The process of helping your child, teen, or young adult begins with up to four meetings to evaluate him/her/them in a variety of settings (alone and with family), involving talk, play, and learning tasks. The initial evaluation includes:
Obtaining information/history from both parents (including any non-custodial parent still involved with the child)
Meeting the child one time with the entire family
Meeting the child alone, includes a diagnostic interview and time for brief play (for children 11 and under) and/or screening for learning and developmental disabilities (if appropriate)
Checking information with referring pediatricians or family doctors, current school teachers and tutors, and any ongoing therapists
Reviewing any previous educational, psychological, or neuropsychological evaluations
Holding a Summary and Planning meeting with both parents, which will include the child
My commitment is to make certain that effective, evidence-based non-drug treatments (counseling and school interventions) have been thoroughly employed or will be tried first before considering medication interventions.
Child-centered but parent-directed. I treat the family as a system, meaning that some sessions include both parents and the child, and other times when I meet with the parents alone.
Child check-in sessions. I meet with the child regularly to check in and offer suggestions and advice for addressing problems.
Techniques that work for the individual and family. I employ a variety of psychotherapeutic techniques, including behavior-modification approaches, cognitive-behavioral strategies, externalizing the problem, and other practices. When necessary, I can address marital and adult issues within the context of ongoing family therapy.
Solution-oriented therapies. Therapies tend to be brief and directed toward solutions. If treatment is ongoing, visits generally are every other week. On average, treatment for an initial problem is between 8 and 10 visits over three to six months. But I also have had relationships with families that have gone on for decades.
Medications can make a huge difference. However, positive changes must be weighed against possible immediate and long-term adverse effects.
With more than forty year's experience in the use of psychiatric medications for children and adults, I remain committed to first employing non-drug interventions over weeks or two to three months to determine their overall value.
If problems continue, I will consider medications beginning with the safest versus their adverse effects.
I try to avoid using multiple psychiatric medications unless absolutely necessary.
I am available 24/7 for any emergencies or concerns regarding the use of psychiatric medications.