Frequently Asked Questions
Your Questions Answered
What is a nurse practitioner?
A nurse practitioner (NP) is a masters-level prepared registered nurse (RN) with advanced graduate education in a specialized field of study. In my case, I specialized in psychiatry-mental health. Schooling first starts with obtaining an RN license which can occur by way of completing an associate's degree, certification, or bachelor's degree. I first completed a B.A. majoring in Neuroscience and Psychology then completed an RN certification always with the intention of going to master's-level nursing. After being educated and licensed as an RN then you can pursue advanced education to become a licensed NP, if you so choose.
Nurse practitioners complete didactic classroom learning along with clinical experiential learning out in the community, hospitals, outpatient clinics and many more settings. An NP education typically takes approximately 2 years to complete. From there, the recent NP student graduate passes a board examination in their specialized field before becoming license in the state in which they intent to practice. Board certification and subsequent licensing following completing clinical hours and required coursework, allows the NP to make assessments, provide working diagnosis(es), prescribe medications within one's scope of practice, and provide other treatments within practice scope which in my case includes providing therapy, injecting prescribed psychotropics, when applicable, and the like.
How much are your visits?
Psychiatric evaluations are $400 out-of-pocket and typically occur once.
Medication management visits are $200 out-of-pocket.
All visits are virtual at this time.
While we're here, why do visits cost what they do?
I'm glad you asked! Taking back the power your mental dis-ease has over you and your life is a noble and paramount investment. After all, how we think and feel about ourselves, our life circumstances, and our world dictates the simple and complex network of behaviors that follows. Thus gaining control back over our mental state of being has the potential to literally change our lives.
I recommend you find books, articles, people with similar backgrounds to you that triumph over painful life circumstances. I recommend that you begin to look into improving your physical health by way of enhancing your nutrition and your physical activity levels. I recommend you continue to spend time with your pet(s), your creative outlet and whomever you may have in your life, IRL or online, that allow you to continue to feel that much better. Do these things, in the meantime, while you are able to take the time to be able to cover the financials associated with this next step in your mental wellness journey such as what's offered at a place like Spirit Clinic. Do these things even if you have elected to make Spirit Clinic your therapeutic hub. Remember, the 'little' non-prescriptive things are tremendously important as the moment-to-moment cumulative activities you do (or don't do) become greatly impactful over time.
Back to the question of cost, do know that the rates charged at Spirit Clinic are on par with the current market as well as peers in the private psychiatry practice space, in the surrounding area.
Not only are the current listed rates in keeping with the market, at Spirit Clinic, you are offered a curated and thoughtful environment with which your psychiatric needs will be tended to by a board certified psychiatric-mental health practitioner educated and trained at one of the top psychiatric-mental health graduate nursing programs in the country.
You will find all services at Spirit Clinic to be thorough, thoughtful, and based on a combination of standardized measurements as well as my experience assessing and treating diverse psychiatric populations.
Finally, all medication management visits include complementary supportive therapy aimed to help de-mystify those parts of your thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and relationships that appear most elusive to your understanding.
What is your new patient procedure?
New patients will need to first get in contact with Spirit Clinic, currently, this is by way of email correspondence or through Psychology Today.
Once your message is received, you will get a call and/or email from me detailing your next steps. Next steps include completing compulsory new patient documents that will be emailed to you (available for download on the website soon). If you are coming from another psychiatric provider, do bring your medical records from your former provider. Be sure to also bring records from any recent psychiatric hospitalizations and/or history of specialized treatment(s) i.e., TMS, ECT, ketamine infusions, and the like. You will also need to bring a list of all your medications (including non-psychiatric).
Please arrive 15 to 30 minutes early to your psychiatric evaluation.
What can I expect the psychiatric evaluation to be like?
Expect to answer lots and lots of questions. Psychiatric evaluations feel different for everyone. To some it can be "not so bad" and to others it can feel like an emotional marathon.
Some patients feel comfortable bringing a trusted friend, partner, family member to the evaluations. The additional support can be present for the entire evaluation or for just a portion of the eval, after you've given verbal consent to disclose your medically-sensitive information.
Are you accepting new patients?
Yes! Patients are currently being scheduled for mid-January 2020.
Do you offer psychotherapy/counseling?
At this time, psychotherapy and counseling services alone are not yet available at Spirit Clinic. However, every 30 to 40 minute medication management visit includes complimentary supportive therapy to help you begin to deeply understand the root cause of whatever psychological disturbance may be causing suffering for you at this time in your life.
It is recommended that all patients seeking medication management include psychotherapy and/or counseling as a part of their treatment plan as studies have shown time and again that medications and therapy work better together than either treatment does alone.
Including therapy in your treatment plan is especially and *highly* recommended for patients suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder, Panic Disorder/Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and PTSD/survivors of abuse.
Do you see children and teens?
At this time, the minimal patient age is 17. In the future, children and adolescence can schedule to be seen for psychotherapeutic counseling only. Medication management will not be available for children and early to mid-adolescence.
I'm not feeling well and can't make my scheduled appointment time, what's your cancellation policy?
Emergencies and unexpected illnesses happen to all of us. That is why all patients are allowed exactly one (1) cancellation with less than 24 hours notice. Thereafter, appointment cancellations must be made within 24 hours or more whenever possible.
If after the first less than 24-hour cancellation notice (as discussed above), a late cancellation or no call/no show occurs, then you will be charged 35% of the cost of your missed scheduled visit at the time of your next scheduled visit. That is an out-of-pocket $140 charge for missed psychiatric evaluations and a $70 charge for missed medication management visits due at the time of the next scheduled visit. This charge is in addition to the cost of your current scheduled visit.
And is there a late policy?
Please arrive on-time or earlier to your scheduled appointment time. If you are running late to your appointment and want to keep your time slot do contact Spirit Clinic and let the tardiness be known.
I couldn't get my preferred appointment date/time, do you have a waiting list?
Yes. Waiting lists are utilized especially in the case of cancellations. This further reiterates the importance of closely following the cancellation policy so that others can be offered the date/time they prefer while actually having enough notice to be able to make the cancelled appointment time.
My work and home is too far from Spirit Clinic to make the evening hours so I can only come in on Saturday or Sunday, do you see patients on weekends?
Yes, kind of. Currently, Saturday hours are 10am to 2pm. Sunday availability is on a case by case basis so please feel free to contact Spirit Clinic to see if you can be accommodated for a Sunday appointment.
How long does it take you to respond to emails?
Spirit Clinic is a single-person operation and, with that said, every effort is made to respond to queries within one (1) business day. You can anticipate an office phone number to be established and included on the website by January 2020.