Pacific Pain & Wellness Group in Torrance has a team of licensed providers ready to help you overcome your mental health challenges. We specialize in mental health disorder treatment, medication management, and counseling for individuals, couples, and families. We also offer group therapy services to help support you in your journey toward a better life.
Our interventions and techniques are evidence-based, which means that they have been shown to be effective in controlled studies. By using evidence-based treatments, we are able to provide the best results possible.
Your therapist will work with you to build a safe and trusting relationship so you can feel comfortable sharing your story and working on growth and self-development. We treat a variety of mental health disorders through individual therapy. This allows you to have the attention you deserve so you can focus on addressing your concerns.
Our mental health team includes licensed mental health providers with years of experience. Because they have decades of collective experience providing psychiatric care and psychotherapy services, you can feel confident in their ability to improve your quality of life.
Full Range of Mental Health Treatment Options
We understand that every person is different. Even if two people have the same diagnosis, their symptoms may present in very different ways. During your first consultation, we’ll do a comprehensive intake to learn about your current symptoms, medical history, psychosocial history, family history, cultural background, and medications.
From your very first appointment, you’ll see how dedicated we are to giving you the best and most effective treatments. These include both standard options and innovative solutions to helping you feel your best.
Standard Mental Health Treatment Options:
- Psychotropic medications (new prescriptions)
- Complete medication management (to achieve proper balance)
- Working with your medical providers to address all aspects of care
- Psychotherapy (counseling) in individual, couple, family, and group settings
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) evidence-based interventions
- Psychodynamic therapy that focuses on the root of issues and how to move forward
- Topic-specific group therapy for both effective treatment and social support
- Diagnosis, treatment, and management of mental health disorders
- ADD testing for children (over 11 years old), teens, and adults
- Pre-surgical psychiatric evaluations (when required for insurance approval)
- Suboxone treatment for opioid or heroin addiction
Innovative Mental Health Treatment Options:
- Low dose ketamine infusions to treat major depressive disorder, suicidal thoughts, anxiety disorders, PTSD, and OCD
- Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to target areas of the brain responsible for depression
- Solutions for treatment-resistant depression when medications have failed to work
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI) rehabilitation that meets each individual’s unique needs
Combination Mental Health Treatment Options
When one treatment modality does not adequately provide relief, we will find a combination approach to give you the best results possible. This method involves taking all available treatment options into consideration, and then narrowing them down to the ones that are most likely to be successful for you.
Combination treatments may involve:
- Prescribing a combination of psychotropic medications
- Using medication and psychotherapy together
- Combining individual therapy with group therapy
- Trying acupuncture along with your other treatments
- Transcranial magnetic stimulation with counseling and/or an antidepressant
- Ketamine infusions with psychotherapy and/or psychotropic medications
No matter which treatment or combination of treatments is best for you, we will work with you to find the best solution to help you think better and feel better. Our goal is to improve your quality of life so that you can function better, enjoy the people you love, and get back to doing what makes you happy.
Psychotropic Medication Management
One of the most effective ways to manage a mental health disorder is through the use of psychotropic medications. The major classes of these medications are broken down into the following categories:
- Antianxiety Medications
- Mood Stabilizers
The most commonly prescribed class of antidepressant medication works by inhibiting the amount of serotonin (a neurotransmitter) that is reabsorbed by the brain. This process is called “selective serotonin reuptake.” For this reason, this class of antidepressants is aptly called “selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors,” or SSRIs.
Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers that help send messages from one neuron to another. When serotonin reuptake is blocked with an SSRI, more of this neurotransmitter is available in the brain to use for messaging. This helps decrease symptoms of depression and improve mood.
In some situations, patients may be prescribed an SSRI to treat another mental health disorder, such as ADHD or anxiety (in adults). Although not specifically designed to treat these conditions, some adults with these conditions are better able to manage their symptoms when taking an SSRI.
The most commonly prescribed SSRI medications include:
- Celexa (citalopram)
- Lexapro (escitalopram)
- Zoloft (sertraline)
- Prozac (fluoxetine)
- Paxil (paroxetine)
Taking the right SSRI medication in the ideal dosage is an important part of managing symptoms of depression. Only an experienced psychiatrist can help you find the right balance between the type of medication you’re taking, the dosage, and how often you take it. SSRIs can take several weeks to months to find the ideal SSRI and dosage amount that works best with your body.
Other types of antidepressants: Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) are another type of antidepressant that is less commonly prescribed. In some cases, an antidepressant called bupropion is prescribed.
Bupropion can help treat a type of depression that comes and goes during wintertime, called seasonal affective disorder, or SAD. It can also help increase the chances for success when someone is trying to stop smoking.
Benzodiazepines are the most commonly prescribed type of medication for generalized anxiety disorder, or GAD. There are short-acting and fast-acting versions of this medication, which your doctor will keep in mind when prescribing.
When a patient has social phobia or is diagnosed with panic disorder, an SSRI is usually the first-line treatment (benzodiazepines are not usually prescribed first).
“Half-life” is a term used to describe how fast a medication starts working. Some anti-anxiety medications, like lorazepam, have a short half-life, meaning that they start to work very quickly.
