What is a Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist?
"The child and adolescent psychiatrist is a Doctor of Medicine or Doctor of Osteopathy who specializes in the diagnosis and, if indicated, the treatment of disorders of thinking, feeling and/or behavior affecting children, adolescents, and their families. A child and adolescent psychiatrist offers families the advantages of a medical education, the medical traditions of professional ethics, and medical responsibility for providing comprehensive care. Child psychiatrists can evaluate your child and make a diagnosis or differential diagnoses and recommendations for treatment. A child psychiatrist can also prescribe medications and/or therapy for treatment of various psychiatric disorders. They will usually coordinate care with the child's pediatrician, teachers, and/or therapy to provide the most comprehensive care."
What kind of diagnoses does a Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist treat?
A Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist treats multiple behavioral, emotional and developmental diagnoses. Some of these include the following: Attention deficit disorders (ADD, ADHD), Anxiety disorders (Separation Anxiety Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Social Phobia, School Phobia, Panic Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), Eating disorders (Anorexia, Bulimia, eating disorders NOS), Autism Spectrum Disorders (Aspergers Disorder, Pervasive Developmental Disorder NOS), Tourrettes Disorder, Mood disorders (Major Depressive Disorder, Dysthimia, Bipolar Disorders, Cyclothimia, Mood Disorder NOS), Reactive Attachment Disorders, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Fragile X, Intellectual Disabilities, Substance Abuse Disorders, Delusional disorders, Schizophrenia and Schizoaffective disorders.
Who should see a Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist?
Anyone that is struggling with developmental delays with aggressive or disruptive behavior, anyone who is not feeling good moodwise-either because they are depressed or irritable or moody or not like themselves, anyone who is having nervousness issues that are affecting their life, kids who are getting in trouble constantly in school due to either behavioral or focusing issues. Dr Torres-Roca will see patients from age 4 all the way to adulthood.
What should I expect of my first appointment with Dr. Torres-Roca?
Dr. Torres-Roca ideally likes to see children and adolescents with both parents during the initial visit. She will meet with everyone together and then alone with the child. At times, she will meet with the parents by themselves. She will ask multiple questions related to what brought you to her office and some that may seem unrelated but that are still important to make a complete differential diagnosis. Her initial evaluation is 90 minutes which is longer than most psychiatrists. This gives her more time to gain the trust of her younger or more shy patients and to gather more information on more complicated cases. She will also get your child's weight, height, blood pressure and pulse and get a thorough medical history. There are toys in her office for the kids to play with. At the end, she will discuss her assessment (which is the current diagnosis, any other diagnoses that may be considered with the symptoms and other diagnoses and symptoms to watch out for) and treatment plan.
What do I need to bring to my first appointment?
If you will be seeing Dr. Torres-Roca please bring new patient packet which you can print out from the resources section on this website. If applicable, please bring a copy of custody papers and/or divorce decree, copies of any psychological or psychoeducational testing, any written feedback or records from teachers, counselors, therapist, pediatrician, psychologist or psychiatrist. If currently taking medications please bring the bottles with you.
What do I tell my child before my first appointment?
Let your child know where they are going and be honest, but use words that they will understand. For younger kids, let them know that this is a "feelings' doctor" and that she will not give you any shots but that she will talk to us about how we feel or how to do better at school (or whatever the issue is-she will help us with your anger issues or focusing issues, etc.). If the child is nervous, acknowledge their emotion by saying I can see why you are nervous because you don't know her (or whatever the reason is) but there is no reason to be nervous because all she is going to do is talk to us and play with you. Give us a call if you need further help with this.
What is cognitive behavioral therapy?
CBT is a form of psychotherapy based on the idea that our thoughts cause our feelings and behaviors. Thus, changing the way we think can bring about change in how we feel and act. This type of therapy addresses dysfunctional emotions and maladaptive behaviors in an effort to help a client think differently, learn a new way of reacting and produce change. CBT asks many questions and seeks to gain an understanding of the concerns at hand. CBT is brief and time-limited and is considered to be among the most rapid types of therapies. CBT often involves homework and collaborative efforts between the client and therapist in goal setting. CBT is effective for treating and alleviating the symptoms of a variety of conditions such as mood disorders, anxieties and personality disorders.