By: Shari Sullivan, RN Coordinator of Medical Services
The child and adolescent psychiatrist is a medical doctor (M.D. or D.O.) who specializes in the diagnosis and the treatment of disorders of thinking, feeling and/or behavior affecting children, adolescents, and their families. A child and adolescent psychiatrist offers families comprehensive care, is a physician and follows the medical traditions of professional ethics.
At Keystone Mental Health Services, an integrated approach is utilized. Our child and adolescent psychiatrist sees clients who have been referred from their Keystone psychotherapist when medication management has been identified as an additional treatment method of the client and family’s overall treatment plan and goals.
What does a psychiatrist do?
The child and adolescent psychiatrist uses the knowledge of biological, psychological, developmental, and social factors in working with patients. A diagnostic examination is performed to evaluate the current problem with attention to its physical, genetic, medical, developmental, emotional, cognitive, educational, family, peer, and social components. The child and adolescent psychiatrist arrives at a diagnosis and “diagnostic formulation” which are shared with the patient and family. The child and adolescent psychiatrist then designs a treatment plan which considers all the components and discusses these recommendations with the child or adolescent and family.
Our psychiatrist at Keystone conducts a thorough psychiatric evaluation during the initial session to determine the best treatment plan possible and is specific to each individual patient. The psychiatrist and family will mutually determine if psychiatric services, including pharmacotherapy, are the best fit for the child’s individualized care. Psychiatry services will continue until medications are discontinued, medication management is transferred to another licensed health care provider, or until the client has met the goals established by the primary psychotherapist.
How can a psychiatrist help?
Psychiatrists can prescribe medications to help treat mental disorders, in much the same way that medications are used to treat high blood pressure or diabetes.
At Keystone Mental Health, if a client is seeing the child and adolescent psychiatrist, and a pharmacotherapy plan is created, the client and family will be educated to the benefits and potential risks that may result from any prescribed medication. Otherwise, we will be glad to continue our psychiatrist-client relationship on a follow-up, as needed, basis, as long as the client is actively established with the Keystone psychotherapist. Keystone is not a crisis-oriented treatment facility for emergencies or medications.