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Psychopharmacology is the treatment of psychiatric conditions, chiefly Depression and Anxiety, with medication. Other psychiatric conditions which are amenable to medication treatment include Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Panic Disorder, Psychiatric Disorder secondary to a Medical Condition, and many others. A comprehensive understanding of these disorders, and the medications that treat them, is required. Often, a combination of medication and psychotherapy is the best treatment regimen to achieve remission of these illnesses.
Psychoanalysis is an intensive and long-term treatment aimed at healing the emotional difficulties which hold someone back from more complete gratification in one's personal, interpersonal, intimate, and vocational life. A patient engages in psychoanalysis with the goal of understanding what it is that holds him or her back from attaining this gratification. Through frequent visits, classically four times per week, the analyst and patient embark on an in depth study of the emotional life of the patient, with the goal of obtaining insight and understanding. Through this insight, the analyst and patient labor collaboratively to work through the issues on an emotional level, thus leaving the patient freer of the conflicts that held him or her back, and more able to work effectively toward personal and professional success.
Psychotherapy is a treatment similar to psychoanalysis in that its primary goal is to help someone make life changes with the goal of increased personal and professional gratification, but its general focus is on identifying conflicts and behavior patterns and subsequently making healthier choices. These healthier choices aid in improving quality of life and achieving life goals. The main differences between psychotherapy and psychoanalysis are frequency(psychotherapy meetings are generally between one and three times per week) and the emotional intensity of the "working through" of the conflicts. That said, I believe that a patient can have an analytic experience while in psychotherapy.
Psycho-oncology addresses the psychological, social, and behavioral dimensions of cancer from two perspectives: the psychological responses of patients at all stages of disease, and those of their families(psychosocial); and the psychological, social, and behavioral issues that influence morbidity and mortality(psychobiological, or the "mind-body connection). It also addresses the biological impact of the cancer process on one's brain, and more specifically, thought process and emotions. In short, Psycho-oncology is the study and treatment of the emotional and physical impact of cancer on its patients and their loved ones.
Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry addresses the treatment of psychiatric issues in the medical setting. This specialty involves evaluating and managing patients who suffer from a medical illness, and have emotional complications from that illness or its treatment. The emotional complications can include depression, anxiety, mental status changes or confusion, thought disorder or psychosis, grief, or existential issues of illness, debilitation, or dying. A broad and thorough knowledge of general medicine and medication is required to practice consultation-liaison psychiatry. Additionally, a consultation-liaison psychiatrist can be called upon to determine a patient's capacity to make decisions regarding his or her personal care, medical decisions, or financial decisions. While these determinations are not legally binding, they are a necessary component of the determination of a patient's competence to make decisions regarding his or her care.
Psychiatric Home Visits
Psychiatric home visits are conducted in person at the patient's residence. Patients appropriate for home visits include those who are medically, and in certain circumstances, psychiatrically not able to physically come to the office for consultation and management. Comprehensive psychiatric, neuropsychiatric, and psychosocial evaluation is conducted in the patient's milieu, generally in conjunction with caregivers such as family members, home aides and attendants, nursing organizations, professional care managers, and the patient's other physicians. Care is attentive, all-inclusive, thoughtful, and with a focus on aggressive symptom and environmental management. Please note that psychiatric home visits are not covered by insurance.
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