Seeking therapy in New York City?

Find out what to expect during your first appointment with a psychiatrist. From what topics will be covered to what forms to fill out before heading to the appointment, knowing what to expect will lessen pre-appointment anxiety.

What to expect during the initial appointment

The purpose of the initial appointment is to allow me to develop an understanding of your symptoms and your life circumstances so that I can make a psychiatric diagnosis and outline potential treatments. During this initial meeting, I will ask about the following topics:

  • Your age, living situation, and current employment
  • The main symptoms and reason that you made the appointment at this time in your life
  • Any previous instances of current symptoms or other psychiatric problems
  • Your history of previous or current mental health treatment
  • Use of alcohol or drugs
  • Medical history
  • Family history of medical and psychiatric problems
  • Your work history, important relationships, and leisure pursuits

Since we have a limited time to cover a lot of topics, I use a self-assessment form that you will receive via email prior to the appointment. Even if you don’t actually fill out the form – though it is much better if you do – reading over the form will help you to explain your symptoms more completely and accurately.

After we discuss the topics above, I will offer my assessment and if appropriate, a psychiatric diagnosis of your condition. It is often necessary for me to order tests and/or speak with other clinicians before confirming a specific psychiatric diagnosis. If laboratory tests, other diagnostic procedures, or consultation is needed, I will help you with referrals to the appropriate provider.

At this point, I will outline potential treatment options. If psychiatric medication is indicated, I will go over options and discuss side effects. I will leave time for you to ask questions about any aspect of my assessment and proposed treatment. Finally, we will discuss follow-up appointments and how to reach me in the interval between appointments.

 

What to expect