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How Do I Choose the Best Psychiatry Clinic?

By Sandi Johnson
Updated May 17, 2024
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Choosing the right psychiatry clinic is a very personal choice, requiring serious consideration of numerous factors. Aside from ensuring the professionals are properly credentialed, the factors you should consider vary depending on the specific reason for seeking treatment. Proximity of the office to a patient's home or work, areas of specialty or expertise, and any additional services offered should each be an important factor in a patient's or caregiver's decision. Likewise, the experience and bedside manner of the doctors and staff members are just as important.

Two of the most common areas of concern when choosing a psychiatry clinic are the area of specialty or expertise needed and any additional services offered. Some psychiatry clinics specialize in a particular type of mental health problem, while others specialize in specific age groups. For example, one psychiatry clinic might specialize in childhood mental health problems, while another specializes in helping adults struggling with various addictions. When reviewing options for treatment, choosing medical professionals that meet your specific needs ensures you or your loved one receives the most appropriate treatment.

In many cases, a psychiatrist only provides the medical treatment for a particular condition, while a therapist provides various therapeutic approaches for coping with the condition. Medications and laboratory testing are normally handled by the psychiatrist. Behavior modification, talk therapy, and other forms of treatment are offered by the therapist. Psychiatry clinics may or may not offer the services of several professionals from different disciplines under one roof. If centralization of services is important to good treatment outcomes, a multidisciplinary clinic might be the best option.

Many conditions treated at a psychiatry clinic require ongoing, frequent appointments. Several appointments each week or each month are not uncommon for most mental health treatment plans. As such, you should select, whenever possible, an appropriate clinic close to where you live or work. Long commute times make it difficult if several visits each week or each month are required. Extensive commuting also contributes to an increase cost for treatment.

Finally, the bedside manner of the doctors and other staff members is also important to good treatment outcomes. Patients should discuss approaches and treatment philosophies with any potential psychiatry clinic to determine if a practice is a good fit for the patient. Treating mental health conditions requires the patient and medical professionals to establish a good rapport. Making sure you or your loved one is comfortable with the professionals responsible for providing mental health services is a key factor in successful treatment outcomes.

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