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I often think how frightening (and sometimes annoying) it is to go to a doctor’s appointment.  Seeing a psychiatrist may be especially difficult because of fears that you may be blamed or stigmatized.  Psychiatric illnesses, like other illnesses, happen to people.  No one wants an illness to happen to them any more than they want to come down with a cold, heart disease or arthritis.  Unfortunately, no one has control over which illnesses he/she gets.  Over 20% of the population experiences a psychiatric problem during their lifetime.

If you choose to come see me, I want to assist you with the problems you want help with.  In order to do that, we will need to be partners.  We will need to work together to share information back and forth so that I will understand you and your concerns, and then be able to provide you with helpful information and, if necessary, treatment options.  In general, I strive to help you feel better, perform well at work or school, and develop happy relationships.  I hope you will request my services. 

Is there out of control anger?
Is depression causing dysfunction?
Is your child in trouble, or refusing to go to school?
Are you at your wit’s end?
Do you just want to check some things out?

These questions represent some of the concerns that bring individuals to seek my help.

MY SERVICES

One visit often is adequate to complete a psychiatric evaluation on an adult.  Several visits are necessary to complete a psychiatric evaluation on a child or adolescent.  Once the evaluation process is complete, I review the diagnosis and treatment recommendations with you.  It is of particular importance to me that you understand the reasoning behind my recommendations and that we agree on the treatment plan.  Sometimes there are medications which can help, sometimes there are not.  If I think a medication might be helpful, I will recommend it and discuss it thoroughly with you so that you will be aware of the pros and cons of taking a medication and what side effects might occur.  I will inform you of other treatment options.  I want us to work together in the decision-making process.  As your doctor, I want you to get better – to feel better, handle problems better and be happier. 

During the process of having a psychiatric evaluation and being treated, please feel free to discuss any concerns you have with me.  I am committed to providing the highest quality service possible, in a caring and considerate manner.  I also value your feedback regarding the quality of service my office and I provide.  Please tell me or write a note to me if you have any concerns.

My services for children and adolescents

Most parents do not know what to expect when they bring their child to see a psychiatrist.  Let me explain: The evaluation consists of at least two, but possibly more, 45-minute sessions.  Initially, I meet with the family and the child.  Over the course of our meetings, I see the parents (or guardians) alone and the child alone.  It is very important to be as open and honest as possible. 

In order for me to do the best job I can, I need as much information as possible regarding your child’s growth, development, family environment, school experiences, medical issues, and stressors.  Simply put, I will need to understand what your child’s life has been like.  Given that you have gone through the difficult process of deciding to bring your child to come see me, I want to be exceptionally thorough in performing the evaluation.  Please feel free to bring report cards, teachers’ comments, family photos, past evaluations and any other information which may help me understand your child.  Please talk to your child’s teacher(s) before the first appointment, if possible, so that you are aware of the academic, social and behavioral characteristics of your child at school.

Many factors contribute to emotional, behavioral or psychiatric difficulties, be they genetic, medical, environmental, coincidental or just unlucky.  There are many problems that appear the same on the surface, but which have different causes and therefore have different treatments.  The more information I have, the better able I am to accurately diagnose the problem and identify factors that are aggravating the difficulties. 

As you develop trust in me, please tell me about sensitive issues like marital difficulties, financial or work stresses, problems with discipline, or suspected abuse.  I will be most effective in helping you if I am aware of issues such as physical fighting or angry interactions.

At the end of the evaluation, I will discuss my impressions and recommendations with you.  We will be working together to provide the best possible care for your child.  It is very important that you and your child understand the recommendations that I make.  The treatment plan will be one that we develop and implement together.  If our first plan does not work, or does not work as well as we would like, we will talk about developing a new plan.  We will keep working together until we find a plan that solves the problem and is satisfactory to everyone.

Sometimes I recommend a medication.  If that is the case, we will discuss the medication fully.  The goal of medication, if recommended, is to make things better.  If, for any reason, it turns out that the medication is making things worse or causing bad side effects, you must let me know right away so that the medicine can be stopped or the dosage changed.  It is extremely important to me that my patients get better.  Therefore, if you think something is not right, call me right away.  I would much rather have you call, than not call, if you are worried about something.

GETTING STARTED

I have two offices.  In Lewisburg, my office is at 115 Farley Circle, Suite 202, Spring Run Complex, with the Associates in Counseling and Personal Development.  I am at that office Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.  On Tuesdays, I am in Williamsport at Gillum Psychological and Counseling Services, at 454 Pine Street.  For more information regarding my Williamsport office, please visit www.gillumpcs.com.  All new patients are scheduled in the Lewisburg office for the first appointment.  To schedule an appointment, please call Della McCracken, my secretary, at (570) 523-7509.  My office hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  You will need to come 30 minutes early for the first appointment in order to fill out paperwork.  The first appointment lasts 45 minutes. 

Future appointments are scheduled for either 20 or 45 minutes.  Only one patient is scheduled at any one appointment time and a specific amount of time is planned in advance for that visit.  By making an appointment, you are making a verbal contract with me to talk about your or your child’s difficulties at a preset time.  No one else may use the time that has been specifically set aside for you.  Cancellations, therefore, require 24 hours advance notice.

Insurances

I am a participating provider with some insurance plans.  I recommend that, before the first appointment, you call the telephone number on the back of your insurance card to find out if I am a participating provider with your plan, and to find out what the mental health benefits are, i.e., deductible, copayment, visits per year, etc.  Mental health benefits are almost always different from and less than regular medical benefits.  If I am not a participating provider, some insurances are willing to make special (single case) agreements with me since there are very few psychiatrists, and even fewer child and adolescent psychiatrists in this area.  If you have questions about your particular plan, call my office and my secretary, Della McCracken, will try to help you.  Please bring your insurance card to the first appointment.

ABOUT ME

After graduating from the School of Medicine at Hahnemann University, I did my internship and adult psychiatry residency at Yale University and at the University of Pennsylvania.  My child psychiatry training was done at Hahnemann University School of Medicine.  I then worked in the Philadelphia area for fifteen years before moving to this area in 1996 to work for the Susquehanna Health System.  In 2001, I opened my private practice.  I am Board Certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.  I am a member of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

About Psychiatry

Psychiatry is a branch of medicine which specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of emotional and behavioral problems.  Children and adolescents develop the same psychiatric difficulties as adults but are apt to show the symptoms differently depending on their age and phase of development.  Psychiatry has advanced considerably over the past 50 to 60 years.  Talking therapies and new medications can relieve most psychiatric difficulties.

RESOURCES

For reliable information regarding childhood psychiatric illnesses, please visit the web site of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at www.aacap.org.   For information on ADHD, visit www.chadd.org.   For Bipolar Disorder, visit www.bpkids.org.   For adult information, visit the National Institute of Mental Health at www.nimh.nih.gov.

CONTACT ME:

Call my office to set up an appointment or to obtain more information at (570) 523-7509.

The internet has confusing information about me and my addresses. Please use the information from this website.

DOWNLOADABLE FORMS:

For your convenience, from this location you can print or read the following:

 
       
         
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