As a board-certified psychiatrist, I can tell you that this is a very exciting time for the field of psychiatry.

Traditionally, patients with debilitating depression and anxiety symptoms have seen psychiatrists for a quick medication adjustment, then go home and wait until they feel better. These treatments can be effective, but symptoms can be improved faster when interventional psychiatry treatments are also used.

Psychiatry now has so much more to offer patients. The treatments we have available today include:

What Is Interventional Psychiatry?

Interventional psychiatry is a growing field within psychiatry that utilizes treatments other than these traditional psychotropic medications. When given in addition to traditional care, which consists of medication adjustments and psychotherapy, interventional treatments can enhance overall mental health.

Interventional Psychiatry Benefits

By making use of more than one treatment modality, psychiatrists can be less aggressive with psychotropic medication dosing.

For example, a person with severe depressive symptoms might see a traditional psychiatrist that only utilizes psychotropic medication. They’ll walk out with a prescription for an antidepressant, an “as needed” anxiety medication like clonazepam or alprazolam, and another prescription for sleeping medication. This person might also be referred to a therapist for some form of psychotherapy. They would likely return to the psychiatrist every 2-6 weeks for 15- to 20-minute appointments where this combination of medications would be constantly adjusted (usually in the direction of stronger and higher doses).

Pacific Psychiatric - San Diego - Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

Contrast that with if the same patient went to a psychiatrist with experience and access to interventional psychiatric treatments. They may still be prescribed an antidepressant, and potentially anxiety and/or sleeping medication.

However, the interventional psychiatrist can also talk to the patient about other treatments that may be a good fit for them, such as TMS, and/or an available version of ketamine. The recommended treatment will depend on the patient’s clinical circumstances.

For example, if the patient does not have contraindications for TMS or the intranasal antidepressant, Spravato (esketamine), then those treatments may be considered in the light of financial issues such as insurance reimbursement. Shortly after starting the recommended medications and additional TMS or Spravato, the patient will often begin to see symptom improvement sooner than they would have with the traditional psychiatric medications alone.

When a psychiatrist sees that symptoms are improving faster with the interventional psychiatric treatments, they can be less aggressive with medications. This reduces the risk of adverse effects associated with the higher doses of these medications, and a better eventual outcome for that patient.

Who Is Pacific Psych?

Pacific Psych has treated depression and anxiety patients with traditional and interventional psychiatric treatments at our clinic in Del Mar, California for five years.

Five years ago, I (co-founder, Dr. Jake Hollingsworth) left the U.S. Air Force (AF) where I worked as a psychiatrist in an AF base outpatient clinic (more about that in later blog posts). When I left the AF, our family moved to San Diego, where I joined a group psychiatric practice and functioned as a traditional outpatient psychiatrist.

I primarily saw patients with mood and anxiety disorders. At that point in time, I had minimal experience with any type of interventional psychiatric treatments. However, I quickly realized that there was a limit to how much could be done with psychiatric medications alone. This motivated me to seek out other types of treatments (or interventions) to offer.

Around this time, I subleased a small office space in another doctor’s office, and with the assistance of my wife, a board-certified anesthesiologist, started offering IV ketamine infusions to depressed patients. This new endeavor evolved into what is now known as Pacific Psychiatric.

Pacific Psych Offers Interventional Treatment

Pacific Psych, now located in Del Mar, California, has grown steadily since our inception. We are proud to offer many interventional psychiatric treatments, such as:

I’ll post regularly on this blog to describe the different treatments in detail and help get the word out about interventional psychiatry. I’ll use my experience and current medical evidence to help patients and family members make informed decisions on the best treatment methods for specific circumstances.

We see more than 200 patients monthly at Pacific Psych, and every day, we provide interventional treatments, but most important is that each of our clinicians is more than a conduit to a procedure or medication. We are privileged to serve as a resource, helping you illuminate each of your mental health treatment options.