At MedStar Harbor Hospital, we’re committed to providing exceptional, compassionate care focused on you and your individual needs. Our team of behavioral health specialists use a variety of modalities to provide comprehensive care and education to our patients and the community. If you or a loved one family member is struggling with mental illness, behavioral health issues, or addiction, you are not alone. Our team of professionals is available to help. Call us now for more information on the available services at MedStar Harbor.
Using a multidisciplinary approach, our expert team provides medical evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment for a variety of emotional, behavioral, and cognitive concerns, including depression, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. Our outpatient services and therapies include:
- Comprehensive psychiatric and medical evaluation
- Psychiatric consultations
- Psychotherapy and Counseling, including cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness-based therapy, and interpersonal psychotherapy
- Addiction and substance use related counseling
- Group and family psychotherapy
Ways Therapy Can Help Treat Behavioral and Mental Health Conditions
For many people, talking about their thoughts, emotions, and behaviors can be helpful in working toward recovery. Some people find therapy offers them an opportunity to be heard, understood, and supported. As part of a comprehensive treatment plan, your doctor may recommend you participate in talk therapy sessions with a behavioral health specialist.
At MedStar Harbor, therapy sessions are conducted by licensed professionals, which may include psychiatrists, counselors, and social workers. In most cases, our experts begin with individual therapy sessions. For some patients, group and family therapy may be incorporated.
Therapy may not work immediately, however, over time it can help you develop coping skills, stronger relationships, and a better sense of self. Therapy can also help improve your self confidence and awareness. Here’s some other ways therapy can help:
- Feel strong in the face of challenges.
- Change behaviors that hold you back.
- Look at ways of thinking that affect how you feel.
- Heal pains from the past.
- Building relationship skills.
- Figure out your goals.
- Strengthen your self-confidence.
- Cope with symptoms.
- Handle strong emotions, like fear or grief.
- Enhance your problem solving skills.
As a patient, it is important for you to be an active participant in your treatment and recovery. Therapy works best when the patient and therapist work as partners. Your therapist values your thoughts and opinions, take advantage of each session and share what’s on your mind.
What to Expect During Therapy Sessions
Your first visit will differ from subsequent sessions. During the initial appointment, your therapist will be focused on getting to you know you -- understanding your thoughts, emotions, behaviors, and symptoms. Your therapist may also ask about your personal and family health history. By gathering a detailed medical history, your therapist will be able to better assess your needs, as well as develop a personalized treatment plan.
There are many different kinds of therapy and therapists will often blend a few different methods to best suit your individual needs. The length and frequency of sessions will vary among individuals. Depending on the patient’s needs and goals, therapy may be a short or longer term approach to recovery.
You have a right to feel safe and respected in any therapy setting. Our experts provide patient-focused care in a safe and confidential environment. During group sessions, it’s understood that each member of the group respects each other’s privacy. Our therapists respect your privacy and are committed to addressing your needs, goals, concerns, and desires.
Which Behavioral and Mental Health Conditions are Treated with Medication?
At MedStar Harbor, we believe it’s important for our patients and their loved ones to understand the benefits and risks of any prescribed medication. We pride ourselves on providing comprehensive medication education, ensuring patients understand the scope of a prescribed medication, including its purpose and possible side effects. For many patients, medication is prescribed as part of a comprehensive treatment plan that may include individual therapy or community support and activities. Most medications are intended to limit your symptoms, not sure a disease.
Our providers encourage patients to be active participants in their recovery and treatment. Talking honestly with your doctor is a big part of that process. By discussing your concerns openly and learning about your options, you and your doctor are more likely to come up with a plan that works well for you and aligns with your goals.
If you or a loved one have questions or concerns about a medication, please call to consult a specialist. If you’re concerned a prescribed medication is doing more harm than good, tell your physician immediately. As a reminder, it is important to not stop taking a medication without consulting your doctor first.
Finding the Right Medication
There are several drug therapy options, and the right one will depend on your symptoms, medical history, and diagnosis. Your doctor will consult with you to find the right medication or combination of medications that best manages your symptoms. Learning about the different categories of medications can help you have a more meaningful conversation with your doctor.
Antipsychotic Drugs: can help reduce or, in some cases, eliminate hearing unwanted voices or having very fearful thoughts. They can promote thinking clearly, staying focused on reality, and feeling organized and calm. They may also help you sleep better and communicate more effectively.
Antidepressants: help reduce feelings such as sadness, depressed mood, and anxiety, as well as suicidal thoughts.
Mood Stabilizers: help reduce or eliminate mood swings and related symptoms. These medications are typically used to treat bipolar disorder.
Tranquilizers and Sleeping Pills: can reduce anxiety and insomnia and help you feel more relaxed. Although most are used to help with sleep, they might cause drowsiness. Usually, these medications are used for short term management, because longer use can cause dependency.
Stimulants and Related Medications: can have a calming effect and improve concentration and attention span in both children and adults. They also improve a person’s ability to follow directions and reduce hyperactivity and impulsiveness.
Staying Safe While Taking Medication
Our team of experts prescribes safe, FDA approved medications, but it’s important to note every medication carries the possibility of side effects. Be sure to ask your doctor what you can expect from your prescribed medication, including symptom management expectations and possible side effects. Be sure to consult your doctor before starting or stopping any medication. In addition, it’s important to disclose any medications you’re currently taking.
Following some basic guidelines will help protect your health while taking medication:
- Avoid use street drugs or drinking alcohol while taking psychiatric medications. The combination can be dangerous and even deadly.
- Be careful while driving or using machinery, especially if your medicine makes you sleepy.
- Women who are pregnant, become pregnant, or are breastfeeding should talk with their doctor before taking a psychiatric medication.
- Stopping medications abruptly can be dangerous and may cause you to feel ill, or experience a worsening of symptoms. Medications should be stopped gradually and according to your doctor’s instructions.
- If taking a medicine causes you to feel sick, have a fever, skin reaction, or a symptom that worries you, contact your doctor.
What are the Risks of Abruptly Stopping Medication?
If your doctor has prescribed a medication, it’s important to take the medication as instructed. Stopping any medication abruptly can result in severe side effects, or worsening of symptoms. Talk to your doctor if you have concerns about a prescribed medication. It is your right to ask questions and make decisions, talk honestly with your physician and calmly state your concerns.
If you’re worried your medication is doing more harm than good or if you’re experiencing adverse side effects to your medication, call your doctor. He or she may be able to adjust the dose or change your prescription to one that better manages your symptoms.
Request an Appointment
To schedule an appointment with a behavioral health specialist or for more information, please call
MedStar Harbor Hospital
3001 South Hanover St.
Baltimore, MD 21225