Service Information

Telemedicine/Teletherapy services are available during the COVID-19 pandemic through Doxy.me, an online platform specifically designed for health care services. This service is fully encrypted and HIPAA-compliant. The teletherapy appointments will be provided online at: https://doxy.me/drschroat

General Practice Services

Psychotherapy begins with a comprehensive, in-depth assessment. The initial consultation is designed to explore and increase our awareness of the presenting problem. Some of the more important considerations include: precipitating events leading to the distress, any recurring episodes of the symptoms, and any limitations in daily activities or functions that have occurred. Another task is to develop a tentative diagnosis. This diagnosis may be revised as there may be co-occurring or comorbid conditions, the level of severity of symptoms may change. Typically, the initial assessment ends with a summary of the problem, any observations of underlying themes or issues and some treatment recommendations for treatment planning. If there is agreement, then we proceed with an informed consent (signed) about the specific aspects of the therapy.

The next few sessions are a continuation of the assessment focusing on developmental and family history. Also, exploring feelings and behaviors observed during these early sessions is an important part of the assessment. Impressions are shared based on my observations and empathy. It has been my experience that this process builds a strong therapeutic alliance for the clinical work.

About 50% of assessments are for Adjustment Reactions to stressful life events. These events include: marital conflict (including separation and divorce), work stress (including conflicts with others, job insecurity, being fired, retirement), physical illness or injury (to self or family members).

Note: Assessment services do not include court-ordered, forensic, or disability assessments.

Gaining insight is often like a light bulb going on, a sudden feeling of "aha" and seeing things from a new perspective, making a connection between things, finding a reoccurring pattern to relationships or behaviors. Insight results in a new and fresh understanding of our self that was previously hidden from our awareness. Insight must be emotional as well as intellectual to lead to changes in behavior. In other words, the insight must be deeply felt or therapy can get stuck at intellectual level of understanding. Facilitating insight comes from a variety of observations about connections (thoughts and feelings, past and present, etc.), conflicts (mixed or ambivalent feelings, etc.) and interpretations (explanations about possible meanings or functions of behaviors).

Brief Psychotherapy is designed to help when individuals have experienced a sudden, stressful life event that causes them marked distress in the form of anxiety, depression or both and feel they are temporarily not performing well in their job or socially. Common stressful events include: loss of a job, divorce, illness, etc. There is the expectation that the stress reaction will last several months (up to 6 months) and then a return to more normal sense of self and moods with less preoccupation about the stressful event. Some studies show that about 50% of all psychological consultations fall into this category.

My approach to couples therapy focuses on assessing and improving communication and gaining insight into how the attachment of each partner influence typical patterns of relating. The attachment style of a couple determines characteristic or typical ways intimacy is interrupted by anxiety, dependency, anger, and difficulty managing emotions. Once the attachment styles are identified, patterns of conflict are more predictable and easier to discuss rather than acting out with dramatic behaviors. Improving communication often involves improving listening skills through active listening and improving assertiveness communication. There is an emphasis on learning new communication skills to resolve conflicts.

Specialty Areas

If you're currently working, you probably know what it feels like to be stressed on the job . Numerous studies show that work stress is far and away the major source of stress for American adults and that it has escalated progressively during the past few decades. The perception of having little control but excessive demands and pressures is associated with increased rates of heart attacks, hypertension and other serious health problems. A recent study by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health reported that nearly half (44%) of working adults say that their current job affect their overall health.

Common reasons to seek assistance include: reduced job performance or being placed on a performance improvement plan (PIP), conflicts with co-workers or supervisors, burnout, anxiety about job security, difficulty managing the work/life balance, etc.

You may have already used your employer's Human Resources (HR) department or Employee Assistance Program (EAP), but found the help superficial, too limited in number of sessions or worried about confidentiality. These are very common concerns, but they are not with my independent, professional consultations.

Experts in the mental health of college students have been documenting the increased levels of stress, anxiety and depression in college students for the past few decades. The annual survey of college health professionals (ACHA) reported that during the 2017-18 academic year, within the last 12 months students reported:

  • Felt overwhelmed by all you had to do (87.4%)
  • Felt exhausted (not from physical activity (84.3%)
  • Felt overwhelmed by anxiety (63.4%)
  • Felt very sad (68.7%)
  • Felt very lonely (62.8%)
  • Felt things were hopeless (53.4%)
  • Felt so depressed that it was difficult to function (41.9%)
  • Seriously considered suicide (12.1%)
  • Attempted suicide (1.7%)

As a college student, you may have already been referred to your student health center or counseling and psychological services (CAPS) center, but then placed on a waiting list, been seen for a limited number of sessions or seen by an inexperienced student intern. Most student counseling centers are not open after hours (after 5pm). These are very typical concerns, but they are not with my independent and experienced (with college students) psychological services. Also, if you had to drop out for a semester or the academic year, I will assist you with a letter or completing university forms for your return to the university.

According to the RAND Center for Military Health Policy Research, 20% of the vets who served in either Iraq or Afghanistan suffer from either Major Depression (MDD) or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). 19.5% of vets in these two categories have experienced a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). The American Psychological Association, reports that 22% or about 1 out of 4 veterans sought mental health treatment in the private sector rather than getting assistance from the VA. Each year that percentage has increased as veterans encounter increased wait times at VA mental health facilities.

The most common reasons for referral that I treat are:

  • Major Depressive Disorder
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Marital and Family Conflict

As a veteran you may have experienced lengthy wait times for outpatient mental health services or are concerned about the quality of VA mental health treatment. These are common concerns, but an alternative is to seek help in the private sector. I have worked with both Tricare and Humana-Military insurance plans.

Health issues are much more than just a problem with the body. They often affect many areas of someone's life such as: mood (how happy, sad, anxious, angry you are), your thoughts (how much worry or hopeless you are about your condition or your future), your social and family life(how much you engage or withdraw from people special to you), and your work life (how able are you to perform in your work).

The most common reasons for referral that I treat area:

  • Having a hard time following your doctor's treatment recommendations
  • Excessive worry about your physical symptoms
  • Adjusting to life with a chronic health condition
  • Feeling overwhelmed and stressed about your health
  • Feeling depressed due to the changes health issues have caused

We focus on increasing your motivation for healthier behaviors, taking a more active role in understanding and addressing your struggles with health. Also, I can communicate with your other medical providers so that there is more coordination of care with your medical team. I am a member of Division 38 Health Psychology of the American Psychology Association.

David Schroat Logo

Getting help is easy