How do I Know if I Need Psychiatric Services or Psychotherapy?
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, school, or in social settings. 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.
What Can I Expect on My First Visit to the 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 and progress notes. School report cards and psychological testing reports if applicable are also valuable. Bring in any medications that are currently being taken. 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 your symptoms and your past history, and specific questions will also be asked by your clinician to complete the assessment.
What is Mental Fitness Clinic’s Evaluation Process?
We will discuss a wide range of personal information from your past, including the symptoms that brought you to the clinic, and try to determine the environmental and innate factors involved in creating your condition. Your prior mental health treatments, family history of mental illness, general information about your 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.
How Do I Know if Mental Fitness Clinic is the Right Fit for Me?
At MFC we offer both psychiatric treatment and psychotherapy based on your specific needs. Our psychiatrists are dual board-certified psychiatrist specializing in children, adolescent and adult mental health treatment and have experience working with a wide range of cases. All of our psychotherapists maintain an active license in the state of California and have an array of treatment modality approaches to meet your treatment goals.
If you are suffering from depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, are experiencing psychotic symptoms, among other conditions, then treatment can be provided.
Our treatment philosophy is to incorporate psychotherapy (talk therapy, when it is appropriate for your needs) along with lifestyle interventions such as nutrition and exercise, possibly allowing for lower doses and fewer mental health medications (psychiatric medication may still remain a core treatment). Lifestyle interventions are not a mandatory requirement for being a patient in the clinic and are offered only as recommendations.
Why shouldn’t I just take medication?
Medication can be effective but it alone cannot solve all issues. Sometimes medication is needed in conjunction with counseling. Our work together is designed to explore and unpack the problems you are experiencing and expand on your strengths that can help you accomplish your personal goals.
What if I don’t want medication?
Seeing a psychiatrist doesn’t always mean you will be prescribed medication. Often times psychiatrists will offer psychotherapy as treatment to your specific needs. Speaking openly with your psychiatrist about your needs and desires for treatment is important.
How does it work? What do I have to do in sessions?
Because each person has different issues and goals for counseling, it will be different depending on the individual. We tailor the therapeutic approach to your specific needs.
How long will it take?
Everyone’s circumstances are unique to them and the length of time counseling can take to allow you to accomplish your goals depends on your desire for personal development, your commitment, and the factors that are driving you to seek counseling in the first place.