This blog post is dedicated to describing our unique treatment team approach at West Maui Counseling Center and my vision for the multidisciplinary mental health team I am building for our Maui community. We believe that patients get better care when their doctors and other health care providers ACTUALLY TALK TO EACH OTHER ABOUT THE PATIENT’S CARE. People who are struggling with mental health symptoms often have difficulty getting up the courage to pick up the phone and reach out for help, let alone finding enough energy to navigate multiple appointments with different providers in a complex health care system. It is my goal to minimize the distress and unnecessary use of our patients’ precious supply of energy by creating a place where people can come to receive quality psychotherapy, medication management, biofeedback, and complementary and alternative medicine care such as acupuncture and massage therapy to holistically and effectively treat their mental health issue and better manage stress. The patient’s effort should be focused on treatment, not navigating the dysfunction of the health care system.

The mind body connection is in fact, a scientific truth and we must adjust our treatment approach to make it most beneficial to the patient. By addressing the underlying physiological, sociological, and psychological sequelae to illness, we see the clinical picture of the whole person. Recovering from any mental illness takes effort, why should the patient have to exert unnecessary energy getting their therapist to talk to their primary care doc or psychiatrist, etc? It is our policy to communicate, with the patient’s consent, with the Primary Care Physician and other health care providers as much as possible.

What makes West Maui Counseling Center special is that, we meet as a team and collaborate regarding our patient’s care. I believe that better care is delivered when the clinician who is prescribing medications talks regularly with the clinician who is providing psychotherapy. Another special approach we are able to use at WMCC is to collaborate when multiple family members are seeing our therapists individually, but at times may need a couples or family session. A common example is when we see two spouses for individual therapy: instead of making the couple go see another therapist for couples work, we will often have conjoint sessions with both spouses and both individual therapists to work on improving the relationship. The same is true when, for example, a child is being seen by our child psychologist and a parent is working with another WMCC Provider. The team approach is patient centered, focused on how we can work together to help give our patients the best care available on Maui.

I am working hard to recruit and grow a team of multidisciplinary professionals who share our value system of hard work and quality therapeutic care. New providers are in the process of coming on board who are team players and are willing to go the extra mile to help our patients get the most out of their treatment. Ultimately, my team cares most about helping others regain their mental health and wellness in order to live long, fulfilling lives on this beautiful island of Maui.