Information for New Patients
Please bring the following to your first appointment:
- A photo ID such as a Driver's license
- Your insurance card
- A method of payment for the first visit if we are not billing your insurance and for your copay
- Your completed new patient intake form
Note: We highly recommend completing the registration paperwork before your appointment, but if that is not possible we ask that you arrive twenty minutes early and bring the following:
- A list of medications you are currently taking
- A list of any psychiatric drugs you have tried in the past
- Your medical doctor's name and address or fax
- Any other documents you consider important for the doctor to know about
Follow Up Appointments
If you are prescribed medication the doctor will want to see you again soon to make sure you are tolerating the medicine well and that you are feeling better. Follow-up appointments vary in length depending on whether your doctor is doing brief psychotherapy with you or if you only need a medication management visit. Follow-up appointments generally last about 20 minutes (unless your insurance only allows the doctor to perform a brief medication management visit).
If your doctor recommends medication, you may need to try more than one to find the right combination of symptom relief without unwanted side effects. Many medications can cause harmless but annoying side effects such as dry mouth, constipation, stomach upset, diarrhea, headaches, or dizziness. These side effects usually go away after a few days or weeks, but if they are intolerable, your doctor may choose to prescribe another medicine during a follow-up visit with you.
Therapy can be offered as an alternative to or in combination with medication. If your doctor recommends therapy, our office has two therapists with an array of specialties and therapeutic techniques.
What is the difference between a psychiatrist, psychologist, and social worker?
The short answer is, psychiatrists are medical doctors; psychologists and social workers are not. All three kinds of professionals treat people with problems that vary widely by degree and type, from mild anxiety and depression to schizophrenia. Only psychiatrists can prescribe medication and social workers offer psychotherapy.
- Psychiatrists begin their careers with medical school. After earning their MD, they go on to four years of residency training in mental health. Psychiatrists in private practice typically spend their time with medication management and not psychotherapy.
- Psychologists go through five to seven years of academic graduate study, culminating in a doctorate degree. Psychologists use a variety of tools to examine a person's psychological status and personality, including questionnaires and neuropsychological tests to evaluate brain function or assess the extent of damage from an injury or illness. They are not licensed to prescribe any medication.
- Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSWs) are mental health professionals who have master's degrees in social work and have been licensed to practice psychotherapy after completing at least two years of clinical training. They are not licensed to prescribe any medication.
You may download a copy of our Office Policy Here
You may download a copy of our Appointment Policy Here
Additional Facts for Patients and Families