That is a very personal decision that is entirely up to you. If you have been suffering from significant mood impairment (whether that be persistent feelings of sadness, despair, anxiety, irritability, mood swings, or feelings of hopelessness or helplessness), it may be a good idea to seek help from a trained mental health professional who has the ability to prescribe pharmacological intervention should that be needed.
I’m hesitant to begin medication for my mood. Will medication change my personality?
No, medication will not change your personality. Psychiatric medications, when prescribed judiciously and with care, have the power to transform the lives of those suffering from mental disorders, such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. At The Happiness Psychiatrist, we believe in using the lowest effective dose of psychiatric medication, tailored specifically to each patient’s individual needs. In addition, Dr. Ambardar relies heavily on other treatment modalities to treat mood symptoms, including talk therapy, meditation, and walking psychotherapy.
I’ve never heard of walking psychotherapy. How does it work?
Walking psychotherapy, first employed by Sigmund Freud in the late 1800s and now practiced by a handful of mental health professionals around the U.S., combines regular talk therapy with the tremendous added benefit of physical exercise. Numerous studies have shown the positive psychological effects of outdoor exercise on mental health and we know that open-air workouts have the power to transform and revitalize mood. During these sessions, you will be walking side by side with Dr. Ambardar at a comfortable and unhurried pace, literally moving forward as we work out issues and problems in a casual and peaceful setting. Some patients have reported that they find it easier to relax and let their guard down when walking outdoors as opposed to being face-to-face with a doctor in a formal office setting. For walking psychotherapy sessions, Dr. Ambardar is available to meet her clients at nearby parks or other peaceful locations within a reasonable driving distance from her office. For more information about this specific type of therapy, visit the website of Manhattan-based therapist Clay Cockrell, one of the most well-known practitioners of walking psychotherapy.
Yes, of course. Meditation and Kundalini Yoga, while founded on Hindu and Buddhist principles, can be used by people of any religious persuasion or philosophic background. Meditation is universally applied by people of all faiths as a path to calmness, mental clarity, and peace of mind. Regular meditation helps us gain inspiration, leads us to a greater understanding of our true selves, and provides us with valuable insights into our lives.
What exactly is Kundalini Yoga?
Kundalini Yoga, also known as the Yoga of Awareness, is an ancient form of yoga, first practiced thousands of years ago in India, that strengthens the nervous system through the use of breathing techniques, body postures, and meditation. Regular practice is believed to awaken the latent and powerful kundalini energy found at the base of the spine within every human being. Releasing this powerful life force through the use of prana (breath), asana (postures), mantra (sound therapy), and meditation, leads to an increase in self-awareness, intuition, and peace of mind. If requested, Dr. Ambardar will incorporate elements of Kundalini Yoga into our therapy sessions according to your level of comfort and individual needs.
How long will I be in treatment?
That is a personal decision that is entirely up to you. The ultimate goal of all therapy is to allow you to eventually complete therapy, equipped with the tools and behaviors that you need to lead a productive and happy life on your own. During your time at The Happiness Psychiatrist, that will be our primary goal and you are free to discontinue therapy at any time. That being said, many patients do find it beneficial to continue seeing their therapist regularly over the long-run, whether on a monthly, bi-weekly, or weekly basis. The ultimate decision is always up to you. If you are on psychiatric medications however, it is important that you do see your psychiatrist periodically for regular check-ups, lab work, and any medication adjustments that may be needed.
I already have a great therapist that I see on a regular basis. Can I see Dr. Ambardar for medication management check-ups only?
Yes you may. If you are already under the care of a therapist, Dr. Ambardar is happy to work collaboratively with him or her throughout the course of your treatment in order to ensure that your care is coordinated optimally.
Absolutely. While treatment outcomes differ from individual to individual and no guarantees can be made, the majority of patients who follow Dr. Ambardar’s prescribed regimen of medication (if needed) and/or psychotherapy notice significant improvement in mood and overall outlook over time.
Do you see children as well as adults in your practice?
Generally, no. At The Happiness Psychiatrist, we specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of men and women, ages 18 and older.
Why don’t you accept insurance?
Insurance companies typically place many restrictions and demands on doctors and dictate the frequency and level of care that physicians may provide to their patients. In order to offer you the highest-quality personalized service, tailored to your individual needs and not subject to third-party restrictions, Dr. Ambardar does not contract with any insurance providers. In this way, she can focus all of her energies on serving you, the patient, to the best of her abilities.
Do you offer Saturday and evening appointments?
Dr. Ambardar is aware that many of her patients are busy professionals with full schedules. For this reason, Dr. Ambardar offers Saturday appointments as well as evening weekday office appointments.
What if I can’t make my appointment or have to reschedule?
We kindly request 48 business hours notice for any cancellations or changes in appointment time. Any cancellations made after this window will be charged 100% of the full fee.