During the first appointment, a mental health professional (medical doctor or psychologist) will inquire about the reasons for referral and your symptoms. This person will be your case manager throughout your stay in the clinic; however, other members of our multiprofessional teams (e.g. nurses, or social workers) may be involved to provide their expert knowledge about specific problem areas and to ensure that adequate psychosocial support takes place during the assessment procedure.
In order to put your current difficulties into context, the professional doing the assessment will be asking several questions regarding your past experiences, current life circumstances, yours and your family’s medical and psychiatric history, certain mental symptoms, alcohol or substance use etc. We will also ask for your permission to speak with the referring doctor, family members or other people that know you well.
The next steps of the assessment will be arranged together with you. Generally, a full diagnostic assessment includes:
- Clinical interviews and questionnaires to provide a complete overview of any past or present psychiatric symptoms and psychosocial needs, and to determine your individual risk for psychosis (3-5 appointments of 1 hour each)
- A blood test and a brain MRI to exclude physical illnesses as a cause of your symptoms
- An assessment of your cognitive abilities such as concentration and memory (about 2.5 hours)
As soon as the assessment is completed, we will discuss with you all findings, our diagnosis and our treatment suggestions and will provide a written report.
Together with you, the referring psychiatrist or psychologist, and if appropriate your family, we will formulate a treatment plan adapted to your individual needs. Some aspects of treatment may begin early on, during the diagnostic assessment. Treatment may include:
- Individual psychotherapy
- Group psychotherapy
- Cognitive remediation training
- Family sessions or family therapy
- Psychosocial councelling and support, e.g. joint appointments with your employer or your school (with your consent), or support in managing everyday tasks or keeping to a structured schedule
- Support from our social service for issues relating to finances, vocational rehabilitation, housing or authorities
- Medication treatment and counselling regarding to treatment options
You can participate in modules of our treatment programme as a complement to your psychiatric or psychotherapeutic treatment outside of our service. Your insurance covers the cost, provided that the treatments do not overlap. However, it is a prerequisite that you consent to an exchange of information between our service and your psychiatrist or psychotherapist.
Outpatient treatment is sufficient in the significant majority of cases. In some cases, inpatient treatment may provide additional advantages, such as
- faster relief from severe symptoms through intensive care and therapy
- take some time off and gain perspective when there are serious conflicts in relationships or at work
- to promote a structured daily schedule and regulate sleep
- to protect you from the impulse to harm yourself or others
When we believe that inpatient treatment is indicated, we will discuss it openly with you, taking your needs and wishes under consideration.