
"There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so."
– Shakespeare (Hamlet)

Frequently Asked Questions

Some indications suggesting the need for psychiatric evaluation include severe symptoms of anxiety, depression, psychosis, and thoughts of harming oneself that would make it difficult to function in the workplace, competing or training for your sport or at school. Another reason is when talk therapy (psychotherapy) has been ongoing for an extended period and yet symptoms remain persistent and difficult to manage. A board-certified psychiatrist can assess for the need for psychiatric medication to alleviate your symptoms. If you have additional questions, please feel free to call our office.

Please fill out our new patient forms online in the patient portal before your visit, specific instructions are sent after you schedule your first appointment. Please be prepared to discuss your past medical history, and send via the patient portal medical documents including laboratory reports, progress notes. School report cards and psychological testing reports if applicable are also valuable. Conducting a comprehensive evaluation takes time, and additional sessions may be necessary before deciding on a treatment plan. It would be helpful if you talk freely about the symptoms and past history, and specific questions will also be asked by your clinician to complete the assessment.

We will discuss a wide range of personal information from the past, including the symptoms that brought you to the clinic, and try to determine the environmental and innate factors involved in creating the condition. Prior mental health treatments, family history of mental illness, general information about the living situation and social connections will also be discussed. Sometimes filling out a clinical questionnaire would be useful, and one would be given to you to be filled out either by the patient or the parent/teacher, as applicable. Referrals for proper medical assessment to rule out medical conditions or to safely prescribe medications may be indicated.

The medical director, Neevon Esmaili, MD, is a dual board-certified psychiatrist specializing in children, adolescent and adult mental health treatment. Dr. Esmaili has a special interest in treating athletes, as he has been a lifelong sports enthusiast and participant, and has educated himself in athlete specific assessment and treatment. He has work experience with a wide range of cases. He has used his experience to select trusted clinicians to provide care in the clinic, with a similar focus on sports.  

If you or your child are suffering from depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, or are experiencing psychotic symptoms, among other conditions, then treatment can be provided.

Dr. Esmaili is able to provide psychiatric medications for mental health when required with attention to sports concerns, such as side effects that could impair performance and doping rules. Mental Fitness Clinic also offers a team of sports psychotherapists offering individual talk therapy, which typically consists of weekly 50-minute sessions.

Our treatment approach is to emphasize working hard with a psychotherapist (talk therapist, when it is appropriate for your needs) along with life style interventions that can reduce core issues that perpetuate the mental health condition, and evidence based use of psychiatric medication when necessary.