CONDITIONS WE TREAT
Anxiety and Depression
At Armonk Integrated Psychiatry, we understand the unique pressures that living in Fairfield and Westchester counties, and surrounding areas, can bring. While you may have great success in some areas of life, anxiety or depression may occur, and you may not be sure why. Crises may be upsetting the balance in your life, and it may be difficult to ask for help when on the outside it can seem like “you have it all”. We know that living in this competitive environment has its own consequences and can contribute to strained marriages, anxious adolescents, stressed and unhappy parents.
The last few years have been incredibly stressful for most people. Covid has had enormous direct impact, everything from the fear of getting covid, to possibly dealing with symptoms of long covid, losing relatives to covid, or isolating from friends and family and work, daycare and school interruptions and loss.
On top of this, we've had to deal with political divides, supply chain issues, low housing inventory, a heated real estate market and significant inflation, which have all added to the daily stress many people were already feeling. These things have left many people feeling burned out, defeated, and as though the joy has gone out of life. Others have felt increased anxiety, and for many this has increased as the world opens up again. Dr. Harris understands the tremendous impact that these stresses can have on you and your family, and she is here to help.
Whether you are suffering from a temporary sense of feeling overwhelmed or have had a lifelong struggle with significant depression or anxiety, Dr. Harris uses a variety of treatment methods to help. She will do a thorough evaluation to help determine the cause of the problem, including assisting in referral for neuropsychological testing when needed.
Dr. Harris offers short term evidence-based therapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) informed psychotherapy, as well as other problem focused approaches such as parent coaching. These treatments are oriented towards getting you back to peak functioning as quickly as possible. For those who would like a deeper understanding of the issues that interfere with their goals, Dr. Harris offers longer term psychodynamic psychotherapy as well.
When needed, Dr. Harris will also prescribe medication as an adjunct in treatment.
Armonk Integrated Psychiatry specializes in the treatment of eating disorders, including anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorder. We also treat those suffering from disordered thinking or behavior but who do not have a formal eating disorder. This includes people who are unhappy with their relationship with food, or their bodies, and would like some help to feel more in control of their eating and feel greater satisfaction with their bodies.
Dr. Harris was formerly the director of the world-renowned inpatient eating disorders unit at New York Presbyterian Hospital. While there, Dr. Harris received extensive experience treating a wide variety of eating disorders, including the most complicated and severe cases and oversaw a multidisciplinary treatment team.
For over 20 years, Dr. Harris has been in private practice. She has helped hundreds of eating disordered patients heal and reclaim their lives. She has worked extensively with clinicians in the community and is happy to coordinate with them to provide you with the best possible care. Eating disorders can be notoriously hard to treat, but Dr. Harris has a proven track record of success.
Dr. Harris takes a practical, results-oriented approach, utilizing research supported treatment methods such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), medication and nutrition therapies to facilitate progress. The family is integrated into treatment for adolescents and for adults when appropriate. If a patient is already involved in treatment elsewhere, Dr. Harris is happy to work as a partner, or consultant, with their existing treatment team.
Above all, care is delivered in an atmosphere of compassion and understanding. Many times, patients with eating issues feel that treatment with Dr. Harris is the first time they feel truly understood.
Dr. Harris has spent over 20 years with a particular focus on the pressures that women face and how these evolve through the various phases of life, from puberty, to childbirth, to menopause.
Navigating the challenges that a girl faces as she goes through puberty and the teen years are significant. The social pressures, including navigating dating, drug and alcohol use, the desire to meet a certain beauty standard and getting accepted to a top college, are enormous. As a result, many girls begin to feel stressed, anxious, overwhelmed or depressed. This is a time when eating disorders often first appear. Having extensive training and experience in treating eating disorders, depression and anxiety in adolescents, Dr. Harris is uniquely suited to address this tumultuous time for girls.
The childbearing years can also be very challenging for women. Difficulty conceiving can be an extremely stressful time psychologically, when emotional and often physically painful events, such as hormone treatments, in vitro procedures or miscarriages can dominate daily life. This time period can place inordinate stress on couples and at times cause financial pressures as well. Often, women facing the challenge of infertility feel isolated, alone and unable to discuss these issues with their friends who all appear to be conceiving effortlessly.
Pregnancy, while being a time full of eager anticipation, can also be a difficult time when underlying depression or anxiety can worsen. Having a safe, understanding space to process the physical and emotional life changes inherent in having a baby, can help during this time of preparation. Having extra support post-partum can ease the transition to motherhood; this is a time of significant hormonal, physical and emotional highs and lows, and a comforting, supportive therapist can be a lifeline.
Transitioning into menopause is a particularly challenging time for women. Psychological symptoms can start years before the actual cessation of menstruation. Often, these changes are not recognized as being related to the perimenopausal hormone fluctuations that have begun. Women will wonder why, afteryears of feeling well, they notice themselves being more anxious, irritable or depressed. This can be compounded by hormonal changes causing sleep to become more interrupted, especially if hot flashes make sleep even more difficult.
Suddenly, a woman can feel like she is experiencing something akin to puberty in reverse, where her body and her emotions feel unfamiliar and out of her control. To make matters worse, this transition often hits at a time when she has many other obligations such as children to take care of, a career that may be in full swing and possibly aging parents to care for. The result can be an overwhelming mix. Dr. Harris understands the biologic changes that a woman is going through, can coordinate with your gynecologist regarding hormone replacement therapy if desired and can help you to understand and manage this time of transition.
Armonk Integrated Psychiatry takes a comprehensive approach to the evaluation and treatment of ADHD. Dr. Harris has many years of experience evaluating and treating ADHD. She pays careful attention to the ways in which ADHD presents beyond trouble in school, especially in girls and adults, as ADHD often presents differently in these populations. Dr. Harris will prescribe medication when needed and desired but is also supportive of alternate methods of managing ADHD symptoms, such as evaluation of diet and exercise and behavioral or organizational interventions. She will also communicate with schools when needed.
Dr. Harris approaches ADHD from a position of understanding and compassion, having herself raised 2 children with ADHD. She truly understands what challenges face parents of children with ADHD and will provide parent coaching for managing children with ADHD.
At Armonk Integrated Psychiatry, we believe feeling socially connected is integral to a sense of well-being. Studies support that good social support is important in the prevention of, and recovery from, many mental health concerns. However, many of us experience trouble in this area. Some people have the social skills but become very anxious in social situations and thus avoid all but the safest social interactions. This often leads to a very restricted life or other issues such as substance abuse and eating disorders.
Some people may not be socially anxious, but they lack the skills to interact effectively with others, and therefore find social life bewildering or unsatisfying at best, or possibly alienating and hurtful. Poor social skills can increase the incidence of being a victim of bullying. Loneliness and isolation can be devastating and lead to anxiety and depression.
Armonk Integrated Psychiatry offers help for adolescents and adults including individual counseling, support and skills training, medication if desired, as well as cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) for social anxiety disorder.