What is a psychotherapist?
A psychotherapist is someone who performs psychotherapy, which is also known as “talk therapy.” Psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and licensed professional counselors all have varying training in psychotherapy and can classify themselves as psychotherapists.
How do I know if I need a psychiatrist or psychotherapist?
Generally, if you are certain you want to be prescribed a medication, you should see a psychiatrist. If you are certain that you’d like to do only psychotherapy (talk therapy), you should see a psychotherapist. If you aren’t sure whether you’d benefit from both or either, you can start with one, and obtain a referral to see the other if needed. Further, if you call our office and briefly discuss what concerns you’d like to have treated, our staff may be able to guide you on this decision.
Who is the typical patient of the Eappen Clinic?
Our patients come from all walks of life and we treat individuals of all ages. Some of our patients show mild or new symptoms, others come to our practice with treatment-resistant illnesses that have impaired their lives over many years.
Will health insurance cover my treatment?
The Eappen Clinic accepts insurance from several common carriers. However, not all plans offer mental health benefits. Before we schedule your first appointment, we will verify with your insurance provider whether your visit will be covered. If your treatment is not covered, we will inform you before you schedule your appointment, and can accept cash/self-pay as an alternative.
What should I expect at my first appointment?
Your first appointment will be a comprehensive one-hour evaluation involving both our nurse practitioner (Kristen Clark, APRN) and Dr. Eappen. At the end of your evaluation, you’ll leave knowing the next steps, including whether the doctor recommends medication, psychotherapy (also known a talk therapy), or a combination of both approaches. For more info, visit our What to Expect section.
Does the Eappen Clinic practice holistic medicine?
According to Gordon (1982), “Holistic medicine is an attitudinal approach to health care rather than a particular set of techniques. It addresses the psychological, familial, societal, ethical and spiritual as well as biological dimensions of health and illness. The holistic approach emphasizes the uniqueness of each patient, the mutuality of the doctor-patient relationship, each person’s responsibility for his or her own health care and society’s responsibility for the promotion of health.”
Based on the above description of holistic medicine, Dr. Eappen and all clinicians at the Eappen Clinic practice holistic medicine. If you have further questions about our approach to health care, please call our clinic at 844-632-7736.
Gordon J. S. (1982). Holistic medicine: advances and shortcomings. The Western journal of medicine, 136(6), 546–551.
At which location can I schedule my appointment after the eligibility check is done?
The Eappen Clinic currently has offices in Oak Brook and Chicago. However, our primary location is in Oak Brook, and we currently have limited availability in Chicago. See our contacts page for a map of our locations. When you call to schedule your first appointment, we’ll work with you to find an available timeslot at your desired location.
If I become a patient at the Eappen Clinic, is it inevitable that I will end up on medication?
The Eappen Clinic’s primary goal is to help you feel well again. It is impossible to feel well if you are receiving a treatment you are not comfortable with. If medication is recommended, but the idea of taking psychiatric medicine is unappealing to you after we discuss the risks, benefits, and alternatives of doing so, then we will do all we can to help you without the use of medicine.
From the initial visit and onward, Dr. Eappen and his team will offer treatment options that do not involve medicine, including recommendations relating to exercise, diet, sleep, psychotherapy, and more. If your psychiatric symptoms are severe enough, he and his team may recommend the use of a medicine, but will happily work on a treatment plan that involves non-medicinal treatments if that’s your choice.
If I'm prescribed medication, will I be on it forever?
Our goal at the Eappen Clinic is to help you feel well and stay well for the rest of your life. For some individuals (especially those who have had multiple psychiatric episodes, psychiatric hospitalizations or suicide attempts), this may involve taking medicines indefinitely. For others, this may involve only using medicine for a brief period of time (6-12 months), before slowly reducing and ultimately discontinuing a medicine. From the moment a medicine is considered, to every office visit thereafter, you will always know the proposed timeline and evidence-based justification for any medicine we start, modify, or discontinue.
If you decide to start a medicine, the duration of treatment depends on multiple factors, including quality of your social support, whether you have a therapist, severity of your illness, time spent on medication, and duration of time without psychiatric symptoms. If you are uncomfortable with the idea of taking a medicine for the length of time we recommend, our clinic will work with you and help develop treatment strategies to increase the likelihood of a good outcome while reducing or discontinuing the medicine(s) of your choice.
Is Dr. Eappen influenced by pharmaceutical representatives (via talks, accepting lunches, etc)?
Dr. Eappen does not accept any consultations, meetings or gifts from pharmaceutical companies or their representatives. He evaluates medical products independently, based solely on peer-reviewed research and his experience as a physician.
If I transfer from another psychiatrist, will the Eappen Clinic change my medications?
The answer to this question depends on what your medication regimen is, and whether you are doing well on it. Most of the time, if you are doing well on a medication regimen, and we don’t identify any problems with it (i.e., adverse interactions with other medicines or substances you are taking, elevated addiction potential, risk of serious long-term side effects), then the doctors and nurse practitioners at the Eappen Clinic will be happy to continue prescribing. Please call us at 844-632-7736 if you have any further questions.
A psychiatrist is a medical doctor (physician) who has completed at least four years of medical school, a medical or surgical internship year, and at least three years of residency training in psychiatry. Psychiatrists are experts in diagnosing mental illness, and in formulating treatment plans that may involve medication management, psychotherapy, and/or coordination with other specialists to treat mental illness.