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Outpatient Psychiatry

Comprehensive Mental Health Services

Brigham Psychiatric Specialties (BPS) is the largest outpatient psychiatry component of the Brigham Health system. Our clinical staff includes psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers and nurses. We evaluate and treat patients within the Brigham Health system for a broad range of psychiatric conditions, including mood, anxiety, stress-related, psychotic and substance use disorders. We have subspecialists in geriatric psychiatry, neuropsychiatry, women’s mental health, young adult mental health, psychiatric illness associated with infectious diseases, as well as substance-related issues.

We are committed to providing a trauma-informed approach throughout the care continuum, supporting our patients’ resilience, restoration of functioning and improved quality of life.

We provide comprehensive evaluations and care to patients 18 and older. We believe that the best treatment recommendations occur when we have a complete understanding of each individual's medical, cognitive, social, and psychological issues and how they impact one's functioning. Thus, we encourage our patients to allow us to confer with their other clinicians, family and significant others when it makes sense. We also believe that working in a collaborative, team-based fashion yields the best outcomes. We see the patient as an active participant in his or her care, and think psychiatric treatment is in the service of optimizing one’s functioning, sense of satisfaction in life and capacity to adapt to life’s stress. We work together with our patients to design a personalized treatment plan with these general goals in mind.

Mission

To provide our patients compassionate, timely and evidence-based treatment, to teach our future leaders, and to advance the field of psychiatry.

Core Values

Respect: We achieve the best outcomes when we foster collegial staff relationships and deliver care that is patient-centered. We strive to continue dismantling the stigma associated with mental health problems and their treatment.

Collaboration: The patient is an essential teammate in his or her care. Treatment is optimized when patients' care providers can communicate easily and coordinate their efforts.

Education: Learning from our patients, partnering with researchers and teaching our trainees are essential for delivering the best care possible and preparing future generations of superb clinicians.

The Initial Evaluation

The evaluation process is generally completed within 1-2 visits. Expert, accurate diagnoses are central for guiding optimal care.  If the patient is seen by one of our trainees, an attending psychiatrist will be involved in that evaluation and usually meets face to face with the patient at the time of the initial visit. When the evaluator and patient agree that a course of treatment is indicated, they will then discuss where that treatment will take place. Individuals who are relatively well medically will be provided referrals when possible in the community. During active phases of psychiatric illness, our clinicians will provide support and treatment until the individual has established their treatment elsewhere. A comprehensive consultation note will be sent to the referring provider and will include treatment recommendations when appropriate.

Treatment

Following the initial evaluation, patients who will receive care in our clinic will be engaged in a treatment planning process. They will work with the treatment team to identify the goals of treatment and decide upon how to best achieve those goals. The treatment we provide is evidence-based psychopharmacologic care and psychotherapy, with additional modalities incorporated as needed. We offer individual and group psychotherapy with an emphasis on skills-based training. Examples of this include cognitive and behavioral therapies, mindfulness-based therapy, interpersonal therapy and dialectical behavioral therapy. We have limited capacity for long-term psychodynamic-based and supportive psychotherapies within the clinic and will refer to private practitioners for that when clinically indicated. We adhere to recovery-based models of care which emphasize achieving ones highest possible level of functioning with the individual assuming an active role in his or her care. For more information about our cognitive behavioral therapy please click here.

Teaching

As part of our academic mission, we are involved in the training of medical/psychiatry residents and also work with trainees from local psychology and social work graduate programs. We are a primary site for training residents from the Brigham/Harvard Psychiatry Residency Training Program. These trainees are a part of our outpatient team, are closely supervised by our attending physicians and keep patients apprised of their training status and the name of their attending supervisor.

Research

We are working side by side with researchers and may offer patients opportunities to participate in clinical studies. While receiving treatment here would never be contingent on participating in any research protocol, we believe that working closely with our colleagues engaged in research and teaching the next generation of clinicians does help us provide the most evidence-based, state of the art care possible.

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