Frequently Asked Questions2018-02-27T18:56:51+00:00

Frequently Asked Questions

Sullivan Psychiatric Group

Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

OFFICE HOURS

Mon – Thurs 8:30 am – 6:00 pm
Friday 8:00 am – 12:00 pm

Closed all major holidays

Call us 502.451.5121
Call us 502.451.5121

Most frequently asked questions concerning diagnosis, treatment, insurance, payments, and more:

How do I know if my child needs a psychiatric evaluation?

Sometimes children experience intense and overwhelming emotions, and the struggle with these feelings can lead to problematic behaviors. These behaviors can vary in frequency and intensity and include disruptive and out of control behaviors, problems with relationships, anger, frustration, feeling overwhelmed, worried, sad, or possibly suicidal.

Children can also be struggling with the feelings evoked by separation, divorce, loss and grief, personal injury or trauma, and show a departure from their normal functioning.

Further, children may have attentional and focus difficulties, risk-taking behaviors, or be impulse-ridden.

If your child is struggling with behavioral or emotional disturbances, that are either acute or long-standing, and not improving, or your child has experienced a significant life event, an evaluation and treatment can help.

Why does my child need to see a specialist, rather than his or her pediatrician?

Some of the less complex emotional and behavioral issues encountered with children are often treated by pediatricians, but when the complexity increases, the need for a specialist is recommended. Our clinicians are highly trained and experienced in the diagnosis and treatment of childhood emotional and behavioral disorders, and can quickly focus on the key issues affecting your child.

Our clinicians are available to collaborate with your child’s pediatrician as needed.

How do you determine the best course of treatment for my child?

A thorough assessment can provide the framework for determining treatment options for your child. This can include a review of previous records, both medical and psychiatric, interviews with your child and family, discussion with teachers and others, and possibly, psychological testing. Once the necessary information is obtained and reviewed, a specific treatment plan will be outlined and discussed with the child and family.

How will my child benefit from treatment?

Psychiatric treatment, which sometimes includes medication, can dampen or eliminate troubling emotions and behaviors. Psychotherapy can provide a safe and nurturing place where children can identify and work through their feelings, by talking or through therapeutic play. Therapy helps children who are fearful of talking to their parents about their feelings – they may worry that they will upset their parents or cause family issues. Therapy can also build confidence, self-esteem, and independence. Healthier relationships often follow successful therapy.

The careful use of psychotropic medication can greatly reduce some disabling symptoms, such as depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive behaviors, attentional problems, and confused or distorted thinking. Treatment is often enhanced by the combination of medication and psychotherapy.

What should I tell my child about coming in for an evaluation?

Be honest, caring and open about the reasons for the appointment. Let your child know that you see his/her struggle, frustration, and unhappiness and that you want to provide help, so that his/her burden eases and his/her life improves. Emphasize your child’s strengths and competencies, which will help him/her achieve success in treatment. Tell him/her that he/she gets to talk about whatever might be bothering him/her and that it is a safe and confidential place to share.

What do I bring to the first appointment?

Please bring any health records that pertain to your child’s difficulties with you. This includes reports of any previous psychological testing. It is most beneficial if all guardians participate in the initial evaluation.

How is the decision to use medication made?

This decision is a collaborative one between the child, family and physician/nurse practitioner. The decision is based on the severity of the symptoms present, diagnosis, previous medication trials, the expectation of success, the family’s view on the use of medication, any physical health considerations, and the need for and commitment to follow up. It is also based on information gained by further interviews and laboratory studies, possibly to include pharmacogenomic testing. If a trial of medication is undertaken, close medical monitoring is needed with regular follow up appointments– where reports of improvement and any side effects can be made. Pharmacogenomic testing can greatly aid decisions about medication choice, avoiding any possible gene-drug interaction.

What are the clinicians areas of expertise and when are referrals to specialists made?

The clinicians at Sullivan Psychiatric Group have expertise in various psychotherapeutic techniques, including play therapy, cognitively based therapies, dynamic therapy, behavioral therapy, and family therapy. The clinicians who prescribe medication have training and experience in deciding who may benefit from medication and how to best monitor the use of medication for any improvement or any side effects, including drug-drug interactions. They also have training in discerning medical conditions that may present as psychiatric problems from purely psychiatric issues. Referrals to specialists for further evaluation of medical problems or for in depth psychological testing will be made as needed. Referrals can be made for behavior therapy, in-home services, speech/language evaluation, and occupational therapy.

If my child needs more intensive treatment, where do I go and how does Sullivan Psychiatric Group help with the process?

If for safety reasons your child needs a more secure and intense treatment environment, the clinicians at Sullivan Psychiatric Group will help with the referral process to a partial hospitalization program or inpatient psychiatric hospital. If more intensive treatment is needed for a medical problem, this would be coordinated with your pediatrician or medical specialist.

What insurance is accepted?

We accept most Medicaid programs and all commercial insurance plans.

How can payments be made? Do you file with my insurance company?

Co-pays and deductibles are expected at the time of service and can be made by credit card, check, or HSA accounts. All visits are filed with insurance and you will be notified of any complications.

What is your missed appointment and cancellation policy?

All new and follow up appointments must be cancelled within 24 hours of the scheduled appointment time. Cancellation or reschedule requests on the day of the appointment may result in a $50 charge. Continued cancellations or no shows can lead to termination.

What if I have an emergency?

If you are experiencing an emergency, please call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency department. If you must speak with one of our clinicians about a change in your child’s behavior or other issues related to treatment, please leave a voicemail message and your concerns will be addressed in a timely manner.

How do I obtain prescription refills?

We ask that you contact your pharmacy for refill requests for non-controlled substances. The pharmacy will fax or email those requests to the office for your child’s provider to sign and review. For stimulant or controlled prescription refill requests, please contact the office and let us know if you would like to pick up the prescription or have it mailed to you. Please allow five working days for all refill requests.

How do I obtain prescription refills?

We ask that you contact your pharmacy for refill requests for non-controlled substances. The pharmacy will fax or email those requests to the office for your child’s provider to sign and review. For stimulant or controlled prescription refill requests, please contact the office and let us know if you would like to pick up the prescription or have it mailed to you. Please allow five working days for all refill requests.