Psychiatrists for Teenagers
Berkeley Parents Network >
Health & Medical >
Psychiatrists for Teenagers
10 y.o. boy poor focus, low confidence
My son has just finished 5th grade at a good OUSD public elementary and will be moving on
to an OUSD middle school in the fall. I have become increasingly worried about him over the
last 18 months: teachers (classroom, band, aftercare) complain that he doesn't focus and
easily gives up. He seems increasingly labeled as a kid who doesn't engage and doesn't make
an effort academically. His grades, test scores, and marks on reports are all excellent. He
is incredibly self-conscious and very easily embarrassed. He is very hard on himself both
playing sports and in approaching any new task. At home he is forgetful and spacey, and his
father is often angered by this (he feels ignored). I think the problem could be any one (or
combo) of the following: ADD (inattentive type), anxiety, low self-esteem, puberty.
Where do I start? Talk to a pediatrician? We have a new insurance provider, so need to
find a new (non-Kaiser) pediatrician. Ask middle school for a 504 evaluation? Can we do
this without any sort of outside assessment? Thanks for any advice. Like my son with a new
task, I just don't know where to start.
I would call Dr. Lester Isenstadt for a consultation to come up with a plan as to
how best to address the needs of your son within the insurance and financial and
geographical boundaries of your situation. Then you'll have an expert's
recommendations as a foundation for charting future plans to for helping your boy.
This would be the most cost-effective way to start to build the most effective plan
of action for a child who is struggling with depression, self-esteem issues,
I can attest to this because Dr. Isenstadt did exactly this for both a friend's
child and for mine. We now see someone through Kaiser for ongoing treatment given
our insurance and financial limitations though still go back to Dr. Isenstadt
periodically for consultations when confusing or tricky new challenges arise in how
best to support our child.
Dr. Isenstadt is worth his weight in gold. His phone is 510-848-2170. His office is
located in Berkeley near the Claremont Hotel.
Wishing you all the best,
Female Psychiatrist for depressed teen girl
Any recommendations for a female psychiatrist near Berkeley who treats teenage girls who
suffer from depression? Looking for someone who is very knowledgable about different
medications, approachable, non-judgmental, and ideally also provides talk therapy. I've
checked the boards, but don't see any female docs mentioned recently. Thanks for any
Anna Budayr is a compassionate psychiatrist who doesn't just prescribe meds -
she combines talk therapy with medications (if the latter is called for). Her
office is in Rockridge (Market Hall Building) (510) 878-4521
She also may recommend Dianne Santas, a psychologist (not psychiatrist) who
does very careful assessments.
I heard there is a new female psychiatrist at Berkeley Therapy Institute named
Shannon McMaster but there was about a month wait so we ended up going to Dr.
Budayr who happened to have an opening. She was really lovely and responsive
and helped me, as the parent of a depressed daughter, to feel that she was in
good hands during a difficult time.
Oh, another really good psychiatrist is Jeanne Leventhal, who has an office
near the Claremont. She specializes in women, but I'm not sure if she is
seeing teens currently.
Best wishes - I know how heart-wrenching it is to have a depressed daughter.
Things can get better. Keep trying til you find the right person to help her.
- Been there
Seeking Psychiatrist for Older Teen
We are looking for recommendations for a psychiatrist , preferably in Berkeley / the East
Bay, who can supervise antidepressant drug therapy for a late teens college woman with
now-resolved anxiety & depression. We hope to find a physician who is familiar with
genetic variability in drug metabolism, and able to help determine when and how to
reduce or discontinue medications. A woman who is skilled in psychotherapy as well as
drug management would be ideal. Kaiser or nonKaiser physicians are OK.
