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Frequently Asked Questions

Which area’s of the valley do you visit?

As a house-call doctor I am able to visit any area of the valley.  Although the majority of my patients live in Scottsdale and Paradise Valley, I am willing to travel anywhere in the valley on a case by case basis so please give me a call regardless of where you live in the valley.

Do you see kids?

There is an extreme shortage of child psychiatrists in Scottsdale which leaves a lot of desperate families who need psychiatric care for their children. I see kids age 13 and above.  Since I make house-calls I am able to see kids who are house-bound, struggling with severe depression or anxiety but refusing to leave the house for an appointment and any families that simply want a higher level of care for their kids with someone who does both counseling and medication management.  I am board certified in general psychiatry which includes a lot of experience with kids, especially age 13 and above.  Kids under 13 do have specific needs and are best served by a board certified child psychiatrist.  I also can provide transition care for kids who are house-bound for any reason, until I can get them well enough to transition to a regular outpatient child psychiatrist.

Is a psychologist or psychiatrist a better choice? What are the differences?

Finding a mental health specialist or therapist in Phoenix can be a difficult task.  Many people are unsure of how to actually find the right Scottsdale or Phoenix therapist to help them. Both psychiatrists and psychologists are both experts in mental illness.  Both are “Dr’s” and both spend similar amount of time in education and training.  The differences are in their specific training and focus of their approach to the evaluation and treatment of patients..Psychologists have a “PhD” v. psychiatrists have a medical “M.D”.  both complete a 4 year undergraduate degree. Psychologists spend 4-6 years of graduate study and 1-2 years of post-graduate internship training. As a medical doctor, psychiatrists attend four years of medical school and four years of psychiatric residency training.

Psychiatrists have the training to integrate both medical knowledge and mental health knowledge which allows them to understand the connection between medical illness and psychiatric symptoms, prescribe medication, and order/interpret important lab/imaging studies. A non-physician therapist in Phoenix would be unable to do this.  Psychiatrists also are trained in evidence-based psychotherapy.  A psychologist typically focuses only on the mental illness of the patient. Psychologists are trained in a variety of talk-therapy approaches, but they do not receive any medical training and currently cannot provide medication treatment, lab testing, imaging studies or integration of other medical problems with mental health problems.  Both fields often work closely together and are both considered experts at the top of their respective fields.  Since many psychiatric symptoms stem from underlying physiological medical illnesses, I recommend an evaluation with a psychiatrist for anyone suffering from new-onset mental health problems.  So ultimately if you are looking for a therapist in Phoenix I recommend seeking out a psychiatrist since they can not only conduct in-depth therapy but they can prescribe medication if necessary and importantly evaluate whether any potential other medical problems may be contributing to your psychiatric symptoms.

What is the benefit of seeing a psychiatrist?

By choosing a psychiatrist who offers both therapy and medication can save you time and prevent any disconnect between having two separate providers.  This is the primary benefit of seeing a psychiatrist over other types of Phoenix therapists. The  other important reason for seeing a psychiatrist is they are able to thoroughly evaluate a patient’s medical comorbidities and determine whether or not they are either causing or contributing to their mental health symptoms.  In short, psychiatrists are medical physicians with expertise of the brain and related neurological and psychiatric conditions.  While psychologists are experts in therapy, they are unable to integrate the medical aspects into the psychological aspects of psychiatric illness.  Again, when looking for a therapist in Phoenix, do not forget that even though at first you may not be interested in medication or have medical concerns, if down the line this changes, it will be much easier to already be seeing a psychiatrist for therapy who can also integrate other treatment modalities.

Can I see both a psychiatrist and psychologist? How do I choose a therapist in Phoenix?

Most people who desire both therapy and medication need to see both a psychiatrist for medication and a psychologist for psychotherapy (counseling).  However there are a select few psychiatrists who provide both expert psychotherapy and expert medication treatment which enables a person to only have to see one provider-which is a rare occurrence for a typical phoenix therapist. There are multiple benefits to being able to see only one provider with expertise in both psychotherapy and medication because it takes less time, you build a better relationship with your provider and there is no conflict between providers regarding best course of treatment. I consider providing both therapy and medication paramount to my treatment approach to all my patients.

Do you take insurance?

Due to the limitations placed  by insurance companies that prevent the highest quality care, many psychiatrists and psychologists, including myself choose to deal contract directly with the patient and not through insurance companies.  This allows me to provide more personalized and attentive health care. However, I recommend all patients carry insurance due to other medical testing and problems that may arise and would otherwise be costly without coverage as well as prescription drug coverage which can be very costly without coverage.  Although other therapists in Phoenix and Scottsdale are likely less expensive, I provide a level of personalized care including the longest appointments, most flexibility, most availability and I come to your home.

Are you a board certified  and what does that mean?

Regardless of what therapist in Phoenix you choose-you need to ensure they are fully board certified.  I am a fully board certified  psychiatrist and a diplomat of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology which is the gold standard credentialing for a psychiatrist. Board certification ensures a psychiatrist has a comprehensive knowledge of all aspects of psychiatry and can practice knowledgeably and safely.  Many practicing psychiatrists are not board certified so it is important to ask or inquire from any psychiatrist you choose to see. You can see if your physician is board certified at the following link: https://application.abpn.com/verifycert/verifyCert.asp?a=1 (you can type in the physicians name and see their board certification status.)

Which disorders do you treat?

I treat all psychiatric disorders in patients 18 and above.  Some of the most common diagnoses that I treat include: depression, anxiety, panic disorder, alcohol or drug addiction, bipolar disorder, behavioral changes secondary to dementia and post-part-um mood disorders.

One special area of mine given I make house-calls, is treating agoraphobia and severe anxiety-panic disorder. Especially when patient’s become house-bound due to the anxiety. Agoraphobia simply means fear of being in a crowded place that is perceived as difficult to escape from.  Agoraphobia includes shopping malls, grocery stores and anywhere that people are.  Clearly this is debilitating and treatment options are non-existent with typical psychiatry office-based practices.  Also, since I have expertise in both psychotherapy, specifically cognitive-behavioral-therapy in addition to expertise and ability to prescribe medications, I am able to provide go to a patient’s home to provide the best care available. Agoraphobia is very responsive to proper treatment and people can have extremely rapid improvements.

I also enjoy working with complicated medical situations in which patients, often older patients are on complicated medication regimens or have several severe medical problems which are contributing to their psychiatric symptoms-this is something a typical therapist in Phoenix will be unable to do since they are not a medical doctor.  I always carry a stethoscope and basic medical tools and this is rare as a psychiatrist-I always maintain up-to-date medical knowledge which allows me to be very thorough and I always look for potential underlying medical problems that may be causing or contributing to a patient’s psychiatric symptoms.  This is especially applicable in geriatric patients who often have psychiatric symptoms secondary to an underlying medical problem that is often missed and written off as a “psychiatry problem.”

I also specialize in treating addiction’s and and one of the only physicians to offer in-home alcohol detox as well as treatment for relapse prevention which includes medications and cognitive-behavioral therapy.  I also treat addictions to drugs, gambling, sex and any other addictive behavior.

Do you to alcohol and drug detox?

I offer in-home detox and treatment for alcohol and drug addiction including opioid pain medications. Click this link to learn more about my in-home approach Click here to learn more about my home-detox approach