Have you thought about having psychotherapy? How about home psychotherapy?

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A psychotherapist who makes house calls:

Psychotherapy is also known as talk therapy (by someone trained in psychology, psychiatry, or mental health counseling), and can be an essential part of treatment for depression or bipolar disorder (manic depression). A good psychotherapist can help you cope with feelings and symptoms, and change behavior patterns that may contribute to symptoms you may be experiencing

 Home psychotherapy or a psychotherapy house call can offer you all the benefits of the traditional office-based therapy but in the comfort of your own home, office, coffee shop or on a walk.  A visiting psychotherapist may help alleviate some of the stigmas with entering a mental health office-based practice, and may also be more efficient in the therapeutic relationship helping you achieve symptom remission sooner. 

 Talk therapy is talking about your problems and working toward short term and long term solutions. It is not uncommon to have some homework to improve the efficiency of the process such as tracking your moods, writing about your thoughts, or participating in social activities that have caused anxiety in the past (exposure therapy). You might be encouraged or challenged to look at things differently or learn new ways to react to events or people. You may get very upset with your therapist, and the test will be if you stay or quit. The aim is to help you work through stressful situations in the experimental space known as the “session.” 

 Who does psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy can be done by a variety of trained professionals some of which can also prescribe medications. Psychotherapy is done by social workers who are certified LCSWs, physicians who are board certified psychiatrists, Ph.D. or Psy.D. Psychologists, as well as other counselors who may have different professional designations and are licensed by a state board and professional governing body.  Another common psychiatric mental health care provider that also does psychotherapy and can also prescribe medication is the psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (NP).  Home visiting psychiatry or psychotherapy is not common but does exist in Manhattan.

 Sometimes in therapy, you may be asked to review past events, but often the aim is to move forward and contend with coping with current thoughts, feelings and life issues. Focusing on the past can help explain things in your life, but focusing on the present can help you cope with the pressing and prepare for the future. You might see your psychotherapist more often at the beginning of treatment, and later, as you learn to manage problems and avoid triggers, you might go to psychotherapy appointments less frequently. 

 Before you enter into therapy

Before psychotherapy begins, it is essential to have a comprehensive psychiatric evaluation by a psychiatrist or psychiatric nurse practitioner. This assessment is intended to rule out underlying medical conditions that may only present with psychiatric symptoms.  This psychiatric evaluation allows the therapist to capture essential details about your current symptoms and history to make sure more we are not ignoring more pressing issues.  Sometimes a medical condition can be subclinical and create an uphill battle for the mind and body. For that reason, a therapist who can order and interpret diagnostic tests, and prescribe medication may be necessary at first or during acute phases.   Also, before the talk therapy begins an assessment of how you cope with stress currently, or how you would like to deal with stress that may arise in a session needs to be determined.  Also,  identifying who are support people in your life that you are willing to allow your therapist to contact in case of emergency (as deemed so by them). 

 Home psychotherapy can help you:

·         Understand your illness

·         Define and reach wellness goals

·         Overcome fears or insecurities

·         Cope with stress

·         Make sense of past traumatic experiences

·         Separate your true personality from the mood swings caused by your illness

·         Identify triggers that may worsen your symptoms

·         Improve relationships with family and friends

·         Establish a stable, dependable routine

·         Develop a plan for coping with crises

·         Understand why things bother you and what you can do about them

·         End destructive habits such as drinking, using drugs, overspending or unhealthy sex. 

 How do you get started?

Make a list of the things that are bothering you and the issues you would like help.

·         Issues in your family or other relationships

·         Symptoms of changes in eating or sleeping habits

·         Anger, anxiety, irritability or troubling feelings

·         Thoughts of hurting yourself

 In your first few sessions, you will probably do most of the talking. You should tell the therapist what you would like to get from therapy and why you have requested a house call.   Make a list of short- and long-term goals with your therapist at the beginning of treatment. After a few sessions, your therapist may be able to give you an idea of how long therapy will take and when you can expect to see changes in your moods.

How will I know if I’m making progress?

After some time has passed, check the list and see if you’re closer to reaching your goals. It will be helpful to track how you feel each day and how you cope with stressful situations. Review your progress with your therapist. Improvement won’t happen overnight, but you should see some change, even if it’s just a better understanding of your thoughts and feelings. It is also helpful to learn everything you can about depression, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder and narcissistic personality disorder and their treatments.

 

Dr. Raymond Zakhari is a triple board certified (Adult- Adolescent, Family Practice, Psychiatric Mental Health) Nurse Practitioner (NP). He provides Concierge Medical House Call services in Manhattan and outer boroughs.

General #MedicalHouseCalls #PsychiatricHouseCalls (Therapy & Medication Management) #SkilledNursing House Calls Dr. Raymond Zakhari, NP does not take any insurance as he is out of network; provides concierge-style medical and psychiatric House call services. (If you have out of network benefits you may be reimbursed, check your plan for details).