Diagnostic Evaluations2022-06-17T16:33:29+00:00


“The contrast between a patient depressed and a patient recovered is the contrast between absence and presence.”

“The contrast between a patient depressed and a patient recovered is the contrast between absence and presence.”

– Peter Kramer, M.D

Psychiatric Evaluation

Making psychiatric diagnoses can be challenging as patients may present with issues in multiple domains of their lives. One may suffer from abnormal brain processes that can result in mood changes, unusual thought processes or odd mental phenomena such as hallucinations or delusions.

Another may have a difficult time coping with life tragedies or traumas and yet others may present with problematic behavioral issues in sleeping or eating. Often, patients face multiple difficulties and seek clarity in diagnosis. This is why our process begins with a thorough evaluation.

We first try to understand the whole person before focusing on the presenting problems. Our evaluation is designed to gather detailed information about different aspects of a person’s life starting with early development. It also includes detailed psychiatric and medical histories.

We use “The Perspectives of Psychiatry” developed at The Johns Hopkins Hospital to arrive at an initial diagnostic impression (to learn more about this approach, please refer to this article).

Diagnoses may include:

  • ADHD (Adults)
  • Anxiety Disorders (such as Social Anxiety, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and Generalized Anxiety Disorder)
  • Mood Disorders (such as Major Depressive Disorder and Bipolar Disorder)
  • Psychotic Disorders (such as Schizophrenia and Schizoaffective Disorder)

Psychology & mental health

We are happily accepting new patients and are available for evaluations and expert testimony.

 Our practice is grounded in four priorities:

Specialized, Expert Care

We focus on disorders of mood, anxiety, and attention, with a special emphasis on bipolar conditions. This concentration gives us more experience, better understanding and enhanced therapeutic abilities in these core diagnostic areas.

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  • Approximately one-half of our patients have recurrent mood problems.
  • We complement this clinical grounding with a rigorous, in-house education program, teaching and research related to mood disorders. This combination of clinical emphasis with our scholarly focus enables a true expertise in this area leading to enhanced effectiveness and a higher standard of care.
  • Our other areas of clinical emphasis are anxiety disorders (including obsessive-compulsive, social anxiety, and generalized anxiety disorders) and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

Not Just Medications

Unlike many psychiatric practices that mainly use medication, we recognize that our patients are more than just symptoms and diagnoses. People seek us out for help with life challenges and adjustments of all kinds—sometimes related to their disorders, sometimes not.

We’ve each received extensive post-graduate training in psychodynamic psychotherapy to help us address these other psychological needs. Our ability to combine precisely calibrated biological treatments with psychotherapeutic care enables us to join our efforts at symptom control with those promoting self-understanding, character growth, and personal agency.

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  • We are psychiatrists committed to understanding and addressing the biological aspects of our patients’ lives and their conditions.
    • The biologically-based treatments we provide include psychopharmacology and psychiatric chronotherapy, a set of circadian rhythm-shifting techniques such as bright light therapy and sleep-wake cycle modifications.
  • We are also psychotherapists who are committed to understanding and addressing the psychological factors in our patients’ lives and their conditions.  Getting to know our patients carefully and in-depth is essential to us.
    • Our psychotherapeutic work includes psychoeducation, life charting, psychodynamic psychotherapy, cognitive-behavioral strategies, interpersonal and social rhythm therapy, behavioral activation, and family-focused counseling.

Clinician-Scholars Providing Advanced, Research-Driven Treatments

As academically-oriented, research-informed practitioners, we incorporate the newest biological and psychotherapeutic developments into our treatments, which are innovative and constantly evolving. We value being ahead of the curve. We do this through our dedication to ongoing education, teaching and scientific research.

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  • Ongoing education and professional development are priorities for our practice. We make it our job to constantly and systematically review the newest medical and psychological literature in our fields.
  • Our practice has a rigorous in-house educational program consisting of weekly classes, extensive reading, case conferences, and supervision. We also engage in symposia with national and international experts in our fields and regularly attend professional conferences and workshops across the country.

Teaching: Our clinical practice and expertise are enriched by our extensive teaching activities. We serve as faculty in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences of Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, where we teach both required and elective courses, provide clinical supervision for psychiatry residents, serve on departmental committees, and help plan curricula. Additionally, as leaders in our field, we regularly give talks and lead workshops through groups including the International Society for Bipolar Disorders and other national and international forums.

We have developed a post-graduate course in bipolar disorders and recurrent affective illness for senior residents in psychiatry and early-career psychiatrists.  This course covers a comprehensive review of advanced research areas:

  • Evolutionary, developmental and anthropological perspectives on affect
  • Phenomenology of mood disorders
  • The personal experience of mood disorders and how they effect identity
  • Course of illness, rapid cycling
  • Affective temperaments
  • Mixed states
  • Neurocognition
  • Genetics
  • Pathophysiology of mood illnesses:  inflammation, autoimmunity, mitochondrial dysfunction, neurotransmitter changes, circadian factors, neuroplasticity and reward system impairment
  • Biological treatments
  • Chronotherapeutic treatments
  • Psychoeducation
  • Psychological treatments

Research: As part of our commitment to staying at the front edge of our field, several of us are involved with research and scientific publications. You can read more information about our current and past research projects here.

In addition to our individual research projects, we also regularly review areas of the literature related to mood, emotional regulation, mood disorders and their treatment.  We post these reviews in our blog.

High Caliber Care In A Private Practice Setting

We are a small group of six psychiatrists. Our practice is arranged to maximize privacy and confidentiality. Our clinical work is personalized and specific.

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Adult ADHD



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