What goes into a typical psychotherapy visit, and how does your psychotherapist prepare for that very first meeting? In this episode, Dr. Ronald R. Fieve, author of the recently published book "Bipolar Breakthrough," gives us a window into the world of psychotherapists & psychiatrists, as they prepare for sessions.
Dr. Fieve: If I get a new patient, typically we spend about 45 minutes, maybe 50, 60 sometimes, and I review their records, and I have a psychiatric evaluation where I begin with what the chief complaint is, and how long the chief complaint has been going on. What are the symptoms over the last 5, 10, 20 years. I also go into a family history, I take a detailed family history, sociopathy, alcohol, bipolar, unipolar depression. Any cases of suicide and people that have an outstanding achievement, and then finally I take a look at the different possibilities of diagnosis. The DSM IV Diagnosis, these are diagnostic categories that we have so we can come up with their either Bipolar 1 or Bipolar 2, maybe they're schizophrenic, maybe they got PTSD. Then I wanna know a history of drug treatments they got. I want a history of hospitalizations, I wanna know how they're functioning over the years. Above all, I want a medical exam, I want a cardiograph, a urine, a bio-chemical profile, before I start the treatment, or the first week of treatment, so I'm not treating thyroid disease with an antidepressant, so I know that the person's physically well before we start the treatment.
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