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.
Conveniently located in San Rafael, CA in Marin County. See map.