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Frequently Asked Questions


How should I feel about seeing a psychiatrist?

It is normal to have some mixed feelings about seeing a psychiatrist, especially if you have not seen one before.  It is important to understand the treatment occurs in the context of a therapeutic relationship.  This relationship is a confidential partnership between two people working together toward greater understanding, in order to develop better solutions.  People come to treatment with various goals in mind.  Some people would like to develop closer and more meaningful relationships, some would like to feel more effective and successful at work, and some are determined to be better parents than what they experienced growing up.  Many people just want relief from the crushing burdens of depression and anxiety.


What can I expect regarding my treatment?

In the context of the therapeutic relationship, we take our time to understand the meaning, context and origins of the problems.  We will discuss and explore the relevance of family history, childhood experiences, coping skills, relationship patterns, medical history and history of past psychiatric difficulties.  As we develop a greater understanding of the context of the symptoms, we can develop better solutions to achieve improvement, or even resolution of the difficulties.


Will my treatment include medication?

The treatment may involve medication, psychotherapy or both.  For many people, a combination of medication and therapy are the most effective.  This is similar to the medical model of treating some diseases, such as diabetes, high blood pressure or heart disease not just with medications, but also with healthy changes in diet, exercise and stress management.  There is a basic human need for talking things over in a safe and private environment.


What will occur at my first appointment?

The initial evaluation will take about an hour.  Expect to spend most of this time just talking about whatever you feel is most important to you.  If time permits, we will also talk about past history, family history, coping styles, and relationship issues.  As we work on these issues together, treatment options will also be discussed.  It is important that you have plenty of time to consider all the options, so you can make the best decisions as to how to proceed.  Of course, during the entire course of treatment it is very important that your confidentiality be protected.  If at any time you feel uncomfortable with any aspect of treatment, it is important that you discuss this, so we can work together to resolve the issue.