Frequently Asked Questions

We understand the difficulty in deciding whether it is a wise course to pursue medication as part of treatment for your child. You should never take or allow your child to take medication until you are comfortable and have made a highly informed decision. Life Bridge takes a conservative and measured approach when deciding whether to prescribe medication. Not all patients need medication. Because our approach is holistic, we recognize not only biological factors that can dramatically influence behavior, but also external factors as well. The first visit is an initial evaluation only. The doctor will discuss the pros and cons of a particular treatment at that time with you before a plan is established. The best plan is one where all participants can get on board and support.

A Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist is a physician who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of behavior, thoughts, and feelings. Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists give patients their expertise developed through years of medical training, and, at times, intensive psychotherapy training.

Virtually all psychiatrists used to offer psychotherapy of some kind in addition to medication. In the more recent past there has been a trend toward only providing medication management, often due to the restraints of managed care. Many insurance companies will only reimburse psychiatrists for medication visits. As a result many psychiatrists have stopped providing any kind of psychotherapy, as it just does not pay to do so. Many studies have shows the efficacy of treatment plans that include both kinds of treatment. Life Bridge Kids provides both medication management and psychotherapy.

  • Cognitive Behavior Techniques
  • Family Therapy
  • Psychotherapy
  • Psychopharmacology (Medication Management)

There are too many conditions to name each one but the following list identifies some of the more common disorders we treat:

  • Anxiety
  • Aspergers
  • Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD/ADD)
  • Autism
  • Bipolar
  • Depression
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Panic Disorder
  • Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
  • Psychosis

Admittedly, this can be more art than science. We believe you should look at the educational and work experience credentials of the doctor you are considering. It is also wise to find out if the doctor is board certified in their field or specialty. Of course you should meet the doctor and make sure she makes you feel comfortable and truly listens to your concerns. Sometimes listening to your “heart” or “gut” can be the best indicator. You should never work with a doctor that you do not feel comfortable with. We believe physicians working in pediatrics who do not value a parents’ intuition regarding their children’s health are not ideal.

Psychologists have completed post-graduate doctoral studies. A psychologist can provide various kinds of talk therapy, generally referred to as psychotherapy. They help individuals with emotional and behavioral challenges. Frequently psychologists and psychiatrists will work together to provide integrated care.

Psychiatrists have completed medical school and is a physician in the same way your family doctor is a physician. Since psychiatrists are medical doctors, they can recognize when psychological difficulties may be due to medical illnesses and can collaborate effectively with physicians in other specialties to coordinate care as a team endeavor. 

Child and adolescent psychiatric training requires 4 years of medical school, at least 3 and sometimes 4 years of approved psychiatry residency training that includes medicine, neurology, and general adult psychiatry, and 2 years of additional, specialized training in psychiatric care of children, adolescents and their families in an accredited Child and Adolescent Psychiatry fellowship, yielding a total of at least 9 years of study and specialized practice after an undergraduate degree.

 

During the general psychiatry training years, the physician becomes competent in the fundamentals of the theory and practice of psychiatry. In the child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship, the physician acquires a thorough knowledge of normal child and family development, as well recognition and treatment of abnormal development. Special emphasis is given to disorders that appear in childhood, such as pervasive developmental disorders, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), mood disorders, depressive and anxiety disorders, mental retardation, drug dependency and delinquency. The child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship is designed to provide treatment of a full spectrum of illnesses from what may appear to be relatively benign disruptions in behavior to some of the most difficult cases. Active partnership with other specialists, including therapists and pediatricians, make the Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist the cornerstone of effective and comprehensive care for your troubled child or adolescent.

An Inpatient Clinic is for patients that need more intense care and treatment that includes, among other things, staying overnight in a facility for one or several nights. Some inpatient clinics are stand-alone while others are part of a larger hospital. As a general rule inpatient clinic facilities are working with those that have more severe behavioral issues.

An Outpatient Clinic will see a patient for a “visit”. A visit may include an initial evaluation that can last for an hour or more and/or a follow up visit that is an hour or less. Outpaitent clinics exist for patients that do not require overnight hospitalization. Life Bridge Kids is an Outpatient Clinic.

A Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist can address concerns about what is considered “normal” and what is not, in a particular child. Such factors as environment, personality, and developmental stage are all influences that are thoroughly considered. The following behaviors should indicate consideration for further evaluation by a psychiatrist:


Younger Children 

 

  • Hyperactivity; fidgeting; constant movement beyond regular playing
  • Recurrent nightmares
  • Persistent disobedience, aggression or opposition to authority figures such as parents and teachers
  • Frequent and unexplainable temper tantrums
  • Refusal to go to school
  • Unexplained and repeated stomach complaints


Adolescents 

  • Marked change in school performance
  • Inability to cope with problems
  • Marked changes in sleeping and/or eating habits
  • Frequent physical complaints
  • Sexual promiscuity
  • Prolonged negative mood usually accompanied by poor appetite, difficulty sleeping
  • Thoughts of death
  • Recurrent nightmares
  • Thoughts of causing harm to oneself or others
  • Self destructive behavior and habits (smoking, alcohol or drug abuse)
  • Frequent outbursts of anger and aggression
  • Threats to run away
  • Aggressive or non-aggressive violation of the rights of others; opposition to authority
  • Theft & vandalism
  • Strange thoughts, beliefs, feelings, or unusual behaviors

Yes. While we can provide both psychotherapy and medication management, we routinely see patients for medication management alone when they are already being seen by a therapist. We support and respect the existing relationship patients may have with other professionals who are treating them. We frequently coordinate care with both therapists and physicians to provide the best integrated care possible.

We generally take adult patients if they are a parent or relative related to one of our existing child/adolescent patients. We will also see adult patients who have a development disability such as those on the autistic spectrum.

The first appointment with us will include a thorough Initial Evaluation to assess and diagnose the patient. This is a face-to-face meeting where we ask that both the child and his/her parents attend. The first initial evaluation appointment is up to 90 minutes. Follow up appointments can be 20-30 minutes or up to an hour depending.

Please contact the office directly (702-765-4965) for up-to-date information regarding our fees.

Your information is held in the strictest confidence. HIPPA, state, and federal privacy laws govern the communication between you and your health care provider. We may not share your private information with anyone for any reason, except for the following situations:

  • Suspected abuse
  • If a patient is threatening serious bodily harm to another party
  • If a patient intends to harm herself/himself

Payments are due at the time of service. A block of time is reserved for your appointment and we will not book any other patients during this time.

If you need to cancel please give at least 2 business days of advance notice. Business days are considered the weekdays between Monday and Friday. If you have an appointment on Monday afternoon February 7th, you would need to cancel by Thursday afternoon February 4th. Should you cancel within less than 2 business days of your scheduled appointment, or fail to appear for an appointment you will be charged the full fee for the visit. If you are late for your appointment we will try to maximize whatever time is remaining. However, it may be likely that we will need to schedule another appointment to make sure an evaluation or follow up visit is complete. This approach allows us to provide you the best patient experience possible while ensuring that other patients won’t infringe upon our ability to give you our full attention during your visits. If all parties approach the relationship with a high degree of mutual respect, visits will almost always be highly productive.