East Bay Mom
For psychopharmacology (the complicated way of saying medication) I highly
recommend Shane MacKay. He's part of Berkeley Therapy Institute on MLK Jr Way in
Berkeley. He doesn't take insurance and isn't cheap but he knows his stuff and
will talk to you and your daughter about meds, what they do and why they might be
appropriate. If something doesn't work or has side effects, he'll come up with an
alternative and won't say, ''Why don't you just try it for a month?'' He requires
an hour and a half (I seem to recall) introductory session, but later
appointments, for check in and prescription review and renewal, are about 30
mother of another one
Dear East Bay Mom,
I know of three Psychiatrists.
1.) Dr. Randy Bloch tel. 925 934 1561. He is in Walnut Creek and actually very
easy to get to off of HWY24 Main Street exit. I like him very much and he is very
good and right on with medications.
2.) Dr. Lawrence Diller also in Walnut Creek Mt Diablo Blvd Tel. 925 945 6060.
Teen Pediatric Psychiatrist.
3.) Dr.Deborah Silver tel.. 510 527 7744 in the Berkeley/Albany area. I don't
know her but a friend gave me her number.
HIGHLY recommend Dr. Jeanne Alexander for helping your daughter manage anti-depressant
medication decisions. She is a very thoughtful and skilled psychopharmacologist, really
understands genetic variability in response to meds (and in fact can order genotyping
tests that can help determine appropriate meds - our insurance paid for it!)
She is also a really easy person to talk to, made my daughter (whose issues were
depression, anxiety, and ADD) feel like she was really understood. Dr. Alexander is both
straightforward and compassionate.
She used to work at Kaiser but is now in private practice, so if you are a Kaiser member
she can also be of some assistance in navigating that system. Her office is near the
Claremont Hotel on Domingo. Might be a couple of weeks before she can fit you in, but she
is well worth the wait (and the cost). She is exceptional; wish we had found her YEARS
ago! Her number is (510) 845-9005.
I have a 13 year old son who has ADHD and a severe language disorder.
Lately he has had violent episodes and it's hard to tell if he can control
these rages, or not. He's working with a psychologist who recommended my
son see a psychiatrist for an evaluation. The psychiatrist he recommended
doesn't have any openings until September.
Does anyone know of a good psychiatrist who works with adolescents and is
knowledgeable about mood disorders, ADHD, meds and teens. I looked at
Stanford, but not sure who would be a good fit. Any info would be
end of my rope
Lynnette Hsu at Palo Alto Medical Foundation 650 853 5711. Takesha Cooper
is in private practice 650 322 7117.
I am seeking a psychiatrist highly experienced in antidepressant drug therapy for a
second opinion for a 19 year old Asian who has been having atypical reactions to
antidepressants for more than 6 months. No substance abuse involved, highly
compliant with therapy, seeing a counselor regularly and a psychiatrist, very
motivated to get well, but cannot get an effective medication regimen. A
psychiatrist with extensive expertise in medication for depression (SSRIs, etc.),
adverse responses to medications and metabolic differences in Asians, is essential.
Oakland, Berkeley, El Cerrito area if possible, San Francisco OK. Insurance is not
an issue. Kaiser or other insurance OK.
I highly recommend Michael Lowenstein, MD. He knows that age group well and has a low
key and approachable style. He teaches at UCSF and does both med management and
He has offices in Orinda and in SF in the Presidio. His phone number is 415-561-6773.
Have you tried Asian Mental Health Services? http://acmhs.org/
Try dr Donald Stanford. He is located near Cal and sees many students. My MD referred
me. It was hellpful and check out his yelp reviews.
On better meds now
I highly recommend Dr. Lester Isenstadt in Berkeley for expert advice on psychiatric
drug options. He is a Psychiatrist who has devoted his professional life to studying
brain functioning and chemistry, and the medication options which best address various
psychiatric difficulties, especially for youngsters/ teens. He is extraordinarily
incitful, experienced (30+ years), and kind. I discovered him when I saw a very
depressed and anxious child in my daughter's class blossom in the midst of her parents
Dr. Isenstadt also completely turned around my daughters depression and treated her
anxiety disorder such that neither one of these remains an issue. Further, he did so
while elegantly helping my husband and myself find our way through a years-long
conflict over whether or not to give our daughter medication.
