We believe that there is a problem in modern mental health practice. Most psychiatrists do not practice psychotherapy. They often write prescriptions without a deep appreciation of the whole person, which leads to a disjointed experience for patients, who often fall through the cracks. Our mission is to address this problem by combining psychotherapy, parent guidance, and medication, with the belief that this does greater justice to the complexity of each individual.
We offer an array of interventions, from medication alone to a combination of medication with psychotherapy and parent guidance. Even when we only prescribe medication, we do it a thorough evaluation to understand each child as a complete individual, and along the way collaborate with psychotherapists and schools. We do this because we believe that no one should fall through the cracks.
The theory of developmental psychiatry encapsulates this mission. Developmental psychology is the study of child development, tracing social-emotional development from birth, through childhood and adolescence, to adulthood. Developmental psychiatry is the combination of medical psychiatry, including an understanding of neurological development and medication, along with developmental psychology.
We do our best to understand each child and adult as an entire human being who has a complex personality and relationships with family members and society. We view psychiatric symptoms such as depression, anxiety, and behavioral issues as the tip of the iceberg, as manifestations of a deeper underlying problem. We have found that there are often issues beneath the surface that are related to developing personality, self-esteem, and a style of relating to others.
While symptoms are important, what is most important is how a child is doing in terms of social-emotional development, how they are interacting with their parents and other authority figures such as teachers, and whether their situation is conducive to adequate development moving forward. After all, though it matters how a child is feeling in the moment at age 5, we’re much more interested in making sure that child can function optimally and have a fulfilling and enriching life at age 25.
Many psychiatrists today follow a medical model that focuses on diagnoses and medications, but do so without offering psychotherapy. We strive to offer psychotherapy and parent guidance to all of our patients.
Psychotherapy is not only a method of treatment; it is also a tool to uncover the underlying issues in social-emotional development that are the foundation for future success, fulfillment, and happiness. If you are interested in getting beneath the surface and understanding your child’s underlying social-emotional issues, we can help.
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