A talk about clinical philosophy with
the Medical Director, Neevon Esmaili, M.D.
* for information about our other providers please see the providers page.
At our clinic we provide children and adolescent patients with mental health assessment and comprehensive treatment plans that can include psychiatric medication, psychotherapy and support for lifestyle changes for a wide spectrum of mental illness. We feel it is important to consider all factors affecting each youth, including medical issues, family dynamics, development and life stressors to determine the cause of the presenting symptoms.
We view treatment as a partnership and shared responsibility with each patient and their family, tailored to their specific situation, and offer gentle support for growth and work outside of the clinic.
Many of the evidence based and effective psychotherapies such as cognitive behavior therapy and dialectical behavior therapy include components that require the patient to challenge themselves outside of the therapy sessions independently with a variety of activities and mental exercises.
We believe that making changes where indicated in the patient’s lifestyle is important. Mental illness, much like chronic illnesses of the body such as high blood pressure or diabetes, can respond to lifestyle interventions. For example, it has been shown that exercise (as simple as taking a walk) can help ease mental health symptoms in some cases. Attempting to identify and modify causes for symptoms is part of our assessment and treatment approach that may also include psychiatric medication and psychotherapy.
– Erik Erikson (1902-1994)
Frequently Asked Questions
Some indications suggesting the need for psychiatric evaluation include severe symptoms of anxiety, depression, psychosis, and thoughts of harming oneself that would make it difficult for your child to function at home or at school. Another reason is when talk therapy (psychotherapy) has been ongoing for an extended period and yet symptoms remain persistent and difficult to manage. A board-certified psychiatrist can assess for the need for psychiatric medication to alleviate your child’s symptoms. If you have additional questions, please feel free to call our office.
Please fill out our new patient forms online in the patient portal before your visit, specific instructions are sent after you schedule your first appointment. Please be prepared to discuss your child’s past medical history, and send via the patient portal medical documents including laboratory reports and progress notes. Please bring bottles of medication that your child is currently taking. School report cards and psychological testing reports if applicable are also valuable. Conducting a comprehensive evaluation takes time, and additional sessions may be necessary before deciding on a treatment plan. It would be helpful if you talk freely about your child’s symptoms and past history, and specific questions will also be asked by your clinician to complete the assessment. Typically, individual interviews with the child and parent, respectively, alone is helpful for the assessment.
We will discuss a wide range of personal information from your child’s past, including the symptoms that brought your family to the clinic, and try to determine the environmental and innate factors involved in creating the condition. Prior mental health treatments, family history of mental illness, general information about your child’s living situation and social connections will also be discussed. Sometimes filling out a clinical questionnaire would be useful and one would be given to you to be filled out either by the patient or the parent/teacher, as applicable. Referrals for proper medical assessment to rule out medical conditions or to safely prescribe medications may be indicated.
The medical director, Neevon Esmaili, MD, is a dual board-certified psychiatrist specializing in children, adolescent and adult mental health treatment. He has work experience with a wide range of cases. He has used his experience to select trusted clinicians to provide care in the clinic.
If your child is suffering from depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, experiencing psychotic symptoms, among other conditions, then treatment can be provided.
Dr. Esmaili is able to provide psychiatric medications for mental health when required. Mental Fitness Clinic also offers a team of psychotherapists offering individual talk therapy, which typically consists of weekly 50-minute sessions.
Our treatment approach is to emphasize working hard with a psychotherapist (talk therapist, when it is appropriate for your needs) along with life style interventions such as nutrition and exercise, possibly allowing for lower doses and fewer mental health medications (psychiatric medication may still remain a core treatment). Lifestyle interventions are not a mandatory requirement for being a patient in the clinic and are offered only as recommendations.
Dr. Esmaili has been very kind, caring, gentle, patient, and understanding. He is knowledgeable and has made a huge difference in my son. Dr. Esmaili is everything we hoped for in a psychiatrist. We are so fortunate to have found him.Parent