Los Angeles Psychiatrist Psychotherapist
Los Angeles Psychiatrist Psychotherapist
Los Angeles Psychiatrist Psychotherapist
Los Angeles Psychotherapist Psychiatrist
Los Angeles Psychiatrist Medication
Los Angeles Psychotherapy Psychiatrist
Los Angeles Psychiatrist Psychotherapist

Medication Treatment

Successful treatment with psychiatric medication depends upon three important factors. First and foremost, there needs to be a doctor-patient relationship that is rooted in trust, healthy communication, and the patientís experience that the psychiatrist genuinely cares about his or her well-being. Given the stigma in society about mental illness along with the fact that psychiatrists prescribe medications that directly impact a patientís sense of self, our patients need to know that they are being cared for with sensitivity and respect.

The second factor is the importance of making an accurate diagnosis. The choice of a medication should be based upon a clear understanding of what condition is being treated as well as what is known in the scientific literature about effective treatments for that condition. The information I obtain about you during the evaluation process helps me develop an understanding of you from both a diagnostic and psychosocial standpoint which then guides my treatment recommendations. I do my best to always take the time to answer any questions you may have about your treatment.

The third factor which guides a successful treatment is the importance of educating you about the process of medication treatment. All medications have potential side effects which are generally easier to tolerate when you are informed about them. It helps to know that some side effects will subside as your body gets acclimated to the medication. Medications are effective when dosed within a therapeutic range. Some medications need to be started at a low dose and gradually raised to the therapeutic dose. Even when this dose has been reached, there may be a delay before the medication becomes effective. This knowledge can help you be more patient in the early phase of treatment and less likely to prematurely stop taking a medication. When adjusting medications, I try to change only one variable at a time since making several changes at once can create a confusing clinical picture. The more you understand about the process of medication treatment, the more likely we are to effectively collaborate so that you can derive the most benefit from medication. Even after we settle on a course of treatment, I continue to work with you on a routine basis to reevaluate the medications to ensure that the current treatment is optimal.

If you are considering an evaluation with me for medication treatment, you may be working with a psychotherapist who is not a psychiatrist and, therefore, not able to prescribe medication. It is my experience that the combined treatment works best if I am able to have good communication with your therapist. If you were referred to me by your therapist, it will be helpful for me to speak with them before we meet so I can understand the reason for the referral. You will need to sign a release of information form with your therapist to give us permission to discuss your treatment. If I do not have a pre-existing relationship with your therapist, I encourage you to talk with them about your decision to seek treatment with me and ask that they contact me to discuss coordinating your care. The brain and mind distinction is an artificial one and I do my best to integrate treatment approaches as opposed to keeping them separate.

An initial appointment for a medication evaluation is usually scheduled for 90 minutes. It is very helpful to our work if you complete an Evaluation Form and return it to me before we meet so that I will be able to prepare in advance for our visit together. If you are in psychotherapy, please bring a signed Authorization to Release Information Form to your appointment so that I can follow up with your therapist about our consultation and discuss with them a shared treatment plan. Additional information about my practice can be found on the Frequently Asked Questions page.

Los Angeles Psychiatrist
Los Angeles Psychiatrist Psychotherapist