How can psychiatric care help me?
A number of benefits are available from participating in psychiatric services. Psychotherapy by a psychiatric nurse practitioner can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress management, body image issues and creative blocks. Many people also find that psychiatric nurse practitioners can be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, marriage issues, and the hassles of daily life. Psychiatric nurse practitioners can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or point you in the direction of a solution. The benefits you obtain from therapy depend on how well you use the process and put into practice what you learn. Some of the benefits available from therapy include:
- Attaining a better understanding of yourself, your goals and values
- Developing skills for improving your relationships
- Finding resolution to the issues or concerns that led you to seek therapy
- Learning new ways to cope with stress and anxiety
- Managing anger, grief, depression, and other emotional pressures
- Improving communications and listening skills
- Changing old behavior patterns and developing new ones
- Discovering new ways to solve problems in your family or marriage
- Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence
Do I really need therapy? I can usually handle my problems.
Everyone goes through challenging situations in life, and while you may have successfully navigated through other difficulties you've faced, there's nothing wrong with seeking out extra support when you need it. In fact, therapy is for people who have enough self-awareness to realize they need a helping hand, and that is something to be admired. You are taking responsibility by accepting where you're at in life and making a commitment to change the situation by seeking therapy. Therapy provides long-lasting benefits and support, giving you the tools you need to avoid triggers, re-direct damaging patterns, and overcome whatever challenges you face.
Why do people go to therapy and how do I know if it is right for me?
People have many different motivations for coming to psychotherapy. Some may be going through a major life transition (unemployment, divorce, new job, etc.), or are not handling stressful circumstances well. Some people need assistance managing a range of other issues such as low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, addictions, relationship problems, spiritual conflicts and creative blocks. Therapy can help provide some much needed encouragement and help with skills to get them through these periods. Others may be at a point where they are ready to learn more about themselves or want to be more effective with their goals in life. In short, people seeking psychotherapy are ready to meet the challenges in their lives and ready to make changes in their lives.
What is therapy like?
Because each person has different issues and goals for therapy, therapy will be different depending on the individual. In general, you can expect to discuss the current events happening in your life, your personal history relevant to your issue, and report progress (or any new insights gained) from the previous therapy session. Depending on your specific needs, therapy can be short-term, for a specific issue, or longer-term, to deal with more difficult patterns or your desire for more personal development. Either way, it is most common to schedule regular sessions with your therapist (usually weekly).
It is important to understand that you will get more results from therapy if you actively participate in the process. The ultimate purpose of therapy is to help you bring what you learn in session back into your life. Therefore, beyond the work you do in therapy sessions, your therapist may suggest some things you can do outside of therapy to support your process - such as reading a pertinent book, journaling on specific topics, noting particular behaviors or taking action on your goals. People seeking psychotherapy are ready to make positive changes in their lives, are open to new perspectives and take responsibility for their lives.
What about medication vs. psychotherapy?
It is well established that the long-term solution to mental and emotional problems and the pain they cause cannot be solved solely by medication. Therapy addresses the cause of our distress and the behavior patterns that curb our progress. You can best achieve sustainable growth and a greater sense of well-being with an integrative approach to wellness. Working with this doctorally prepared psychiatric provider, you can determine what's best for you, and in some cases, a combination of medication and therapy is the right course of action.
Tell me more about a psychiatric nurse practitioner and Dr. Somlyay's qualifications.
A psychiatric nurse practitioner is an advanced practice nurse with a graduate level education. Dr. Somlyay received a neurobiological based post master's education as an adult psychiatric nurse practitioner (13 years of age through geriatrics). She returned to school for another post master's degree and a doctorate as a child and family psychiatric nurse practitioner. Dr. Somlyay's graduate courses involved advanced physical assessment, psychopharmacology for children and adults, psychotherapy techniques and theories involving infants, preschoolers, children, teens, adults, and families. Advanced course work in mental health prevention, neuropsychopathology, and management of common and complex mental health problems in children, adolescents, and adults. She has received extensive training in therapy techniques of cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, mindfulness, coaching for life improvements, and motivational interviewing. Dr. Somlyay also maintains national certification as pediatric nurse practitioner (acute and primary care) as well as a pediatric mental health specialist. A nurse practitioner with prescriptive authority since 1990, Dr. Somlyay is exceptionally well trained to provide psychiatric services for all ages.
