Medication in combination with therapy is often the most effective treatment for many mental health conditions. At 3-C Family Services, a 90-minute initial diagnostic evaluation with a psychiatrist will help determine an individualized treatment plan.
Psychiatric evaluation is a comprehensive assessment that involves an interview with patients (and parents if the patient is a minor) discussing current symptoms as well as medical, developmental, family, psychiatric, academic, and social history. We discuss previous treatments and what has and has not worked as well as treatment and personal goals. The interview may involve playing games or doing puzzles if the patient is a child. Rating scales or other tests may be indicated as well. It can be helpful to bring any pharmacy records, psychoeducational testing, or pharmacogenetics testing you may have.
Please note: If the child is younger or if symptoms make it difficult to wait in the waiting room by him/herself, the intake will be separated into a 45-minute parent-only appointment and a 45-minute child appointment on separate days.
The initial assessment may require follow-up sessions if more information is needed, such as collateral from teachers, primary care providers, or therapists, for example. If medication is prescribed, follow-up appointments will be scheduled to continue to assess the symptoms and monitor the effectiveness of medication.
Follow-up appointments range from 20-25 minutes to 45-50 minutes depending on the particular needs of the session. A typical follow-up appointment with the psychiatrist will include assessment from the patient and parents (if applicable) regarding symptoms, medication side effects, rating scales, labs (if indicated), individual goals, therapeutic needs, and treatment progress. Often the psychiatrist will monitor vital signs and weight/height. The frequency of follow ups will vary depending on individual needs, but typically range from every one to three months.