Meet Our Staff
At Stress Care Clinic services are provided by a multi-disciplinary team consisting of Licensed Clinical Social Workers, Licensed Professional Counselors, Psychiatrists, Psychiatric Nurse-Practitioners, and other mental health professionals.
- Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners
- Licensed Clinical Social Workers
- Licensed Professional Counselors
Psychiatrists are medical doctors specializing in psychiatry, the branch of medicine dealing with illnesses of the mind, or psyche. Psychiatrists diagnose and treat mental, addictive, emotional and psychotic disorders. While in past decades it was not uncommon for psychiatrists to specialize in psychotherapy or psychoanalysis and to treat patients without the use of medications, in recent years psychiatrists are more likely to prescribe psychotropic medications and send their patients to other practitioners for ongoing psychotherapy.
Psychiatrists may work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics and rehabilitation facilities, educational institutions, as consultants to other professionals such as lawyers and in private practice. Unlike other mental health care professionals, psychiatrists are medical doctors, licensed to prescribe medications.
After receiving an undergraduate degree, psychiatrists begin their professional careers by completing medical school and earning their MDs. They go on to four years of residency, usually working at the psychiatric department of a hospital or at a psychiatric hospital. Psychiatrists often pursue a subspecialty. They may decide to work, for example, only or primarily with children and adolescents.
Types of Psychiatric Treatment
There are many approaches a psychiatrist may use in treating an individual patient, depending on the patient's symptoms and overall emotional condition. Very often, a psychiatrist will use more than one type of therapy, either sequentially or in combination. Types of psychiatric treatment may include:
- Behavioral therapy
- Cognitive therapy
- Dialectical therapy
- Family-focused therapy
- Interpersonal therapy
- Psychotherapy or "talk therapy"
Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners
Psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners, or PMHNPs, are mental health care professionals who begin their professional careers with nursing school, then go on to complete either master's or doctoral degrees. They are trained to work with individuals and families with psychiatric disorders and to consult with groups, communities, legislators, educators and corporations. Operating under the supervision of a psychiatrist, they have a full range of psychiatric and mental health care skills, including the administration of psychotherapy and the prescription of medications.
Training for PMHNPs
A nurse practitioner must obtain at least six to ten years of post-secondary education. The candidate must first earn a four-year degree in nursing, then complete an approved master's or doctoral degree. The graduate nursing program must include at least 600 hours of clinical work. Finally, the individual must pass a comprehensive examination and sit before a board in order to be certified as a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner.
Services Provided by PMHNPs
Psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners perform many critically important functions to patients, both in and out of psychiatric settings. Their duties fall into four basic categories:
Assessment - Psychiatric nurse practitioners assess patients for physical and psychosocial disorders, both to determine the presence of such disorders and to examine the risk factors for developing them.
Diagnosis - Psychiatric nurse practitioners are trained to diagnose mental and neurological problems and to distinguish between them.
Psychotherapy - These practitioners may also practice psychotherapy of various types, including individual, group and family therapy.
Medication Administration - Since psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners are licensed to do so, they may prescribe, as well as manage, the administration of medication.
Disorders Treated by PMHNPs
Psychiatric nurse practitioners provide diagnosis and treatment for patients with all kinds of psychiatric issues, including, but certainly not limited to:
- Substance abuse or addiction
- Obsessive-compulsive disorders
- Eating disorders
- Gender disorders
- Memory disorders
- Problems of childhood, adolescence or aging
- Post-traumatic stress disorder