Do you take insurance, and how does that work?
To determine if you have mental health coverage through your insurance carrier, the first thing you should do is call them. Check your coverage carefully and make sure you understand their answers. The Seasons Clinic does accept Tricare military insurance. Wyoming Medicaid and Medicare are accepted.
Some helpful questions you can ask them:
- What are my mental health benefits?
- What is the coverage amount per therapy session?
- How many therapy sessions does my plan cover?
- How much does my insurance pay for an out-of-network provider?
- Is approval required from my primary care physician?
Does what we talk about in therapy remain confidential?
Confidentiality is one of the most important components between a client and psychotherapist. Successful therapy requires a high degree of trust with highly sensitive subject matter that is usually not discussed anywhere but the therapist's office. Every therapist should provide a written copy of their confidential disclosure agreement, and you can expect that what you discuss in session will not be shared with anyone. This is called “Informed Consent”. Sometimes, however, you may want your therapist to share information or give an update to someone on your healthcare team (your Physician, Naturopath, Attorney), but by law your psychiatric provider cannot release this information without obtaining your written permission.
However, state law and professional ethics require therapists to maintain confidentiality except for the following situations:
* Suspected past or present abuse or neglect of children, adults, and elders to the authorities, including Child Protection and law enforcement, based on information provided by the client or collateral sources.
* If the psychiatric nurse practitioner has reason to suspect the client is seriously in danger of harming him/herself or has threated to harm another person.
What is psychogenomic testing?
Seasons Clinic uses lab testing from Assurex Health and Genesight to help decipher an individual’s genetic variability and possibly help patients get on the right drug early in the treatment process using pharmacogenomics. Pharmacogenomics is the study of how a person’s individual DNA may affect their response to medications. Pharmacogenomics is the study of how a person’s individual DNA may affect their response to medications.
- This test analyzes genes that may affect a patient’s response to antidepressant and antipsychotic medications. The test includes pharmacokinetic genes from the Cytochrome P450 family and pharmacodynamic genes related specifically to the serotonin system are genotyped.
- GeneSight MTHFR is a genetic test that can help clinicians determine if additional folic acid supplementation is necessary.
Q. When should I let my doctor know when I need a refill?
A. We ask that you request your refill at least 24 hours in advance. The office is also closed during certain times of the year and you would want to have refills called ahead so that you would have continuity of medication even when the office is closed. Please look at the questions under the appointments heading to see what holidays the office takes so that you can ask for your prescriptions before those days.
Q. What is required when you have to have your Rx Authorized?
A. Sometimes your insurance requires that your medical provider get your prescriptions authorized as well. They contact the pharmacy or fax us a form for the doctor to fill out. Often the doctor also has to speak to a care manager to convince them of the need for the medicine - this is called a preauthorization request.
Q. Can I increase/decrease or stop my medication at will?
A. Please do not increase/decrease or stop your medications without consultation with your psychiatric provider or a supervising physician. These medications can have adverse (sometimes severe) effects on your body if taken or stopped incorrectly. Please do not try medication that is prescribed to anyone else – if you would like to be considered for a certain medication, consult your physician.
Q. Why do I need to come back to see my physician once I have got a prescription for medication for my problem?
A. Once you are taking a prescription medication, you have to come to see the doctor so that he/she can gauge if there are any side effects to the medicine that you are taking as well as see if it is having the desired results.
Q. Why do I need to come back once I am stabilized on medication?
A. Even when doing well, a person on medication should be monitored regularly by the prescribing physician. Subtle changes in presentation may indicate to the doctor the need for further medication adjustment. Also standard medical practice guidelines dictate that a physician should evaluate patients at regular intervals. Finally, a good patient/doctor rapport, which is crucial to treatment success, is based on each getting to know the other through consistent office visits and not just during times of crisis.