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Kaiser Psychiatrists

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2010 - 2014 Discussions


Kaiser Oakland psychiatry, both MD and therapist

Nov 2013

Hi, does anyone have a current recommendation for a really-good-to-excellent MD for meds, and separately a therapist? Seeking very smart, experienced, compassionate, really know their stuff (but not on retirement's door), likely prefer a female therapist but that isn't set in stone. Depression, PTSD experienced. Will very much appreciate any recommendations (as well as ''skip this one''s). Thank you very much. Need kaiser MH recs


I recommend Richard Roston, MD, psychiatrist at Kaiser Oakland. He is warm, compassionate, and knowledgeable. RS

Psychiatrist specialized in pregnancy

Dec 2011

Can anyone give me a recent recommendation for a psychiatrist that is good with pregnancy, it is about the topic of antidepressants during pregnancy. Thank you. Hopeful


If you are a Kaiser patient, I can recommend Elisa Rambo, a psychiatrist at Kaiser Oakland. She does not necessarily specialize in pregnancy, but is very knowledgeable about depression and pregnancy. Before getting pregnant, I spent an entire appointment with her going over the research on anti-depressants and pregnancy/breast-feeding (she had recently given a presentation on the topic and was incredibly well versed in the research). The information and guidance she provided at that point was instrumental in me making informed decisions about my mental health care during pregnancy, which for me meant continuing to take anti-depressant medication. While pregnant, I worked with her to monitor my anti-depressant dosage and adjust as needed. Work with a psychiatrist during your pregnancy to manage any medications for mental health issues; in my experience, OB-GYNs and nurse midwives do not know enough and are too quick to recommend going off necessary (and safe) medications. SSRI-taker through pregnancy/breasfeeding with happy and healthy toddler

2005 - 2009 Discussions


Good Psychiatrist at Kaiser for suicidal friend

Oct 2007

An adult person I know is on the verge of suicide. He just got coverage by Kaiser; does anyone know of a really good psychiatrist in Kaiser Richmond or Oakland? This person is reluctant to try therapy because he has tried several time in past and didn't help, including meds, however, may be able to get them to try again. Looking for a therapist who will not just prescribe pills but get to the root of the problem, hopefully. Thanks for ANY suggestions. Extremeley Concerned


There are many wonderful therapists and psychiatrists at Richmond Kaiser. I went through a time of severe depression with suicidal thoughts and they helped me work through it. At Kaiser, your friend would probably have both a therapist and a psychiatrist (drug prescriber).

As for psychiatrists, I highly recommend Dr. Anne Menahemy. She's so much more than a drug prescriber! She actually listens. She is warm, thoughtful, conscientious and really goes out of her way to help her patients. She is not quick to prescribe medicine. She will tell all the pros and cons of a medication if she really thinks it could help.

I also wanted to recommend the Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP). I can't say enough about this amazing program. It meets for three hours, three days a week and your friend will have a whole team of caring therapists to work with him through this hard time. I realize a group setting might be too much at first... but that high level of attention, through one-on-one visits, group therapy and an educational approach saved my life.

The psych department at Kaiser Richmond also has great education programs too. (not health ed - those are different)

You are good to ask about this for your friend's sake. I wouldn't be here if a similar friend hadn't helped me make that first appointment. anon


I found Dr. Jeanne Leventhal at Kaiser Oakland through this list & she's the best psychiatrist I've ever had- & I thought my past ones were excellent! I have a chronic, genetic mood disorder that makes me very susceptible to depression, & she recognized that I'd never been sufficiently treated for it right off & started aggressively adjusting my medications.

I was seriously clinically depressed & suicidal when I first saw her & she got me out of that quite quickly. The lower grade chronic depression and mood instability I have is much trickier to treat & we're still working on that. My particular genetic (& permanent, I'll be on meds for the rest of my life) mood disorder is known to be difficult to treat & mine has proved to be especially difficult. She's the first doc who's ever said to me ''I can get you through this & out the other side'', & based on my experience so far, I believe her.

She's difficult to get in to see, she's one of the docs to whom difficult cases are referred, & she's been out on an extended emergency leave for several weeks so is probably going to be especially backed up when she returns to work next weeek. I had to pretty much insist on her & then wait 6-8 (I don't remember exactly) for a first appointment. If your friend can get an appointment with her & IF he can hold on for a few weeks, I highly recommend her.

If he can get an appt with Jeanne but is so seriously suicidal that he can't safely wait a few weeks, then he might try to get in to see Dr. Adam Travis at Kaiser Union City while he's waiting for Jeanne. I don't know if they'd let him make appts with two different doctors at the same time at Oakland (each Kaiser has its own set of protocols), but I'm pretty sure that he can make one there & one at a different facility (don't ask, just try to do it- I have).

