Frequently Asked Questions
What is psychiatry?
Psychiatry is a branch of medicine that concerns the diagnosis and treatment of mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders. Psychiatrists use a wide variety of treatment strategies to combat many different psychological disorders. Psychiatry may involve physiological or psychological treatment, or a combination of the two. Physiological treatment generally involves the use of medications (including alternative and complementary medications) influencing neurotransmitter functions in the brain. Psychiatrists are licensed physicians, specially trained to treat patients with mental disorders and to prescribe medications.
What is Psychotherapy?
Our team has extensive training and experience in delivering a range of psychotherapeutic services. Therapy at PMA is provided either in conjunction with medication management (psychopharmacology) or as a stand-alone treatment. Our doctors strive to create a warm and empathic therapeutic environment where collaboration with our patients is emphasized to maximize the effectiveness of therapy.
We utilize an array of evidence based treatments that are designed to treat a range of psychiatric challenges. Types of psychotherapy include cognitive behavioral, mindfulness-based, behavioral activation, problem solving, interpersonal psychotherapy, brief psychodynamic, and supportive therapy.
The frequency of visits and duration of treatment vary with the goals of treatment. Most patients find that they get the best results by meeting weekly. We customize recommendations to your individual needs.
Indivicual and couples psychotherapy addresses emotional and interpersonal difficulties including marital conflict, depression,
anxiety, and stress management.
What is Psychological Testing?
Psychological testing help clients assess cognitive functioning including memory, IQ, learning
disabilities, attention deficits, grade equivalency, and personality functioning.".
What is Integrative Medicine?
Integrative Medicine (IM) is healing-oriented medicine that takes account of the whole person, including all aspects of lifestyle. It emphasizes the therapeutic relationship between practitioner and patient, is informed by evidence, and makes use of all appropriate therapies. Source: https://integrativemedicine.arizona.edu/about/definition.html
What is Lifestyle Medicine?
Lifestyle Medicine involves the use of evidence-based lifestyle therapeutic approaches, such as a predominantly whole food, plant-based diet, exercise, sleep, stress management, alcohol moderation and tobacco cessation, and other non-drug modalities, to prevent, treat, and, oftentimes, reverse the lifestyle-related, chronic disease that's all too prevalent. Source: https://lifestylemedicine.org/What-is-Lifestyle-Medicine
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness means maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment. Mindfulness also involves acceptance, meaning that we pay attention to our thoughts and feelings without judging them—without believing, for instance, that there’s a “right” or “wrong” way to think or feel in a given moment. When we practice mindfulness, our thoughts tune into what we’re sensing in the present moment rather than rehashing the past or imagining the future. Source: https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/mindfulness/definition
Is therapy right for me?
Seeking out therapy is an individual choice. There are many reasons why people come to therapy. Sometimes it is to deal with long-standing psychological issues, or problems with anxiety or depression. Other times it is in response to unexpected changes in one's life such as a divorce or work transition. Many seek counsel as they pursue their own personal exploration and growth. Working with a therapist can help provide insight, support, and new strategies for all types of life challenges. Therapy can help address many types of issues including depression, anxiety, conflict, grief, stress management, body-image issues, and general life transitions. Therapy is right for anyone who is interested in getting the most out of their life by taking responsibility, creating greater self-awareness, and working towards change in their lives.
Do I really need therapy? I can usually handle my problems.
Everyone goes through challenging situations in life, and while you may have successfully navigated through other difficulties you've faced, there's nothing wrong with seeking out extra support when you need it. In fact, therapy is for people who have enough self-awareness to realize they need a helping hand, and that is something to be admired. You are taking responsibility by accepting where you're at in life and making a commitment to change the situation by seeking therapy. Therapy provides long-lasting benefits and support, giving you the tools you need to avoid triggers, re-direct damaging patterns, and overcome whatever challenges you face.
How can therapy help me?
A number of benefits are available from participating in psychotherapy. Therapists can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress management, body image issues and creative blocks. Many people also find that counselors can be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, marriage issues, and the hassles of daily life. Therapists can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or point you in the direction of a solution. The benefits you obtain from therapy depend on how well you use the process and put into practice what you learn. Some of the benefits available from therapy include:
Attaining a better understanding of yourself, your goals and values
Developing skills for improving your relationships
Finding resolution to the issues or concerns that led you to seek therapy
Learning new ways to cope with stress and anxiety
Managing anger, grief, depression, and other emotional pressures
Improving communications and listening skills
Changing old behavior patterns and developing new ones
Discovering new ways to solve problems in your family or marriage
Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence
What is therapy like?
Every therapy session is unique and caters to each individual and their specific goals. It is standard for therapists to discuss the primary issues and concerns in your life during therapy sessions. It is common to schedule a series of weekly sessions, where each session lasts around fifty minutes. Therapy can be short-term, focusing on a specific issue, or longer-term, addressing more complex issues or ongoing personal growth. There may be times when you are asked to take certain actions outside of the therapy sessions, such as reading a relevant book or keeping records to track certain behaviors. It is important to process what has been discussed and integrate it into your life between sessions. For therapy to be most effective you must be an active participant, both during and between the sessions. People seeking psychotherapy are willing to take responsibility for their actions, work towards self-change and create greater awareness in their lives. Here are some things you can expect out of therapy:
Compassion, respect and understanding
Perspectives to illuminate persistent patterns and negative feelings
Real strategies for enacting positive change
Effective and proven techniques along with practical guidance
Is medication a substitute for therapy?
In some cases, a combination of medication and therapy is the right course of action. Working with your medical doctor you can determine what's best for you. It is well established that the long-term solution to mental and emotional problems and the pain they cause cannot be solved solely by medication. Instead of just treating the symptom, therapy addresses the cause of our distress and the behavior patterns that curb our progress. You can best achieve sustainable growth and a greater sense of well-being with an integrative approach to wellness.
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