One other thing. Dr. Isenstadt helped us identify what types of schools/ environments
our daughter needs in order to thrive. ''She needs a school where she will not be
afraid of the other children.'' As a result of his clarity we were able to find both a
Middle School, and now a High School, where our child has been joyously happy.
We are forever grateful and indebted for the gifts Dr. Isenstadt has brought to our
family. His office number is 510-848-2170.
Wishing you all the best
Hoping for recommendation of an East Bay psychiatrist who accepts Blue
Cross/Blue Shield (this is a must) who is good with teens for medication
management (archive postings are from 2009 and earlier). Teen seeing
psychologist for therapy (yes, I've asked her).
We've been happy with Dr. Kevin White (Berkeley Therapy Institute)
for our daughter. He takes Blue Cross/Blue Shield insurance. Our
daughter started seeing him when she was 16 and likes him a lot.
We've seen Dr. Michael Saal in Mill Valley (near Tam HS),
415-380-0700, for the last 18 months and like him very much.
We would like a recommendation of a psychiatrist who is very skilled
at making a diagnoses in a confusing situation and recommedning
medication appropriately. Someone very smart and easy to talk to who
relates well to teenage boys, and who is somewhat conservative with
medication if the situation will allow for that. Thanks.
Paul Abrinko MD (510) 496-6014
East Bay Mom
We are trying to sort out what is going on with our son. Has anyone
had experience with Dr. Richard Levine and is he good at diagnosing
and figuring out what is going on when it is not very clear? Did you
feel good about your experience with him?
We had a great experience with Dr. Levine, who had just the
right tone and attitude re helping my 16 yr. old daughter
through a difficult time re family and school. But when I
recommended him to a friend whose son really had some
psychological problems, he got it completely wrong, handling it
like a drug abuse issue. Another person I know, who is
bipolar, thinks he's great. So, like any other relationship,
unfortunately, you have to try the person and see if he's right
Dr. Levine works with our son, who was evaluated by someone
else and described (I don't want to say diagnosed) with having
ADD. Richard Levine has been excellent in talking to our son
and to us. He is straightforward, no-nonsense, listens to our
son, has good advice about other aspects of teen life, and
calms our worries. I really like him.
My teenager saw Dr. Levine regarding ADHD-like symptoms. He
was very likeable and seemed very smart and we both enjoyed
talking to him. But on the basis of half an hour talking to my
teenager he was absolutely convinced that teenager didn't have
ADHD and definitely shouldn't take medication. We were fine
with that but the problem persisted & eventually we went to
another psychiatrist who was equally sure that teenager did
have ADHD & that medication would help. Teenager did end up
taking Ritalin and actually it made a huge difference. So my
sense is that he was too quick with the diagnosis and more
emphatic than the evidence warranted, although I still found
him likeable and easy to talk to.
Dr. Levine is very good when it comes to NOT overmedicating.
Too many psychiatrists overmedicate and I give Dr. Levine high
marks for not doing that. However, Dr. Levine did not find out
completely about my partner's medical history and it resulted
in a hospitalization. Make sure that you give him EVERY DETAIL
about your son's history so he can make an accurate diagnosis.
Even after what happened, I still recommend Dr. Levine since he
doesn't overmedicate my partner the way the other psychiatrists
I imagine there are more than one Dr Richard Levine's out
there. The one I know of (and highly recommend) is in Mill
Valley and specializes in addiction. Amazing Doctor. Very smart
and very helpful. good luck.
We had a very unhappy experience with Dr. Levine (the Richard
Levine at Berkeley Therapy Institute) when our son was in his
teens, and I do not recommend him. Dr. Levine took an immediate
dislike to our son after our son was late to appointments and
abused the ADHD medication that he (our son) convinced Dr. Levine
to prescribe. Our son's behavior was alarming and obviously of
great concern to us (parents); when I consulted with Levine about
these behaviors and other evidence of addictive tendencies, Dr.
