Thanks for your interest in my practice! Here is some information about me and the way I practice psychiatry that you might find helpful. Over the last several years, I have developed a unique philosophy of providing care to patients struggling with mental illness. I would like to share some of those thoughts with you.
My thoughts on psychiatry and mental wellness
- I believe in a holistic approach to healthcare. Health and happiness come to us by addressing many aspects of life—mind, body, spirituality, social connectedness, etc. While drugs certainly have a role in treating mental illnesses, there is more to health than being on the right drug.
- I completed my D.O. degree at the University of North Texas: Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine in Fort Worth, TX. For those of you unfamiliar with what a D.O. is, it stands for Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine. It is one of two degrees, the other being M.D., that conveys full medical practice rights in the U.S. There are some differences in how I was trained that I think are important for you to know about.
- I was taught that the body has an inherent ability to self-heal, self-regulate and maintain health. There are many things that can disrupt ones ability to do this well, and that is a focus of treatment.
- The primary focus of medical care should be on the person being cared for, as opposed to the illness.
- Preventive care and the maintenance of health are at least as important as treating disease.
- I completed my residency in general psychiatry at the UT Southwestern at Seton Family of Hospitals program in Austin, TX and I am a diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.
- I hold myself to a high standard of ethical behavior. Medical care today is far too influenced by large corporations (e.g. pharmaceutical and insurance companies) and large egos. I’m proud to say I have not taken any food, money, drug samples, etc. from drug companies for over six years and do not plan to do so in the future.
- I am carefully skeptical of clinical research funded by pharmaceutical companies given their history of selective publication of positive studies and other questionable scientific practices.
- None of my patients have been in a textbook. Diagnoses should be used as a general guide for treatment, but that treatment should be customized for each individual person by taking into account the ways in which they do not perfectly fit the “textbook diagnosis”.
- People should be empowered to participate in determining their medical treatment. I commit to being transparent about why I am making a recommendation and am glad to discuss alternatives.
- I maintain openness to alternative medical practices. I frequently recommend yoga, meditation, acupuncture, diet modification and some herbal treatments to my patients.
- From my own experience as a patient, I have realized that patients want good customer service almost as much as sound medical advice. I aspire to be prompt, available, diligent and fair.
- I am a firm believer that “being normal” is different for each individual and embrace the wide range of human behaviors. My job is not to “make you normal”.
- I know that medications offer relief from emotional distress, but the only lasting cure is psychotherapy. Changes made in the brain by medications, for the most part, are temporary and will go away when the medicine is stopped or changed. The changes made to the brain in psychotherapy are largely permanent. I recommend psychotherapy to almost every patient because it has a role in treating almost every mental illness.
- In my own practice of psychotherapy, I generally integrate several forms of therapy. The most common forms of therapy I practice are psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioral, self-compassion focused and mindfulness-based therapies (also known as "third-wave" behavioral treatment).
Why "Moontower Mental Wellness"?
I wanted the name of my company to remind me of my connection to this community. Since moving to Austin, I have found the Moontowers or “moonlight towers” to be a captivating feature of the Austin skyline. I also like the symbolism of something that provides light in darkness, safety in vulnerability. Often those struggling with mental illness feel they are immersed in a universal darkness and are looking for some light.