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Dr. Fischer employs a MULTI-PHASE TREATMENT PROCESS. Treatment begins with the Initial Evaluation/Diagnosis.
PHASE I: INITIAL EVALUATION/DIAGNOSIS
To provide a precise psychiatric diagnosis, the chief complaint is identified; a thorough patient evaluation and detailed family history are taken to identify patterns and symptoms of Mood Disorder, Anxiety Disorders, Attention Deficit Disorder, Behavioral Disorders, Personality Disorders and/or relationship disorders.
If it is determined that the patient has a problem that would benefit from medication, this recommendation will be discussed with the patient. If the patient agrees with this, it is then determined which medication would be best suited for their particular needs. If it is determined that the patient would benefit from entering psychotherapy, the frequency of appointments is determined. People are unique and different. They respond differently to medications and psychotherapy. For this reason treatment plans are personalized to meet the individual’s needs and interest. If both psychotherapy and medication management is indicated then this combination will be addressed, a treatment plan established and treatment initiated.
Many people benefit most from an integrated treatment approach. Current practice in psychiatry recognizes that treating underlying neurochemical imbalance, should it exist, with medication actually enhances a person’s ability to utilize psychotherapy. By freeing the patient from the distortions that these chemical imbalances impose on the patient’s thinking, moods, and/or behavior, he or she is actually better able to make use of psychotherapy and receive the insights and develop the psychological growth that psychotherapy offers. Pharmacology alone is generally insufficient for complete recovery. While drug therapy may be the cornerstone of recovery, there is almost always a need for some degree of educational and psychosocial intervention. People are unique and different. They respond differently to medications and psychotherapy. For this reason the treatment plan is personalized and tailored to meet the individual’s needs and interest.
In addition to psychopharmalogical treatment, patients often need to explore areas of their life that require more extensive change. In these cases, psychotherapy is indicated and available. A combination of talk therapy and medication are often necessary to achieve optimal results. Long-term psychotherapy may not be indicated for some patients. Some patients may be in psychotherapy elsewhere and come to us for medication evaluation and management alone or for second opinions.
PHASE II: PSYCHOPHARMACOLOGY AND PSYCHOTHERAPY
Based on the findings of the initial evaluation, Dr. Fischer initiates weekly psychopharmacological follow-up visits to adjust medications as necessary in order to achieve the desired therapeutic results. The weekly follow-up visits can develop into bi-monthly and eventually monthly visits to monitor medication levels, patient progress and to deal with possible medication side effects. When indicated, medication levels are monitored and adjusted.
PHASE III: PROGRESS ASSESSMENT
In this phase of treatment, the patient’s overall mood and behavioral responses are evaluated for signs of improvement. The patient’s progress is evaluated at regular intervals, generally monthly and treatment is adjusted accordingly.