Levine responded with arrogant and blatant criticism of me, my
husband, and our son. When I asked him for referrals to programs
for teens with substance abuse problems, he mentioned Thunder Road
(where Dr. Levine was previously associated) but said 'look on the
web or ask around' for other possibilities. I was in tears and
distraught after my consultation with him, and I asked my husband
to accompany me for one more consultation, and Dr. Levine's
behavior was 180 degrees different -- he behaved far more
professionally in his conversation with my husband (was it my
husband's gender? his profession?), though again provided no
suggestions for treatment options. Our son needed serious help,
and Dr. Levine dismissed us. I do not recommend him.
Dr. Richard Levine of berkeley helped our family with a challenging
19 year old son. Levine was secure in his diagnosis and in the
long run, correct... there was no categorizing my son and 6 years
later, thankful no labels were applied.
at the time, we were in crisis... Dr. Levine was a calm in the
unfortunately, drugs were used as part of treatment, rather
extensively... even to the point of abuse on the part of my son
(not the Dr's fault).
so, as with any 'soft' science, such as mental illness... you need
to trust your gut.
i like Dr. Levine.
My daughter is actually 26 but has struggled with bi polar disorder
since she childhood. She is now needing to see a psychiatrist and
doesn't have one in the area, as she is relatively new here. Any
recommendations? A few background items: she's gay, she has IBS and
uses a lot of cannibis for this.
Dr. Donald Stanford in Berkeley is a gifted psychiatrist. Good
listener, very current on research, extremely experienced, respectful,
and responsive. I found him after years of working with other
therapists, doctors, trying different medications including
alternative therapies. First medication he prescribed was right. He
takes insurance. 510-540-6235.
My teen daughter has been seeing a therapist who thinks she (my
daughter) might be a candidate for meds for depression or anxiety.
Her pediatrician took a look at the list of psychiatrists on our plan
(Blue Cross HMO) who work with adolescents and didn't feel she could
recommend any of them, either because she didn't know them, or because
the ones she knew worked only with younger kids.
Does anyone have experience, good or bad, with
doctors, particularly for teens with depression? I'm really concerned
about finding someone who will do a serious evaluation of my daughter
before prescribing anything:
Run, don't walk to see Dr. Michael Friedman, MD. He has helped my teenager and I
immensely. He prescribes meds, but the combination of meds and therapy with him has
been the key to our success. He is not the type to prescribe meds and send you on your way,
he will likely want your daughter to come in regularly. Having seen a lot of different
therapists, I can truly say he is one of a kind.
help is on the way
My teenaged daughter sees Miriam Gross, who is the wife of Phillip
Gross. He is an MD, she is an MFCC. They don't prescribe medication-
however, our pediatrician has prescribed medication for my anxious
daughter (Zoloft-she is 16 yrs old and has general anxiety) on the
condition that she continue to see Miriam Gross (or any therapist
I really like Phillip Gross- I see him and my daughter sees Miriam
Gross-they act as a team-they are both smart and seem to know
teenagers really well. They also 'get' parents and are very real and
I wish you luck....
I would highly recommend Dr. Lester Isenstadt. He's a child &
adolescent psychiatrist in Berkeley, 848-2170. My teenage son saw him
off and on for several years to deal with anxiety issues and he was
very helpful. My husband and I also would meet with him and he helped
us gain a lot of insight into how to better parent our anxious son -
things we really needed to learn. He's patient, respectful and caring.
Also, he's not overly quick to medicate - he really takes the time to
get to know the person and he's an excellent therapist. My son's
preference was to not take medication, and to just do therapy, and Dr.
Isendstadt was very understanding and accommodating of his feelings.
