Frequently Asked Questions
Are you a board certified psychiatrist and what does that mean?
Yes. A board-certified psychiatrist means I have completed 4 years of undergraduate training, 4 years of medical school, 4 years of psychiatry residency and then pass a rigorous board-certification exam process. Not all physicians who practice are board-certified psychiatrists so I encourage people to do their research. 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. 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.)
Do you provide both office appointments and house-calls?
I offer both office appointments in my convenient Scottsdale office location and I provide house-call visits. I combine psychotherapy and psychopharmacological treatment for all psychiatric disorders and addictions. I offer in-home alcohol detox services valley-wide. I strive to provide the most personalized, convenient, flexible and private level of care which means I have both options available for my patients.
How does a new evaluation work?
The initial evaluation is crucial to assuring the proper diagnosis/treatment. I always spend as much time as needed to perform a thorough diagnostic interview; review all medical records/history; speak to family/friends/collateral sources, if necessary; and discuss all possible treatment options/prognosis. In almost all cases I recommend a combination of psychotherapy and medication management to most effectively target the underlying problem. If there is any addiction component I can offer both home-alcohol detox in Scottsdale as well as long-term addiction treatment.
Do you offer longer appointments?
I offer longer appointments than most psychiatrists and all regular appointments are usually a full hour, unless the patient prefers a shorter visit. Longer appointments can be provided if scheduled ahead of time or if time permits at the end of the regular appointment. My fee takes into my availability between appointments by cell-phone, text and email. Direct access to a physician is a rarity today and I provide this to each of my patients.
What age groups do you treat?
I treat adults and teen’s 14 and over. I also have extensive experience working with the geriatric population including patients with Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia.
Do you specialize in psychotherapy and medications?
I specialize in both psychotherapy and psychotropic medication expertise. Most of my patients receive a combination of both since I believe it is crucial to address both immediate symptoms and the underlying cause of the symptoms. As a psychiatrist, I am a medical doctors with expertise of the brain and related neurological and psychiatric conditions. I combine this medical knowledge with my expertise in psychotherapy to provide a truly comprehensive approach to care. While psychologists are experts in therapy, they are unable to integrate the medical aspects into the psychological aspects of psychiatric illness. Below is some background on the different types of psychotherapeutic modalities that I practice:
Psychodynamic psychotherapy is conceptually based on classic Freudian psychoanalytic therapy. Psychodynamic therapy aims to help patients become aware of and experience their maladaptive or vulnerable feelings which have been pushed out of conscious awareness. The Psychodynamic approach states that everyone has an unconscious that harbors painful, vulnerable feelings that are too difficult for the person to be consciously aware of. In order to keep painful feelings, memories, and experiences in the unconscious, people tend to develop defense mechanisms, such as denial, repression, and rationalization. According to Psychodynamic theory, these defenses cause more harm than good. Once the vulnerable or painful feelings are processed, the defense mechanisms are eliminated and the resulting psychiatric symptoms resolve.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a problem-focused therapy aimed at understanding and eliminating maladaptive thoughts and behaviors on a conscious level. The goal is to replace negative thoughts and maladaptive patterns with more positive and productive thoughts/behaviors. This goal is achieved by not only the therapy session itself but also sessions with assigned homework. CBT is especially helpful for anxiety disorders, panic, OCD and insomnia. CBT is also an integral portion of recovery and treatment of addiction.
Exposure therapy is also utilized for severe anxiety disorders, panic disorders of phobias. Especially agoraphobia which is one of the most exciting aspects of my practice being able to visit people in their home. Agoraphobia is when someone is fearful of leaving the home or being in public. Exposure therapy is a type of cognitive behavioral therapy geared toward the desensitization of a patient to their feared situation or phobia. Often used with medication, this has an extremely high success rate in patients overcoming their biggest fears (ie: crowds, social anxiety, driving, and flying) that are often preventing normal daily functioning.
A benefit of my mobile practice is my ability to participate with a patient during exposure therapy in actual settings rather than “role-play” settings in a traditional office practice. For example, this strategy works well for patients with social phobia and panic disorder. I start with traditional cognitive therapy during a regular appointment, but when it comes time for the patient to “expose” himself or herself to the feared environment, I am able to accompany them with them and actively apply both support and CBT techniques in a real-world situation. I have effectively helped dozens of patients with agoraphobia to successfully regain control of their life.
Do you accept 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.
Which areas of psychiatry do you specialize in?
I treat almost all psychiatric disorders and due to my comprehensive training. I do have a special interest in the areas of severe anxiety disorders (Generalized Anxiety, Panic Disorder, OCD), geriatric and dementia care, alcohol addiction, in-home alcohol detox, complex medical-psychiatric co-morbid conditions and treatment resistant depression.
One special area of mine, given I make house-calls, is treating severe agoraphobia and severe anxiety-panic disorder, especially when patient’s become house-bound due to the anxiety.
I specialize in working with complicated patients and in many cases complicated medical situation which co-occur with psychiatric illness. This is often the case in older patients who are on complicated medication regimens or have several severe medical problems which are contributing to their psychiatric symptoms. I often am able to decrease the number of medications a patient is on since polypharmacy is often the cause of problematic symptoms in a wide-range of patients. I have extensive expertise in pharmacology in general which includes medications used for all medical illnesses and an understanding of how those medications work, how they interact with psychiatric medications and potential psychiatric problems those medications may cause. A comprehensive medication evaluation is always part of my initial evaluation.