Seeking support for psychological, emotional, or psychoeducational challenges is a big enough step even before you’re faced with the process of choosing a provider. How do you know what to look for, and what questions to ask?
Set yourself up for success by choosing a wellness center that integrates future-forward tools, expertise, and practice standards and partners with you in making measurable progress on personalized treatment goals.
If you’ve talked to a general practitioner about psychological issues or visited the first therapist to pop up in your health insurance provider directory, you may have skipped over a critical step in building a treatment team and plan that will help you meet your goals.
In clinical studies, misdiagnosis of mood and anxiety disorders by primary care providers can range from 65.9% to 97.8%. Even in a specialized setting, more than a third of the patients in one center treating severe psychiatric disorders were misdiagnosed.
Responsible psychiatry wellness centers offer and follow a careful diagnostic process that incorporates:
A selected set of clinically proven psychological evaluation tests
Behavior, nutrition, sleep, and physical symptom assessment
Psychoeducational Testing and Support
Clinics—particularly those that work with young clients—do well to incorporate learning differences and neurodivergence into initial testing and treatment plan protocols. Isolating mood difficulties from how clients absorb information and encounter the world and the people around them can lead to misdiagnoses and treatment limitations.
Look for a clinic with the expertise to treat mood, personality, and psychotic disorders alongside:
Learning disorders such as dyslexia and dyscalculia
Autism spectrum disorder
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
Positive Psychology Alongside Supportive Care
Instead of a crisis-response-only model, leading mental health and wellness professionals are equally concerned with maximizing psychological and emotional health to support happiness and success.
Connecting with results-oriented mental wellness professionals can help:
Improve professional and scholastic performance
Focus on Goals and Actionable Techniques
If you’re reluctant to enter into therapy with no end in sight, look for a clinic focused on setting and achieving useful goals. This can include cognitive behavioral therapy, trauma therapy, and regular goals review and analysis.
Ask how the treatment team incorporates goals such as:
Learn behaviors to support desired changes
Reduce performance and social anxieties
Break down big goals into practical steps and make progress toward them
Prioritize wants, needs, and values
Identify and understand emotions and how to process them
Learn assertiveness and how to set and maintain healthy boundaries
Technological Innovations at Psychiatry Wellness Centers
Psychiatric wellness is a field that continues to develop. In addition to using current standards of communication and scheduling (websites, apps, texting reminders, etc.) and telehealth sessions, centers can innovate by staying abreast with treatment methods that succeed in clinical trials.
One example is the use of virtual reality exposure therapy (VRET) to treat anxiety and phobias.
One of the reasons the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, is known worldwide is its holistic approach. Instead of being sent along a chain of disconnected specialists, a patient is evaluated and treated by an under-one-roof team that studies all elements of overlapping issues and conditions.
Similarly, leading psychiatric wellness centers offer integrated care from a team of specialists who can work together to provide:
Medication prescription, evaluation, and management
Communication and consulting with schools, employers, and other needs
This allows for the creation of a personalized care plan based on the client’s needs, not on generic or limited offerings from an outdated services menu.
Addressing Sleep Deficits
Is sleep a big deal when it comes to mental health? According to clinical studies, the answer is yes to a major overlap:
An estimated 40% of those with insomnia have a mental health condition
54% of adults with trouble falling asleep cite stress or anxiety as the cause
83% of adults with depression have one or more insomnia symptoms
For many people, the fix is not as simple as watching a YouTube video with a few sleep hygiene tips. Disordered sleep can be a complex issue that involves multiple elements—anxiety, nutrition, types and levels of activity, and more.
Whether as a primary focus or one arm of a treatment plan, look for a clinic that offers:
A structured cognitive behavioral therapy program for insomnia (CBT-I)
Sleep habits and reporting as part of the intake and testing process
Ongoing support and goal-setting related to sleep and nighttime behaviors
Innovative Treatment at Fairfax Mental Health & Wellness
Fairfax Mental Health & Wellness (FMHW) offers psychiatric evaluations, diagnoses, and treatment for clients of all ages. We focus on your unique needs and build a plan to help you meet your goals.
It’s easy to get started: submit an inquiry or call us to schedule a telehealth consultation or in-person appointment at our Fairfax, Virginia office.