I would like to second the recommendation of Dr. Lester Isenstadt
(510-848-2170) as an extraordinary child and adolescent therapist/
psychiatrist and human being. I discovered him when I noticed that a
previously very anxious child in my child's class was thriving and
blossoming in the midst of her parents stressful divorce. (He has
something like 30 years experience working with children with anxiety
issues.) My daughter has seen him for 3 years, at 1st weekly, now very
occasionally. Her talk of wanting to die is long gone and her daily
anxiety is 95% reduced. In addition, Dr. Isenstadt is on top of the
current research on brain functioning and helps my husband and me plan
for and implement home and school support for her learning
disabilities. Unlike many Psychiatrists, Dr. "I" does therapy with
youngsters directly and is therefore consistently aware of their
progress and response to medications if that is part of the picture
(though he is very conservative in their use).
Grateful for his gifts to our family
My younger sister, age 17 (turning 18 in September), needs counseling
and psychiatric consultation but our parents do not have health
insurance right now and cannot afford it anytime soon. I have my own
health insurance through my employer (I'm now 24 and living on my
own), but cannot get coverage for her through my employer. So, she is
one of the millions in the U.S. without coverage. I think she might
have bi-polar or some sort of psychiatric needs that should be
addressed. (She has major highs and lows) and is worried about it
herself. She expressed to me the interest and willingness to get
proffesional help but now the finances are the issue. It's so
frustrating b/c she has finally come to the point of being open to
getting help but I can't seem to find any affordable or free
providers. Berkeley high (she is going into Senior year), has free
counseling but it seems to be very basic and they have suggested she
see a psychiatrist (which they do not have ''in-house''). Does anyone
know of a free or affordable counseling AND psychiatric treatment
center or provider in Berkeley or Oakland that can see her (not just
a drop in center but someone she can build a relationship with and
see regularly), which is especially important for consistent follow-
up is she decides to go on any medication.
I am so appreciative of any suggestions. Thank you!
worried sister looking for resources!
If your parents do not have health insurance, they may qualify for
Medi-Cal through the State of California depending on what
income/assets they have. This would cover them as well as your
sister. Even if they do not qualify for medi-cal, they could apply
(or would be directed by Medi-Cal) to Healthy Familes. The income
guidelines are less stringent and psychiatric care is covered. If
she does get approved, try West Coast Children's center in Oakland
for diagnosis and therapy. She could also go to Children's Hospital
Psychiatric department and see a Psychiatrist if medication is
required. They have therapists also.
If none of the above is an option, try Ann Martin Children's Center
in Oakland/Piedmont. They can accept Medi-Cal for therapy but also
will work with you on a sliding scale basis. I know they will
sometimes go as low as about $15 an hour depending on family
circumstances and they do not put you through a lot of paperwork etc.
to get assistance.
As a last resource, contact Lifeline Medical center in Berkeley.
There is a clinic there that has therapists.
I am looking for a psychiatrist for my teenager. Does anyone know
of psychiatirsts in the East bay who are good with teens? My
daughter has Asperger like symptoms. I am looking for someone
comfortable and experienced in medication. Also important is
someone who can be ''user freindly'' toward me, as mom.
I am hoping for someone near Berkeley or Oakland.
I am interested in any and all positive exepriences with
psychiatrists for teens.
Mom in search
I can recommend Dr. Rick Trautner. He has been treating my teen for
several years. He's patient, interested, and on-call. (But don't be late
or forget your appointment!) He has a Central Berkeley office. His number
is (510) 649-1592.
All the best.
We are experiencing severe behavioural problems with our
16-year-old son. He does not do drugs (no, seriously). He
is sometimes very charming and has a lot of friends, but
when challenged becomes extremely aggressive and can be
violent. It has come to the point that we are concerned
about the safety of our family and he is not welcome in our
home anymore. Aside from this, he has almost no motivation
(often even with things he enjoys doing) and although he
understands consequences when you explain it to him when he
is calm, he seems unable to control himself when he wants
He was diagnosed with ADHD as a child, but we feel that the
problem may be more severe than that (also the meds he was
on then turned him into a slobbering zombie so we took him
off and he has been doing quite well in a more structured,
stable environment until this past year). He has agreed to
see a psychiatrist so that we can have him evaluated, but I
am very concerned about choosing someone who will
automatically assume that he has this or that disorder and
throw drugs at him. Convincing him to take medication will
be another serious issue and he may not be willing to deal
months of serious side effects before finding something that
fits (and you really can't force a 16-year old to take
pills). On the other hand, we suspect that there may be
something quite serious here and do not want someone who
will ignore possible danger signs.
