Medication Management

Allenmore Psychological Associates, treats individuals of all ages with a wide range of problems and concerns. We have through years of experience that effective treatment often has several components tailored to fit the individual. For some of our clients, psychotropic medication – often prescribed and managed by a Psychiatrist or Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP) – is an Allenmore Psychological Associates Medication Management Prescription Pad Pill Bottlesimportant component of optimally effective treatment. Psychotropic medications are medications that effect an individual’s mental processes, perceptions, emotions and behavior to bring about a therapeutic result. We respect that some people do not want to take these types of medications. For these individuals, treatment goals can often be reached without having to take medication. However, other people suffer with the types of problems for which psychotropic medications can play a vitally important role in their treatment.

For years there has been a shortage of psychotropic medication specialty providers, such as Psychiatrists and ARNPs in Tacoma, Olympia, Gig Harbor, Puyallup, University Place, Federal Way, and surrounding communities. Individuals attempting to become established as a new client with these specialty providers have often been met with closed practices or very long waiting times for initial appointments. Since some of our clients are greatly helped by having psychotropic medications prescribed as part of their treatment plan, at Allenmore Psychological Associates we have made it a priority to include ARNPs as part of our team of providers. When individuals come to us with medications already prescribed by an outside specialist or their primary care provider, we are more than happy to coordinate our counseling services with their existing medication provider.

The Role Medication Can Play in Treatment

For some clients, psychotropic medication can augment counseling and help them receive more benefit from their counseling sessions. Traditionally, clients have been forced to have their prescriptive needs met by a psychiatrist, ARNP, or general physician practicing separately from their therapist. At Allenmore Psychological Associates, we are pleased to be able to offer psychotropic medication assessment, prescription, and monitoring services at our Tacoma Allenmore Counseling - Medication Prescribers in Tacoma 3D Brain Imagelocation for individuals who may benefit from them. These services are currently available only to clients seeing one of our providers for counseling. We have found that having counselors and medication providers practice under one roof facilitates coordination of care which contributes to better treatment outcomes. Since the counselor typically sees the client more frequently than the medication prescriber, the counselor is in the position to communicate information to the medication provider related to the client’s response to medication and possible side effects. As a result, a close working relationship between these two providers naturally occurs in a way that is not possible when they practice in separate locations.

We have found that medications and counseling provide the best results when they are provided concurrently in an organized, integrated fashion. There are a number of classes of psychotropic medications approved by the Federal Drug Administration to treat different types of mental disorders. Psychotropic medications may play a helpful role in treating a variety of problems including:

  • Anxiety symptoms
  • Mood instability
  • Depression symptoms
  • Attention and concentration problems
  • Disorganized thinking
  • Sleep pattern disruption
  • Psychotic symptoms (such as hallucinations and delusional thinking)

 

How Do You See a Medication Provider at Allenmore?

Psychotropic Medication Management at APA prescription padWe currently have one ARNP on our staff at APA (click here to see her profile). Her primary role is to provide psychotropic medication assessment, prescription and monitoring. To obtain an appointment with our ARNP, you must currently be seeing one of our psychologists for counseling. If you are wondering whether psychotropic medication may play an important part in your treatment, you can raise the issue with your counselor. Your counselor may also raise the issue with you first. You will then have the opportunity to discuss the possible benefits and any potential downsides that you counselor perceives that psychotropic medication may have for you. If you and you counselor decide to proceed with an evaluation for psychotropic medication, your counselor will refer you to our ARNP. Our front office specialists will check with your insurance company and/or managed care organization (if applicable) to determine what your benefits are, and whether pre-authorization is required. They will then schedule an initial appointment for you with our ARNP.

Before your initial appointment, your ARNP will have reviewed your chart and typically will have been briefed by your counselor about your problems and the reason for referral for psychotropic medication evaluation. Your initial appointment with the mental health nurse practitioner will last for one hour. During that appointment the ARNP will take a thorough history and will assess whether medication can be helpful. A determination will also be made regarding the specific medication to prescribe. The ARNP will educate you about the hoped for benefits of the prescribed medication, as well as potential side effects. You will be given instructions on how and when to take the medication. A follow-up 30 minute appointment will then be scheduled. The length of time between the initial and follow up appointment is determined on an individual basis to best meet the needs of each person. Clients will be seen for periodic medication monitoring appointments to track the effectiveness and to evaluate for side effects related to the medication. If the medication is not achieving the desired therapeutic results, the dosage may be changed, or in some cases the medication may be discontinued and a new medication started.

At Allenmore Psychological Associates, we recognize that anxiety medications, anti-depressants and other psychotropic medications are not necessary for everybody. Some individuals are opposed to talking these types of medication. Many clients do not need these medications to reach their treatment goals. However, for some clients, progress in reaching these goals may be slower without medication and the overall outcome of treatment may not be as good as if they had received combined counseling and medication treatment. With certain individuals the right psychotropic medication will play a vital and powerful role in their treatment. For these individuals APA is proud to be able to offer convenient psychotropic medication services that are integrated and closely coordinated with the counseling they receive.