Robin Bitner, MD
A Board-Certified Psychiatrist in Marin County, CA
I am a board-certified psychiatrist licensed to practice medicine in the state of California. I am located in Marin County and am practicing virtually at this time (all appointments take place via video or phone session). I received my undergraduate degree from Bates College (1995) and my medical degree from the University of California-Irvine (2004). In 2008, I completed residency training in General Adult Psychiatry at the University of California-San Francisco (UCSF).
I am currently an Assistant Clinical Professor at UCSF and teach psychiatrists-in-training as a volunteer faculty member. In addition to my private practice, I am on staff at MarinHealth Medical Center where I treat patients in the intensive outpatient programs (IOP/PHP) and in the hospital (consultation and inpatient stabilization).
In my practice, I offer diagnostic consultation, psychotherapy and medication management. I see adult and young adult patients over the age of 18. I welcome collaboration with other members of my patients’ treatment team, including other therapists and primary care doctors as well as family members when desired. During our first meeting, we will work together to determine a personalized course of treatment that best meets your needs. I have advanced training in psychotherapy, mindfulness techniques and integrative psychiatry that inform how I practice.
Although I may be listed on your insurance plan, I do not accept insurance in my private practice (I am only contracted with insurance companies for my work at MarinHealth Medical Center). Depending on your insurance plan, you may be able to receive some reimbursement for the treatment you receive in my private practice. I am happy to help you navigate this process and will provide you with a receipt that can be submitted to insurance for reimbursement.
My San Rafael office is conveniently located just a few blocks from the US-101 (nearest exit Central San Rafael), public transit and nearby downtown shopping areas. Dedicated parking is available behind the building. There is also street parking. This area is serviced by the SMART train.
Before scheduling a first appointment, I would like to speak with you on the telephone for 5-10 minutes to determine if my practice is the best fit for your needs. This initial telephone consultation is free.
The first session will be a 75-minute comprehensive consultation during which I will take a complete history, and we will have a chance to collaboratively determine what steps in your treatment will come next. Any necessary tests will be ordered, and after the session, I will contact past providers and/or family members who we agree would be helpful in providing extra information about you.
Psychotherapy sessions are 50 minutes. I am available to meet weekly or more frequently, and medications are used when necessary. We will determine together what psychotherapeutic modality best meets your needs.
Medication management-only sessions are 25 or 50 minutes and are usually monthly, but frequency varies depending on need. Medication management is available to patients who need psychiatric services in addition to the psychotherapy work they are already doing with a non-psychiatrist clinician. I am happy to consult with your therapist.
Fees and Payment
Current appointment fees are:
- $450 for an initial, 75-minute evaluation
- $350 for a 50-minute psychotherapy and/or medication management appointment
- $250 for a 25-minute medication management appointment
Although I may be listed on your insurance plan, I do no accept insurance in my private practice (I am only contracted with insurance companies for my work at Marin General Hospital and for providing TMS). Depending on your insurance plan, you may be able to receive reimbursement for the treatment you receive in my private practice. I am happy to help you navigate this process and will provide you with a receipt that can be submitted to insurance for reimbursement.
The full fee for your session will be charged if the appointment is cancelled with less than 24 hours’ notice.
All psychiatrists are medical doctors and have completed medical school plus residency training in the specialty of psychiatry. There is a wide range of treatments that psychiatrists provide and settings in which psychiatrists practice (hospitals, clinics, private offices, etc.). As part of training, psychiatrists learn how to diagnosis mental health conditions and treat mental health issues with medical interventions (medications and other types of treatments) and psychotherapy (with individuals, and sometimes, couples and families). Psychiatrists are informed and uniquely skilled in the integration of medicine, psychiatry, neuroscience and the psychosocial sciences.
Through formal training as well as ongoing education in seminars, classes and consultation groups, I have learned and practice a number of different psychotherapeutic modalities, some including:
- Psychodynamic psychotherapies
- Interpersonal psychotherapy
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- Mindfulness-based therapies
We will have time in our initial visits to understand together if and what style of therapy might be of greatest benefit to you.
There are many benefits that can come from entering into a therapeutic relationship. No matter what style of therapy, one of the initial goals is to develop a deeper awareness of one’s thoughts and feelings. This awareness grows more easily in the context of a safe environment and through interactive dialogue. Together, we will work come to a more nuanced understanding of the way your mind works. With this understanding, you may begin to experience yourself and others differently and make choices that lead to the kind of satisfying experiences in life you would like to have.
The use of medications may be recommended depending on the type and severity of symptoms you are experiencing and how those symptoms are impacting your life. The powerful impact of lifestyle interventions and psychotherapy may resolve milder symptoms quickly. In some situations, medications may be used on an “as-needed” basis or as a temporary tool, especially if you are noticing an impact on your ability to function as you would like on a daily basis. Recurrent symptoms that have not responded well to other treatments may be helped the most with longer-term use of medications along with other tools.
This will largely depend on your goals. Some people find that a time-limited course of medications and/or psychotherapy is enough to get troublesome symptoms under control so that they can move on in areas of life where they were struggling. More complex issues, such as difficulties forming or maintaining close relationships or moving forward in one’s career, may take more time to explore and remedy. The range of time can vary from a few months to a couple of years with the ultimate goal of developing tools and skills that you can use to help yourself.