Primarily, I think it is important that he have someone who
he can talk to and who can evaluate the situation and
possibly refer us to another specialist if medication is
required. Perhaps even someone who can focus with him on
the importance of proper nutrition and sleep. The person
must accept insurance - we have United Healthcare. Any
Dr Richard Levine is an excellent teen psychiatrist, is very
conservative on prescribing meds, and is a preferred MD on
the United Behavioral Health panel.
I am looking for an african american psychiarist for my
daughter who has been exhibiting mood swings and
depression. She is 15. We live in San Francisco and are
looking for someonw who is culturally sensitive. Any help
would be appreciated.
I would highly recommend Dr. Lisa Hardy in San Ramon. You
can find her specifics if you google her. Very qualified.
Can anyone recommend a really excellent psychiatrist or therapist who
is a person of color? Especially helpful would be someone experienced
in working with adolescents, biracial families and adoption issues.
Lisa Hardy is an outstanding and highly respected Psychiatrist at
Children's Hospital in Oakland. She has seen numerous teens and is
compassionate, sensitive and, well, magical! I was surprised not to see
her name listed on previous recommendations but I know many other
parents whose teens have been helped by her, as was my own (not of
color). I don't know her experience with biracial and adoption issues
but do know she's wonderful with adolescents. Her phone number
at Childrens - 428-3571
We are experiencing severe behavioural problems with our 16-year-old
son. He does not do drugs (no, seriously). He is sometimes very
charming and has a lot of friends, but when challenged becomes extremely
aggressive and can be violent. It has come to the point that we are
concerned about the safety of our family and he is not welcome in our
home anymore. Aside from this, he has almost no motivation (often even
with things he enjoys doing) and although he understands consequences
when you explain it to him when he is calm, he seems unable to control
himself when he wants something. He was diagnosed with ADHD as a child,
but we feel that the problem may be more severe than that (also the meds
he was on then turned him into a slobbering zombie so we took him off
and he has been doing quite well in a more structured, stable
environment until this past year). He has agreed to see a psychiatrist
so that we can have him evaluated, but I am very concerned about
choosing someone who will automatically assume that he has this or that disorder and
throw drugs at him. Convincing him to take medication will be another
serious issue and he may not be willing to deal months of serious side
effects before finding something that fits (and you really can't force a
16-year old to take pills). On the other hand, we suspect that there
may be something quite serious here and do not want someone who will
ignore possible danger signs. Primarily, I think it is important that
he have someone who he can talk to and who can evaluate the situation
and possibly refer us to another specialist if medication is required.
Perhaps even someone who can focus with him on the importance of proper
nutrition and sleep. The person must accept insurance - we have United
Healthcare. Any recommendations?
If your teen is aggressive/violent and you are concerned about the safety
of your family, you should have him see someone REGARDLESS of whether he
want to or not. You are the parent. Do not give him a choice. Contact
Bodin, they specialize in working with teens
Good luck with your teen
Dr. John Rosenberg is a psychiatrist who takes some health insurance
plans and is a very experienced doctor in the field. I don't know how
he works with teens, but I have seen him as an adult and appreciate his
intellect and very careful process. He is part of a group of
psychiatrists at the Berkeley Therapy Institute, 841-8484
Two doctors have been recommended for my teenage son suffering with
depression /(bipolar??) I would like any comments on
1. Dr. Robert Epstein, Berkeley
2. Dr. Randy Bloch, Walnut Creek
I happen to know both Robert Epstein & Randy Bloch. They are both
excellent. I have worked at Alameda Family Services for the past 4
years, where Robert Epstein also works as supervisor for the
clinical training program. He is one of the most wonderful people
on earth (really). I can't recommend him enough! I also know Randy
Bloch as an excellent psychiatrist and I have sent my own client
referrals to him. I don't think you could go wrong with either
one. Please feel free to e-mail me if you have more questions.
