Your convenient and affordable provider of psychiatric medication management and behavioral health services in Fairfax, Chantilly, Manassas, Gainesville, Haymarket, Centreville, and the rest of Virginia.
If you are one of the 20% of Americans suffering a mental health condition, you know how it impairs your personal, family and professional life. Making matters worse, there is often a stigma against reaching out for care. Additionally, many providers do not take into account your physical health, lifestyle (exercise, diet, nutrition, etc), into consideration when designing a treatment plan.
Since 2018, Atara Health Solutions has provided psychiatric medication management services to patient age 18 to 65, across Virginia. Since the COVID-19 Emergency was declared in 2020, we have provided services exclusively via telemedicine/telepsychiatry.
Our treatment philosophy
First and foremost, you are not your condition, diagnosis or your “problem” … you are a partner in your recovery, and you will always be the final decision maker in terms of your treatment. You are entitled to informed decision making about any aspect of your care, and you are always free to ask questions or request changes in your care; your care will never be dictated to you without your input or having your questions addressed.
What to expect your first visit …
Norm Jacobowitz, MSN, PHMHP-BC strives to take your entire lifelong physical and mental health histories into account when assessing, diagnosing and treating your condition. At your first visit, you can expect a longer visit than usual, generally at least seventy-five minutes. We will discuss:
- Your detailed past medical history, with special emphasis on medical conditions that can impact your mental health
- Your family and genetic history for psychiatric conditions
- Your early family life and how it affects you now
- Previous treatments such as past medication trials, psychotherapy, and other treatments;
- The natural history of your symptoms starting from early childhood
After your detailed history is taken, we will discuss your current main concerns and treatment goals. We will discuss current symptoms and arrive at a diagnosis. Please note that we are not dogmatic or strict about psychiatric diagnoses. Mental health is rarely black and white or clearcut; there are often vagaries in symptoms and wide room for interpretation. After arriving at working diagnosis/diagnoses, we will work together on your treatment plan, which will generally consist of:
- Psychiatric medications if appropriate for your condition and you agree to try them
- Referrals to psychotherapy or “talk therapy” if you are not already engaged with a therapist (we do not do talk therapy)
- Recommendations for exercise, sleep hygiene, and stress reduction
- Reduction in alcohol, cannabis/THC or other substance intake if applicable
- Referrals to other medical providers if needed
- Lab work (blood draw) as appropriate
What happens next?
During your first visit, we will schedule you for a follow up appointment, generally at about 30 days from the first visit. You may need to be seen sooner or you may not need to be seen so soon, depending on your condition. Follow up visits are allocated for 20-25 minutes. We will discuss your progress, any problems with your medications, and adjust medications or recommendations as needed. Our goal is to get you stable enough so follow up visits happen every ninety days or four times per year.
Open lines of communication
Norm is available to all patients via our secure portal, onpatient.com. You will be invited via email to sign up for the portal at or around your first appointment. On the portal, we can exchange secure messages regarding your treatment, you can ask questions about your medications, request refills, book or change appointments, etc. Norm checks the portal every single day and you can expect a response to your query generally within 24 hours at most. Phone calls or emails to the office are a slower and less effective means of communication, and are avoided for discussion of clinical matters.
Notes on psychiatric medications
Psychiatric medications have improved immensely in recent decades, but are far from perfect. It is not common that your first trial of medications will be successful without any side-effects or complications. We always strive to use the lowest doses and least risky of medications for your treatment. We only prescribe controlled substances at low doses and for the shortest time possible to promote recovery.
Monday through Saturday: by Appointment Only
We have flexible hours from Monday to Saturday, and can work with your schedule. Earliest appointments are generally 8:30am and we are open for evening appointments some days. Mondays and Saturdays are generally for new patients but exceptions can be made as necessary.