Adam is a lovely person & a very competent psychiatrist, not as experienced or creative as Jeanne is, & when I got in serious difficulty I needed more help than he was able to give. But like I said, my case is especially difficult. He won't be offended if your friend wants to use him as a stop-gap, & in my experience it's easier to get in to see a psychiatrist at Union City than in Oakland.

But- if he needs to see someone NOW, if he can't wait more than a few days without being in real danger of killing himself, then he needs to say that loud & clear when he calls Kaiser, and he needs to insist on seeing someone right away. ANY psychiatrist is better than none if you're ready to jump off a bridge.

He's not going to get more than group therapy at Oakland. They will probably want him to go to their depression group which is cognitive therapy. My opinion, from my own experience, is that although cog ther can be very useful for people with mild to moderate depression, especially if it's situational, it's not appropriate for someone who is clinically & suicidally depressed. The reason I think that is because a big part of cog ther is doing little exercises, & when a person is to the point of being suicidal they're usually literally incapable of doing things like that, & it can become more evidence to them that they're a hopeless failure.

Everyone's different & maybe he wouldn't feel that way about it but I'd suggest he consider maybe holding off on doing the group until he's in better shape. Kaiser will push him to do it right away, cog ther people are totally convinced that it works for anyone & everyone.

Jeanne Leventhal has a very upfront personality, which I really like, but it's possible that some people might find her a bit abrasive. Don't let that fool you, she really cares about her patients. Anon


2004 & Earlier


Looking for a Richmond Kaiser psychiatrist

March 2004

Hello - I'm looking for recommendations for the following Richmond Kaiser pyschiatrists for treatment of long-term chronic depression: Fuensanta Botello, Christopher Eaton and Anne Marie Menahemy. Thank you very much. anon


My wife has been under Dr. Botello's care for the last 1-2 months, for depression triggered by peri-menopause. I don't know if this is normal, but she sees *3* different doctors at Kaiser Richmond: her regular physician, a psychologist (who does most of the counseling), and Dr. Botello, a psychiatrist, who does most of the medication prescriptions. Her regular physician did the initial prescription, but Dr. Botello has taken over. My wife said Dr. Botello is pleasant enough, but her main goal is to find you the right kind of medication, minimizing side effects, etc., and doesn't tend to do much counseling... her appt's can be half an hour, or even a bit less. Viewed solely on the basis of dealing with the meds, I think my wife is satisfied with Dr. Botello. Hope that helps a little bit!?

Therapist/psych for alternative meds

March 2004

If by any chance you have Kaiser, I work with an excellent psychiatrist there who is very knowledgeable about alternative treatments as well as conventional ones. He is Rafael Gray, 415-833-3181.

I take medication, which I am comfortable with and has saved my life, and I also take some supplements that he has recommended which do have benefits for me. I asked him once if he ever used only alternative treatments, and he said he has with patients who were completely anti-medication. He is a non-nonsense guy who can come across as abrupt, but from 2 years of working with him I know that he is not only very knowledgeable, but also very compassionate. He returns my calls the same day (or the next day that he is in his office), and he even answers his own phone!

During long years of battling depression, I tried many alternative treatments, including homeopathy but not biofeedback, and none of them helped me. So eventually I got over my fears of medication, went through many trials, and finally found a combo of drugs that works for me.

I like to encourage people to stay open-minded all around- to alternative as well as conventional treatments, but to not give up on conventional treatments. It can take a lot of persistence to hang in there with drug trials and side effects, and you must work with someone who you trust and can communicate well with. I have a friend who has been experiencing terrible depression for the last 2 years as he has bounced from one alternative therapy to another. It pains me to watch him. I have much understanding and empathy from my own experience, and I know how hard it can be to trust and be rational when depression has you in its grip.


Psychiatrist for Medication management

October 2002

I'd appreciate recommendations on psychiatrists at Kaiser Oakland to do medication management. I see a therapist out of the Kaiser network, but she is not an M.D. Modification of antidepressent medication is not a topic I feel my Kaiser internist would know that much about.


My husband has been working with Dr. Levitt (Kaiser Oakland) for a number of years now and really likes/trusts him. anon
I worked with Dr. Harris (male) at Kaiser Oakland. He was very responsive to my needs and knowledgable about the different medications. I recommend him highly. anon
Hi, Having been a Kaiser Oakland employee, I suggest you talk to your internist about which psychiatrist he or she recommends for you. The psychiatrists have different personalities and areas of expertise, and your internist might be able to point you to a good match. Most internists now also have a good knowledge of antidepressant treatment, so you might not need to go to psych after all. Good luck. AL
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