My daughter is a freshman at Campolindo High. She has a
severe anxiety disorder. Campo is very academically
demanding and my daughter's anxiety and sleep problems are
skyrocketing (4 to 5 hours of homework a night, multiple
tests each week, hours of work on the weekends). I know
aerobic exercise is good for her. My daughter is in track,
which she loves. She may quit due to stress over homework.
She is in individual therapy and sees a Kaiser
psychiatrist. So far medication is not working, due to
side effects. I know my daughter needs help and I am not
sure what to do. Can anyone recommend a child psychiatrist
who specializes in anxiety disorders and who actually
monitors his/her patients/ Also, anyone have ideas for
working with the school? My daughter has a 504; it is not
worth the paper it is written on. The school is very hard-
nosed and resistant to making any accommodations. Finally,
I am looking for an advocate.
I recommend Dr. M. Randy Bloch who practices in Walnut
Creek. He is a psychiatrist who specializes in
psycho-pharmacology. I think he'd help you and your
daughter figure out a good drug regimen to reduce your
daughter's anxiety. Monitoring his patients is taken
seriously. He is a sympathetic, (very) smart and kind person.
I wish you great luck.
Dear anonymous, my teen also has Panic Disorder with onset
in 8th grade (I also have had it my whole life). For both
of us, the best, most effective and long-lasting treatment
(without side effects--I was on meds, too at one point) is
cognitive behavioral therapy. My daughter saw Melinda
White on Solano Avenue in Berkeley and it worked really
well for her. You could also find out more about cognitive
at the SF Bay Area Center for Cognitive Therapy in
Rockridge. Good luck.
A Berkeley Mom
Dr. Brad Engwall, is a psychiatrist who works with kids
with anxiety. We've just started seeing him for my son
with an anxiety disorder. He came highly recommended.
He's young, friendly, has a great dog and, I'm told, is
great at figuring out the right treatment for the
situation. He ordered an EEG for my son so he could look
at his brain waves and tell whta meds or supplements he
needed. His e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org
He's in Albany. good luck,
I can recommend a couple of people. First is a psychiatrist,
Dr. Ross Andelman, 510 527 9615. He has an office in
Berkeley, but works for Contra Costa County also. He is very
attentive and thoughtful.
The second is Maria Antoniadis. She is a psychologist who
works with families to negotiate the school maze, public and
private. She has a lot of knowledge and experience and
forceful. She's a great advocate. She also runs social
skills groups in Berkeley. Some of the kids in the groups
are from your side of the hills. Her number is 510 649 3399.
My son is turning 17 yrs old shortly. I see him going
through this depression, hopefully not suicidal, but it is
affecting him and us a great deal. He is so unhappy and he
says he has no purpose in life. He feels bored all the
time. He says this feeling of boredom is very serious and
me and his dad do not understand. We have been trying to
talk to him every day but I am afraid he needs more help
than we can give him? I thought of a teen counselor or a
therapist, anyone knows a good one? Anyone has other
suggestions? Please anything can help! My husband and I
are getting deperate and we have 2 younger boys also, one
of them is mentally impared! we are spreading ourselves
I'm so sorry for you and your son. Our son went through the same thing
when he as about 17. I wore myself out trying to find a therapist for him.
He would go once or twice and refuse to go back. He just didn't like all of the
''talking''. I finally took him to a psychiatrist (David Ritvo) who prescribed
anti-depressants. I know that they are not always the best route for teenagers, but my
son was nearly suicidal. They really helped, and he did not mind ''talking'' with Dr.
