*(The examples provided below are composite cases, synthesizing disguised information and not any patient in particular)*
You’ve decided to prioritize your mental health and scheduled an intake appointment with your new therapist – wonderful! As your therapist and you assess your needs and start to build a relationship, you may find you need a little more help in addition to talk therapy. In some cases, this may mean collaborating with:
- The psychiatrist or primary care physician who prescribes your antidepressants, while we work in therapy to understand the root of your negative self-view
- The psychologist who is testing you for ADHD or a learning disability, while we treat the symptoms that prompted the testing
- The physical therapist providing pelvic floor rehabilitation, while we address your sexual dysfunction
- The speech and language pathologist working with your child on their speech impediment, while we treat their related social anxiety
- And more!
Start My Wellness therapists want you to get the most comprehensive treatment, and with your permission, we collaborate with your other providers. We are always working to build a community, so that if you need a referral, we can direct you to the person we respect and trust.
This recently came up with Charles, a client of mine who is considering applying to graduate school. He recounted difficulties in college linked to depression: lack of interest in the area of study he used to love, low motivation to complete assignments he knew were important, fatigue that resulted in him skipping lectures, and a lack of self-worth that echoed throughout his mind in the form of demeaning self-talk – “There is no point in passing this final; you’ll never make it or find a good job or be happy anyway.” In addition to beginning therapy to understand and change his negative view of himself, Charles began taking an antidepressant six months ago. Now he is working to reduce his depression with both his therapist and his psychiatrist. With his symptoms improving, he is starting to feel more optimistic that he could be successful in graduate school and beyond.
However, Charles has other concerns he wants to address before taking that step. He has long wondered if he has ADHD, dyslexia, or another learning disability. At least as early as high school, Charles felt like he could not focus on one task for long, and the quality of his work suffered when placed under time constraints. He worries that he will face the same issues in graduate school that he did in college – if he can even perform well enough on the GRE to be accepted into a program. After some discussion, I referred Charles to the Oakland Neuropsychology Center for a consultation, so he could connect with a professional and receive the right testing to determine if ADHD, dyslexia, or something else is impacting his ability to achieve his potential.
Human beings are complex, and often a combination of treatments (for example medication and therapy) help you achieve the best outcomes. When your health care professionals work together, we can give you more comprehensive and informed care – and hopefully, get you on track to living the life you want sooner.
Author: Sadfah Shohatee, LLMSW
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