What To Expect From Seeing a Psychiatrist

When you see a psychiatrist for the first time you may feel stressed, anxious, and nervous because you don’t know what to expect. The decision to see a psychiatrist is a valuable step in caring for your mental health and wellbeing.

Here at Choulet Wellness, mental health specialist Brook Choulet, MD, provides top-quality concierge psychiatry and wellness services. Having a concierge practice enables Dr. Choulet to see fewer patients, which means high value and more time for you. 

Through her practice, Dr. Choulet provides highly personalized and individualized patient-focused care that focuses on quality over quantity.

If you’ve taken the step to address your mental health by visiting a psychiatrist, it’s helpful to know what to expect from psychiatric care. Keep reading to learn more about how seeing a psychiatrist can improve how you feel and function and what you can expect. 

Addressing your mental health 

Psychiatry is a key part of mental health treatment. Nearly 1-in-5 adults are living with depression or another mental health condition, and roughly 40 million Americans take psychiatric medication to address their mental health. 

Psychiatrists are medical doctors you can rely on to accurately diagnose psychiatric conditions and manage your medication so that you can lead a productive and fulfilling life.

A psychiatrist can treat: 

Medications can include antidepressants, sedatives, mood stabilizers, antipsychotics, and stimulants. These medications work by altering target brain chemicals.  

What to expect at your first visit

When seeing a psychiatrist, the first appointment is typically the longest. Dr. Choulet will conduct a comprehensive mental health evaluation. This assessment helps to identify your current challenges and establish an appropriate diagnosis and treatment plan. Prior to the appointment, Dr. Choulet will send an electronic intake form where you’ll have an opportunity to provide additional background information. At the end of the appointment, Dr. Choulet will share her assessment and treatment recommendations.

The goal of your first session is for your provider to gain enough insight to develop a treatment plan for you to begin. Sometimes this takes two sessions. Your treatment plan may consist of various things, such as a combination of medication and therapy to meet your needs. 

After your initial intake, subsequent sessions are shorter. It’s a good idea to plan on meeting with Dr. Choulet for an average of 30-50 minutes to discuss your progress. This gives the doctor the opportunity to make any necessary adjustments to your treatment plan. 

The road to feeling better

Once Dr. Choulet makes a diagnosis and prescribes medication, the road to feeling better is uniquely different for everyone. Some patients start feeling better quickly. In other cases, you may need to try different medications or a different combination of drug therapy before you make significant strides. Rest assured that Choulet provides expert guidance every step of the way.

Medication and therapy for more complete care 

Your mental health is just as important as your physical health and taking the step to address a mental health diagnosis is a vital part of taking care of your overall well-being. That said, medication is one aspect of managing a mental health diagnosis. 

We can’t stress enough the benefits of utilizing a combination of medication with effective therapy. This combination is more effective than medication alone. Dr. Choulet provides individual therapy in a range of modalities. 

Therapy can help you reframe your thinking and approach challenges from a new and more helpful perspective. Through therapy, you can identify self-defeating thoughts, behaviors, and patterns, and learn new ways of approaching hurdles. Challenging and modifying your current thoughts, feelings, and behaviors can go a long way in improving the way you feel and function. 

How to make the most of your first visit 

Take some time to prepare a day or two before your appointment. It helps to make a list of questions and concerns and reflect on your thoughts. You’ll have time during your visit to ask questions and have any concerns addressed.

Be honest about your medical and mental health history. While you may feel vulnerable discussing certain distressing thoughts or behaviors, it’s crucial for your provider to know the full scope of what you’re dealing with to best help you. Plan to discuss how your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors affect your life. Doing so paints a more clear picture for the doctor. 

If you’re starting your psychiatry journey, Dr. Choulet can help. We believe that establishing a strong collaborative relationship with a mental health professional results in superior mental healthcare.

To get started, call our Scottsdale, Arizona office to schedule an appointment with Dr. Choulet. The road to better mental health is worth traveling!

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