Ritvo. We really had to pay very close attention to his every mood. You might consider
I would recommend Dr. Rosemary Bower. She is a very
gifted therapist--very astute and bright. She is in her
60's and has raised four children and is one of the few
clinical psychologists in the area that takes Health Net
(MHN, which she does because she does not think therapy is
just for wealthy people. She helped me work through some
very difficult issues with my family and through some
depression I was having difficulty breaking out of. I
know she works with a lot of young people as well as
adults. Her office is a little out of the way (El
Cerrito), but there is plenty of parking. She can be
reached at 233-8655.
I thought it was interesting in one reply that they took
their son to a psychiatrist and that was successful. We
eventually took our teen daughter to a psychiatrist after
several tries with other therapists. It wasn't my first
choice. However...it turned out to be fantastic. Not just
because he gave her antidepressants which have worked so
well, but because she started talking to him and has
continued to do so. I told her she had to see a psychiatrist
to get a prescription, and would have to see him several
times to make sure the drugs were ok for her. It turned out
to be a way to get her into therapy, kind of through the
back door. I just wanted to add this for those who feel like
I did, initially not wanting to go the psychiatrist route.
My son has been experiencing anxiety attacks for some time which now have
forced him to drop out of school and are limiting his ability to find and
keep a regular job. I would appreciate any recomandation for a
psychiatrist who takes Blue Cross, she/he doesn't need to be specialized
in teenagers, even though that would be nice. I prefer the Contra Costa
area, but anything in the East Bay will work also.
My recent experience with both psychiatry and psychology unfortunately
has led me to believe that the best ones out there don't take
insurance. And, like everything in life, you have to find someone
that suits your own style. If you are able to submit a bill to your
insurance company I highly recommend Dr. Michael Loose.
We however, use a psychologist for weekly visits, and see Dr. Loose
for medication. Sounds like anti-anxiety drugs might be of great
benefit to your son.
My teenage daughter is going to try some anti-depressant meds . We just started
seeing Dr. Trautner for this. She is still seeing her therapist so we are not going to
Dr. Trautner for ''therapy'' also. (It was hard finding someone in our health plan who
both served adolescents and had an appointment in the near future.) He seems nice,
sensitive and attentive, but I don't know him from Adam. I was wondering how the
follow-up was. Does any one have experiences with him? Thanks.
I saw Dr. Trautner several years back for depression
medication. I was in my early 30's at the time and also saw
a therapist. He was pretty sensitive I thought, and was more
than competent in terms of prescribing medication and in
follow up. I remember we adjusted dosage a time or two.
I've seen a handful or so MDs over the years for depression,
and sensitivity is not always their strength. They can be very
clinical. As long as your daughter understands that her
therapist is her real confidante and the MD is more of a
technician. I remember him reassuring me that there would
be a time in my life when I wouldn't need meds to get
through a depression... He was right.. I've always
appreciated that he said that to me.
Best of luck
I have worked w/ Dr. Rick Trautner for several years now on the
inpatient psychiatric units at the Herrick campus of Alta
Bates. My observations of his work w/ patients and families are
that he is kind, knowledgeable & responsive. He is one of the
medical directors there & often has to make difficult decisions
involving policy, staff, patients, & fellow MDs - I feel that
he does so w/ integrity & compassion. As a nurse I feel that he
has a good understanding of pharmacology & would recommend him
to treat one of my family members. Good luck to you & your
If you are able to submit a bill to your
insurance company I highly recommend Dr. Michael Loose, MD. (He does
not accept insurance of any kind.) He's in Walnut Creek, very near
John Muir Hospital, 925-944-2404 at 177 La Casa Via. Dr. Loose is
also on the staff at the Mt. Diablo Hospital adolescent psych unit so
he sees lots of teenagers. My child really likes his caring style.
this page was last updated: Aug 23, 2014
BPN is now a 501(c)(3) non-profit and we are building a new website!
Read more, and see how you can help:
The opinions and statements expressed on this website
are those of parents who subscribe to the
Berkeley Parents Network.
Disclaimer & Usage for
information about using content on this website.
Copyright © 1996-2014 Berkeley Parents Network