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What services do you offer?
We offer psychiatric evaluations, medication management, laboratory testing, and brief talk therapy services. We also offer genetic testing services (via Genomind) that assist in creating the most integrative and evidence-based treatment plans. I have experience in integrative practice methods as well and can discuss non-pharmacological options. The great majority of patients will benefit from additional talk therapy services; if these are not already established, we can assist in finding a clinician that will support continued care.
Do you work with children and adolescents?
I do! I work with individuals between the ages of 6 and 64.
Do you conduct sessions via webcam (aka telepsychiatry)?
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the majority of our services are being offered via telehealth.
I can, on a case-by-case basis. I will need to the majority of patients in-person for both the initial evaluation and at least once yearly following that. Patients will need to verify that they have a scale and blood pressure monitor at home and can show the values to me while in the session. The software I utilize - Doxy.me - is quite simple to use and does not cost you anything additional. I am licensed in WA, AZ, and NE.
If local weather is poor, travel is not advised, and Bremerton schools are closed, we can typically coordinate and utilize this service for follow-up. If you wish to use this service otherwise, you must notify the office staff as such at least 48 hours prior to any scheduled appointment (noting that this includes business days only).
Do you complete disability, FMLA, etc. evaluations and forms?
As noted in my practice policies, if I determine that you may benefit from such services, I can generally address these at/after the 90-day mark in terms of when you established care. (Patients must also keep follow-up appointments as scheduled and there is no guarantee that forms will be completed at any time). Forms cannot generally be completed during the appointment time and will require a few business days to complete. Remember, too, that anything a provider completes is simply one piece of the process; your disability insurance company is responsible for addressing your concerns. I do not complete evaluations/forms related to Social Security disability insurance, as these evaluations are coordinated by the Social Security Administration itself.
Do you practice psychotherapy (aka talk therapy)?
I do practice psychotherapy with the great majority of my patients, in some form or fashion. I was originally trained as a professional counselor, so I have an extensive background in the various theories and modalities of talk therapy. I often draw upon cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), motivational interviewing, and solution-focused brief therapy. Most commonly, therapy is integrated into the standard appointment; if you might benefit from additional therapy, I will generally refer you to an outside psychotherapist.
I am also trained in Accelerated Resolution Therapy, which is a short-term therapy that can assist with numerous symptoms (and is related to EMDR).
Are you a psychiatrist, an MD, etc.?
I am not! I am a certified and licensed advanced registered nurse practitioner (ARNP); as such, I have a background in both generalist nursing and training in psychiatric-mental health nursing. I can evaluate and treat in a manner quite similar to a psychiatrist, but I draw upon nursing knowledge and theories instead. Nursing focuses on wellness and treating the whole person, so you will find that I typically do not focus solely on diagnoses.
What is pharmacogenetic testing?
Within psychiatry, providers are utilizing personalized genetic testing services more and more. Given my focus on holistic practices, I attempt to gather as much information about every patient that I see, so that every treatment plan is individualized, evidence-based, and comprehensive. Genetic testing is an additional piece of the puzzle that tells us more about your makeup and heritage than I can see from the exterior. It can tell us what medications might cause more side effects, what medications could potentially be helpful, and if there are any genetic anomalies that would influence your care; it cannot, unfortunately, point us to the absolutely ideal medication for you (yet). It is generally quite affordable and I currently utilize Genomind's services.
What will our first meeting look like?
Before your first visit, you will be sent a link to submit demographic information alongside your reason(s) for seeking treatment, past treatments trialed, historical data, etc. I will utilize this alongside what we discuss within a 60-90 minute session to help formulate a treatment plan that fits you and your wishes. I gather a fair amount of data at this first session. While we will discuss probable diagnoses, please understand that these can change and will never entirely capture your thoughts, emotions, etc. I do not always recommend medications at the first appointment; you may not wish to trial any medication and/or I may not feel that you are a good candidate for medication management at this time. I will also answer as many questions as I can during this session, to the best of my ability. We may discuss ordering labs to rule-out physical health concerns, finding a talk therapist, and more.
Are you able to coordinate care with my PCP, talk therapist, etc.?
Yes! In fact, I prefer to do this as much as possible, as coordinated care has been shown to produce the best outcomes for patients. If requested, you will be able to sign a release of information (ROI) while in our office; this will allow for the release of information, allow me to contact other providers, etc. Please note: if you have been referred by your PCP, a psychiatric provider typically will need to manage all psychiatric medications (assuming you would like to continue services beyond the initial evaluation).