A good psychiatrist?

stethoscope and ophthalmoscopeAnonymous emails:

Over the last few months I've been having some major issues with anxiety and panic attacks. I've talked to my doctor about it and he suggested that I talk to a psychiatrist about things, and I think it's a good idea. The problem is, I don't know of any good ones in the area and the ratings I found on Google aren't helpful.
Would you mind asking the AOA community for some recommendations for a good psychiatrist in the Albany area? Preferably for someone who doesn't push pills unless it's a last resort.
I'm closer to the Schenectady area but don't mind driving for someone who is really good.

We have heard anecdotally that getting in to see a mental health professional -- whether they're a psychiatrist or psychologist or therapist of some sort -- can sometimes be difficult in this area because the demand for services exceeds the supply of providers. So if anyone has strategies or experiences about sorting through options, it'd be great to hear about those, too.

Got a suggestion for Anonymous? Please share. And as always, a sentence or two about why you're suggesting that provider can be a big a help.

photo: Flickr user a.drian (CC BY-ND 2.0)


Really enjoyed seeing Dr. Gravino.

If you want to try cognitive-behavioral therapy (ie: talk therapy) I had a good experience with Susan Klim, Phd at Northeast Psychological Associates. I've heard good things about other people in her practice. As for a psychiatrist, who are able to prescribe medication, I don't know anyone. Best of luck. Anxiety sucks.

Very much recommend Rocco R. Pizzollo, who has offices in Latham and Delmar. Personable, friendly, and professional. Very strong sense of ethics and privacy. His website is stuck in the 90s, but don't judge a book by his cover :)

Do you have a regular physician that you see? I'd suggest seeing them first, they should be able to guide you in the right direction for appropriate mental health care if necessary.

Apologies, I see you spoke with your doctor. I wonder why they didn't give you a referral.

I had a friend who went through something similar not too long ago. One of the things that their mental health care doctor recommended to them was to take up regular exercise. It helped to balance them physically and emotionally, while simultaneously providing a sort of steady foundation that other treatments could also work with/from.

Best of luck with whatever your course of action ends up being. Reaching out like you have is a very promising start.

Dr. Anthony Ferraioli in Latham is the best. Turn on WNYT (Channel 13) news and/or search their website for him. He is a true psychiatrist that can provide talk therapy AND medication. Covered by most insurances too.

Jaime Nass is my NPP, and I can't say enough good things about her. She's listened to me, honored my experiences and wishes, and walked me through my anxiety and depression. She's also whip smart and can explain the science and studies /evidence regarding anything she's prescribing. You are doing the hardest thing, which is finding the help. Rock on.

I have found hypnosis and guided meditation to be helpful. I haven't always been able to verbalize what was going on, so this has been a nice way to work on it. I have done both in person and podcast versions. In person, Toni Simon in Gloversville was very good (http://www.yourbodymindcoach.com/home). For the podcast version, I recommend Meditation Minis with Chel Hamilton (http://meditationminis.com/). It's a quick 10 minute podcast, but a lot can be accomplished in that short amount of time. Good luck! Be well!

I am a licensed mental health counselor in private practice in Wynantskill. While I am not in the immediate Schenectady area, I routinely work with people who have anxiety. I believe that the use of medication has its place, although the vast majority of my clients are able to experience significant relief through therapy and other methods. I am accepting new patients and I'm always able to schedule new clients to be seen within one week. Please feel free to visit my website and give me a call if you think I can help. sarahmcclanelmhc.com 518-712-7005

Does anyone have recommendations for a gay friendly psychiatrist that is open to medication? It's so hard to find someone that you can be comfortable talking with when you're LGBT.

I like Michelle Bacares, MD very much. I've tried lots of NPPs and was never satisfied.

I *highly* recommend Meredith Lyon of Psychology Works! She has an office on Madison Ave, just uptown of Washington Park, and she is incredible with anxiety. She does not push medication, but helped me work through some issues I've been dealing with for years in a matter of months. Cannot recommend her strongly enough!

If you are employed, see if your employer has an Employee Assistance Program. EAPs are a benefit that many employers offer: you call and they they help you out. It's completely anonymous in that your employer does not know who reached out for assistance or why.

The EAP provider can usually refer you to someone who will see you, sometimes free, for the first few sessions. They can be invaluable because you can get in to someone right away. You can stick with them or get a referral.

And if you don't find someone you like at first, try and try again. Best of luck!

Neil Cervera, psychotherapist and clinical social worker. He's very understanding and excellent at his job.

902 Washington Avenue
Albany, New York 12203
(518) 458-2365

Thank you everyone for your suggestions, it's very much appreciated!

I'm going to second what Sean said (while in no way diminishing your situation) and highly recommend finding some sort of aggressive, intense exercise habit to do concurrently with any treatment. I have wrestled with anxiety and depression over the years and had lackluster results with talk therapy and occasional medication. After years of a half hearted gym routine I decided to try indoor cycling/spinning. You might suck at first, but it takes every ounce of strength and energy to do it at the beginning; it leaves little room for anxiety during the class. The room is dark (so you can cry as needed..did that many a time) and the music is loud so you are completely enveloped in the experience. I've mentally solved lots of problems in there while riding my a** off. The adrenaline surge after is welcome, and you sleep like a baby at night (also welcome).It really has transformed me physically and emotionally. It's included with the already cheap membership at Best Fitness.

Mark Lewis in Delmar is very good. I also highly recommend acupuncture for anxiety - it can be extremely helpful. Stram Center in Delmar is very good for acupuncture. Best of luck!

Cognitive behavioral therapy is a better option for long term treatment where medication research suggests higher relapse rates if you discontinue medication for anxiety/panic. Health Psychology Assiciates/Live Well in Albany has many psychologists with excellent training in cognitive behavioral treatments.

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