C. Shaffia Laue, M.D.
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Many people wonder what exactly is Holistic Psychiatry and how does it treat an illness, for example depression, differently than traditional medicine. Implied in the name is treating the “whole” person. Physical body, mind and conscious thought, feelings and emotional reactions, our interconnectedness to our family, friends and the world at large and finally the aspect of soul, our connection to spirit are all taken into consideration in the process of healing. Depression has often been described as a chemical imbalance in the brain that needs to be corrected by the use of pharmaceutical chemicals that will correct the imbalance and allow us to live a better life through chemistry. This point of view is comparable to saying that the feeling of hunger is due to a lack of nutritive chemicals in our blood and needs to be corrected by hooking up intravenous (IV) therapy through a needle into our veins to supply the nutrition to keep us alive. This is true of a person who can’t eat or digest food for some reason, but not for most hunger pains. It is important to look for the cause behind the cause. There can be many factors that impact that chemical imbalance in the brain and each one needs to be addressed in a collaborative way to impact the neurotransmitters. To do one aspect of a holistic treatment and then declare it didn’t work is like putting gas in the car and complaining that it doesn’t run, but we haven’t started the engine or pressed on the gas pedal.
People seek therapy for a variety of reasons; oftentimes the reasons involve the desire to make personal change. In order to make such desires become reality, one may have to work at examining personal relationships. The conflicts and difficulties, which have propelled one into therapy, may be recent or of a long-standing nature; sometimes chronic physical illness forces one to reexamine issues. Psychotherapy operates through dialogue, which can focus on the positive strengths in one's life as well as the issues, which have become burdensome. The dialogue can involve current life experiences, events of the past, ongoing emotional reactions to the past, as well as, fantasies, dreams, life goals, patterns of interacting with others, patterns of caring for oneself and many personal considerations too numerous to mention. The recognition of various life experiences brings with it corresponding feelings, which then become available for further introspection. Teaching is provided to give you the necessary information regarding your options on a path to wellness rather than suppressing your symptoms with drugs. Therapy may include training in specific skills that promote mental, emotional and physical health and allow you to develop life changes where you feel in control and positive about the changes you chose to make. The biochemistry of the body is a two way street. It can be changed by the emotions felt by an individual or it can drive the emotions. Therefore, psychotherapy works faster if you make life changes that effect your biochemical functioning in a healthy direction. I honor each individual’s spiritual beliefs so that this can also be used to facilitate healing and wellness. I expect each person to be an active co-creator in orchestrating his or her own treatment plan and path to wellness.
Possible disadvantages of participating in psychotherapy are that areas of personal conflict and disharmony may intensify for a time. Negative feelings such as fear, anxiety, depression, or other emotional discomfort can be experienced; similar to the intense detoxification experienced in healing physical illness. However, for those willing to take these challenges, there are also significant advantages. Difficult situations can be resolved, emotional discomfort can be diminished, a greater degree of personal independence as well as more harmonious interactions with others can be experienced. Although I am well trained, have extensive practical experience and will do my utmost to help each one move in a healing direction, I cannot guarantee that treatment will automatically cause one to achieve personal goals.
Occasionally patients can benefit from the use of medications. If alternative methods for changing your internal biochemistry through relaxation, breathing, nutritional counseling, herbal or homeopathic remedies are not helping you sufficiently, we may consider prescription medications. However, in my practice I am usually able to help patients eliminate some or all of the medications previously prescribed by using a combination of psychotherapy and the above alternative methods.
Appointments are scheduled according to the needs of the individual and the desired treatment outcomes. The first session will be a 90-minute consultation for which there is a $345 charge. The longer session is necessary in order for a more complete medical and psychological history to be completed, as well as time for explaining how we might work together. It is important that a 4 page medical history (provided by the office) be filled out prior to the first appointment so that our time together can be used efficiently. Call 785.841.1243 during regular business hours to schedule an appointment. The fee for a forty-five minute therapy session is $152 - $230. When we are doing very intense work you may chose to schedule a sixty-minute session for $222 - $295). For non-emergency questions, you can reach me through the office during regular business hours. Phone conversations requiring more than 10 minutes will be billed at $20 per ten-minute segment. Payment will be due at your next session.
Payment is expected at the time of service and you will need to submit your own insurance. The exceptions to this are Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas. The office, as required by law, will submit Medicare insurance claims. Payment for Medicare patients is still due at the time of service. BCBS patients will have their claims submitted by the office and their copay is expected at the time of service.
Good psychotherapy relies on confidentiality. Confidentiality and privileged communication remain the rights of clients of psychotherapists according to state law. However, some courts have ruled that if an individual intends to take harmful or dangerous action against someone else or his or her own self, it is the psychotherapist's duty to warn the person or the family of the person who is likely to suffer the results of harmful behavior. That individual's family must be warned if he or she is likely to harm one’s own self. State laws also require that all mental health professionals report incidents of any type of child abuse to appropriate agencies. Under no circumstances would I inform others without first sharing my intention with the patient if at all possible. Every effort will be made to resolve the issue before such a release of confidential information takes place.