Combining talk therapy/counseling with the use of properly prescribed medication has been shown to reduce symptoms in clients seeking mental health treatment by an average of nearly 70%. While counseling alone can be helpful for many issues, there are times when medication may be used to provide additional, and sometimes substantial, relief.
CHD’s Outpatient Clinics offer consultations with our psychiatry staff, including both Psychiatrists and Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs). These psychiatric practitioners are trained in assessment and medication management of a wide variety of behavioral health conditions. Clients seen by a counselor in our clinics are eligible to have a psychiatric consult to discuss if medications might be helpful to them, if they have met with a counselor at least three times for an initial intake, and to establish an individualized plan for therapy. Clients are referred to the psychiatric staff based on these goals and medical need.
During a medication consultation the psychiatric practitioner will review medication history, allergies, medical issues, current symptoms, length and severity of symptoms, family history, and other questions to develop a full understanding of how the problem affects you. Based on the most recent research, the practitioner will evaluate the situation to determine if medication may be helpful, and make recommendations for the proper type of medication.
Regular follow-up is essential to assure that the medication has its desired effect. Often medication needs to be adjusted to make sure that the right dosage is being used. Additionally, other medications or combinations of medications may be recommended with ongoing assessment. Continuing therapy is critical to assessing the appropriate course of your treatment, and your psychiatric practitioner will collaborate closely with your therapist over the course of your treatment at CHD. As a result, all clients seeing our psychiatric staff must also continue in therapy.
With certain types of medication, once the symptoms have stabilized it may be possible to have your primary care doctor prescribe the medication. Your Psychiatrist or APRN will work closely with you in discussing your options for ongoing medication management if you are transitioning out of therapy services at CHD.
CHD’s clinics are located in Orange, Easthampton, Holyoke, Springfield and West Springfield, Massachusetts.