Our team believes in early diagnosis and interventions. This involves a thorough diagnostic evaluation, using objective measures as well as collaborating with outside therapists and school, if needed to complete the diagnostic picture. The process involves a 90 minute initial evaluation and a 50 minute feedback session within the next week. We believe that it is of utmost importance to understand the individual brain as opposed to trying to fit an individual within a box or label.
Medication management is often an integral part of treatment. At Monarch Psychiatry of California, we believe in the biopsychosocial approach. This involves understanding the key symptoms that are likely to respond to medication management. We work closely with the patients and the families to provide them the tools to make an informed decision. We believe in the process of gradual titration of medications, while closely monitoring for side effects and tolerability. We also work with our families to help simplify a complex medication regimen and try to eliminate the need for polypharmacy. Our team specializes in treatment for autism spectrum disorder, depression, anxiety, bipolar disorders, psychosis as well as sleep and behavioral problems. Sessions typically last about 25 minutes.
Medication Management and therapy
Our team believes in the biopsychosocial approach. This involves looking at the whole picture. Adding therapy to medication management, is not only known to improve the rates of response to treatment but also improves the likelihood of maintaining improvement once the treatment course has been completed. There are multiple therapy modalities that are used to augment the response to medication and improve the efficacy of treatment. Sessions last about 45-50 minutes.
Individual therapy, also known as psychotherapy is often indicated as an add on to medication management and/or solo treatment to help develop effective coping strategies and build resilience. A wide array of approaches can be used including but not limited to supportive psychotherapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Parent Management Training, Family Therapy and Applied Behavioral Analysis. The aforementioned modalities have strong evidence indicating their efficacy for a number of psychiatric conditions including but not limited to anxiety, depression, ADHD, autism spectrum disorders, as well as insomnia. At Monarch Psychiatry of California, we make it a priority to connect the patients and families with a therapist in –house or connect you to a suitable match in the community.
Psychological and neuropsychological assessments are often indicated and help our team understand, at an in‑depth level, what is happening with your brain and body.
Some disorders we commonly evaluate are:
- Autism Diagnostic and Observation Schedule (ADOS), for new diagnosis of Autism spectrum disorder
- Speech and Language Impairment (of unknown origin)
- Neuropsycho-educational assessments
- ADHD and Learning Disabilities
- Intellectual Disability
- Psychiatric Disorders
The process involves several steps:
- A comprehensive initial evaluation focusing on the clinical history and development
- Obtaining standardized objective measures from various sources, including patient, family and teachers
- Review of previous neuropsychological tests (if indicated), Individualized education plan documents (IEP) etc.
- Completing standardized test to measure brain and emotional functionality and assessments for IQ, attention, memory, visuo-spatial skills, as well as behavioral/emotional functioning.
- Preparation of a comprehensive report incorporating these elements and discussion of the findings and treatment plan recommendations in a feedback session.
- We will be providing recommendations /letters for school /employment and connecting you to other resources in the community as well.
Pharmacogenomic testing (Also known as genetic testing)
We believe in the era of modern and precision medicine. In some cases, we may recommend pharmacogenomic testing to understand the individual responses to psychotropic medications as well as to understand the individual metabolic profile. There is emerging evidence that this form of testing (usually obtained by obtaining a cheek swab), may aide in selection of a psychotropic agent and improve the changes of enhancing a treatment response with fewer side effects.