Your therapist might suggest that you schedule an appointment with a medical professional or psychiatrist for several reasons. The most common reason is to find out if medication might be helpful in relieving your symptoms, as many symptoms can be safely and effectively treated with medication. Students also consult with psychiatric providers to better understand complicated symptoms or to evaluate self-destructive urges.
Your initial appointment may occur with a staff therapist, medical doctor, nurse practitioner, or psychiatrist. This initial appointment will last approximately 40 minutes and will focus on gathering relevant medical, family, and psychiatric history to determine who best might meet your needs. You may also be referred for lab testing to rule out medical conditions that could explain your psychiatric symptoms.
The information you provide in your initial appointment will be reviewed by the psychiatric care team to determine how to best meet your needs given your presenting concerns, personal resources and Schacht Center resources. We will work closely with you to develop your treatment plan which may include any of the following:
- ongoing medication management by an existing provider from your hometown
- medication management with a Schacht Center medical provider
- further evaluation by a Counseling Services psychiatrist
- a referral for psychotherapy, or a referral for community-based psychiatric or psychotherapy services.
If you continue to work with a psychiatric prescriber on campus, that person will work with you to get a clear understanding of your current concerns as well as your strengths and goals. They will ask questions about whether you have overcome similar problems in the past and how you did so, and about any medical problems you may have. They will share their thoughts with you about the nature of your problem what treatment options are available, and what the benefits and potential side effects of the medication are.
Your prescriber will work collaboratively with you, but the choice of whether or not to take the medication is yours. If you decide to try medication, you will check in with your psychiatrist regularly to assess how well it is working for you and to make adjustments as needed. Most students will also continue to meet with a therapist as well for brief psychotherapy.