I am a Board Certified Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist. I work with children and their families to identify and understand the concerns about the child and the effects on family function. Then the work is to develop strategies aimed to help things go better for child and the entire family.
My qualifications are Medical School, General Psychiatry Residency (4 years) , a 2 year Fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Board Certification in General Psychiatry and in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and over 25 years of clinical practice. I endeavor to work with the child and family to assist in helping thing go better for everyone at home.
Children and Adolescents are not just little adults. They think and behave differently and respond to treatments and medications in different ways than adults do. Children need adults to understand and guide them. This can be difficult to do at times, even with healthy children. When a child has a mental illness, behavioral problems, or difficulties adjusting to family or other stresses (illness, deaths, divorce) adults can find themselves confused and frustrated as to how to help their child.
There are many different types of clinicians who see children and their families. As a Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist I have expertise in the growth and development of children from physical, mental, social, spiritual, and emotional perspectives. I have trained to provide a wide range of services starting with a careful and comprehensive evaluation to understand the situation. The evaluation can take 2 to 4 hours (over 3 or visits) depending on the age of the child and the nature of the difficulty. This amount of time is needed to make sure parents have the opportunity to tell me all their concerns and that I can ask detailed questions and make observations to enhance my understanding. This amount of time also allows for gathering information from teachers and other adults with important roles in the child's life and meeting with the child, as well. This is critical for being able to recommend a treatment plan tailored to the child's and family's needs.
Available treatments include individual, group, and family psychotherapies, parental training, and school consultation in addition to providing medication (when and if it is indicated) for a wide range of childhood problems including depression, anxiety, behavioral problems, attention and other school problems and developmental disorders.
Over the years I have observed disturbing trends that rob children and their families of good treatment. Children too often end up on medications when other treatments would be more effective. Or because other appropriate treatments haven't been instituted children end up taking more medication than they would otherwise need. Often children end up in individual or play psychotherapy but the family isn't adequately helped to know what they can do to help their child.
A significant portion of children I see are taken off medications they don't need or that have actually been making their situation worse. (I have also placed many children on medications that they have benefited from or if the medicine doesn't help then it is stopped). It is important to keep in mind that the role of medication in children is to decrease their distress so that they can make use of what parents, teachers, and other adults have to offer them. For example, if a child is too overactive to head adults, then the cause needs to be accurately identified and then the right medication may calm the child enough so adults can work with him and he with them.
I love working with children. I use my time with children to understand their situation so I can help their parents know what to do. I work extensively with parents because that is the way to get, "The most bang for your buck". Think of it. If I meet with a child one hour a week they get treatment 1 hour per week. But parents and teachers are with the child the other 167 hours of the week. If I can help you to know what do at home and school then the child gets treatment every day! Be wary of interventions with your child that do not include regular parental work, not just 5 or 10 minutes with your child's therapist before or after your child is seen.
I am a member of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP). Please feel free to click hereto go to the AACAP site. There are many useful items in the 'Facts for Families' section.
Another helpful, informative and entertaining site is
Warren J. Steinmuller, M.D. Child, Adolescent, and Adult Psychiatry and Psychotherapy. 225 E. Kingston Ave, Charlotte NC 28203. 704 376-7654
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