When is it helpful to consult with a psychiatrist?
- If you have noticed a change in your mood, your thinking, or your behavior and not sure why
- If you have been seeing a therapist or counselor and they recommend a psychiatric consultation
- If the psychiatric medications prescribed by your doctor don't appear to be helping your symptoms or resolving your issue entirely
- If you have been doubting the necessity of your medication, questions about possible side effects, or questions about alternatives
What is the different between a Psychiatrist and a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner?
A psychiatrist is a medical doctor with specialty training in psychiatry. They complete 4 years of medical school and 4 more years of residency training. A Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner is an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse with specialty training in psychiatry. They complete between 6-8 years of school and are trained to provide a wide range of mental health services to patients and families in a variety of settings. Psychiatrists and Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners are trained in both psychotherapy and psychiatric medications so they are able to offer treatment by means of pharmacotherapeutic and psychotherapeutic interventions. Other providers (like a psychologist, a social worker, or a licensed counselor) can provide psychotherapy services but they cannot prescribe medications.
Will it feel strange or awkward to talk to a psychiatrist?
When you think of a psychiatrist you might have images of an old bearded man speaking with you, while you lie on a couch and talk about your childhood. At SOMH, you can expect to be seen in a professional office environment. You will be greeted by our administrative team who will help you with any scheduling, billing, or general information questions you may have. After that you will meet with your provider in a peaceful office setting. We make great efforts to help our patients feel comfortable and relaxed. You will talk with the provider as you would with any other professional in a therapeutic environment.
Will the Psychiatric Nurse Pracitioner try to make me take medications even if I don’t want to?
No. Your provider will work with you to figure out the best treatment plan to help manage and resolve your issues. Your personalized treatment plan may involve starting a new medication, a change of your current medication, or simply no medication at all. Your Provider will then discuss these options with you and the possible side effects and alternatives available to you.
Will the Psychiatric Nurse Pracitioner try to “read my mind”?
Your provider relies on you to provide important information. You will be asked questions about your past medical history, social history, psychiatric history, and family history so that your provider will understand how best to help you. They cannot read your mind. You and your provider act as a team to make sure all the important information is covered. It is of the utmost importance that you are honest with your practitioner. Remember, everything said to your provider is strictly confidential and will not be disclosed in accordance with your HIPPA rights.
Will I have to talk about my past?
You may find it difficult or even painful to talk about your past. When you consult with your provider they will want to know some information about your past but you do not need to go into painful details unless you want to. If you have a history of trauma or abuse, you can tell your doctor that you have a history of these problems but would rather not discuss the details at this time.
We understand that you may have concerns about your consultation visit and we are here to help. If you have more questions about what to expect at a consultation visit, please call us at (845) 653-7300 or email us firstname.lastname@example.org.