Fast-acting medication is often used on an as needed basis to help someone cope with an anxiety-provoking or stressful situation. Medication is often supplemented with counseling to learn cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) techniques to help manage anxious thoughts and physiological reactions.
For generalized anxiety that persists, regardless of the situation, a long-acting medication is usually recommended. This can include SSRIs and/or buspirone, which need to be taken on a regular basis to help build up medication levels in the body for maximum effectiveness. It can take a few weeks to several months to find the right medication combination and dosage that benefits you most.
Stimulants for ADD and ADHD
Stimulants boost energy, focus, and awareness while also increasing one’s heartbeat, blood pressure, and rate of breathing. In people with ADHD, a stimulant has a calming and balancing effect, allowing the person to do better with concentration, less fidgeting, and performance at school or work.
The most commonly prescribed medications for ADHD are stimulants, but the FDA recently approved several non-stimulants. Because of the side effects that come with stimulant medications, a non-stimulant is often tried first, especially with kids and teens.
Antipsychotics are used to help bring a person back to being consciously aware of their surroundings. These symptoms can feel like being disconnected from time, reality, or the physical body; getting lost in delusional thoughts; or having visual/auditory hallucinations. An antipsychotic works on the areas of the brain that are connected with these specific symptoms.
Antipsychotics can be used to treat:
- Severe depression
- Bipolar Disorder
- Severe eating disorders
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
- Drug use resulting in temporary psychosis
- Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
- Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Antipsychotic medications are not a cure for psychotic symptoms that a person may be experiencing. Rather, the medication helps to lessen symptoms to a manageable level so that the person is better able to function.
This class of medication is usually prescribed for bipolar disorder or other mental health disorders that involve severe mood instability. Mood stabilizers can be prescribed on their own or in combination with another medication such as an antidepressant.
The most common types of mood stabilizers include lithium and anticonvulsants. Lithium is often used as a long-term management tool for the treatment of bipolar disorder with manic symptoms.
Mood stabilizers can help treat conditions such as:
- Severe depression (often prescribed with an SSRI)
- Schizoaffective Disorder
- Impulse control disorders
Valproic acid is the most commonly prescribed anticonvulsant used as a mood stabilizer. This medication appears to be especially effective in individuals with “mixed” features (manic episodes and depressive episodes).
Our expert team can help you find the right medication that will help you manage your symptoms so you can start feeling like yourself again.
One of the most effective tools in your arsenal is psychotherapy. Also called “talk therapy,” this treatment can help you gain insight into your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. This increase in self-awareness can open the door to becoming a better, more improved version of you.
Therapy often focuses on aspects of a person’s life that may be negatively affecting them such as:
- Processing trauma
- Improving communication skills
- Working through childhood attachment issues
- Learning to manage anger, anxiety, and depression
Your very first session will involve an in-depth intake interview to explore your presenting concerns, when they started, how long they’ve been happening, and how intense they are. Your therapist will also ask you about your medical and psychological history, family of origin, social support network, cultural background, and much more.
Individual sessions are the most common type of psychotherapy. Treatment is done in private, one-on-one sessions that allow for personalized attention, unconditional acceptance, and a safe space for therapy.
The most important aspect of the therapeutic relationship is creating a trusting relationship between the therapist and client. A therapist’s approach to counseling will reflect his or her view of how he or she believes people develop, grow, and change.
If a couple is experiencing difficulties in their relationship, therapy can help define the issues and work as a team toward resolution. Something that often helps is doing a screening assessment to discover where each person stands on particular issues and aspects of the relationship. Conflict resolution is often a primary focus in couples therapy.
Families can also benefit from psychotherapy when they are committed to making changes that will help the family unit. It is preferable for the entire family to attend therapy, but it is not a necessity. Families are a system. Therefore, when one person in the system changes, the entire family unit can be positively affected.
Communication skill development, definitions of family roles, and conflict resolution are often the goal in family therapy.
Group therapy can also be extremely beneficial for many of our patients. For example, when someone is trying to quit smoking, having others there who are also trying to quit can be a positive source of support that contributes to success.
Innovative Treatment Modalities
For some people with chronic pain, depression or anxiety can also develop. For others, depression itself can cause physical pain that won’t go away. Our expert team is experienced in treating both mental and physical pain and understanding how they can be intertwined.
We offer a number of innovative treatments that can help:
- Ketamine infusions can treat chronic pain and mood disorders.
- Transcranial magnetic stimulation can treat depression that is resistant to antidepressant medications.
- Suboxone treatment can treat opioid addiction resulting from the use of opioid painkillers.
- Spinal cord stimulation, prolotherapy, epidural injections, facet joint injections, nerve blocks, and other solutions to manage chronic pain.
- If chronic pain is effectively treated, depression and anxiety can sometimes be prevented.
Visit Pacific Pain & Wellness Group for Mental Health Treatment
Our team of mental health specialists is standing by to help get you on track for a better quality of life. Whether you’re dealing with an unmanaged mental health disorder, mood disorder, or personal challenge, we are here for you.
We have standard treatment options, innovative solutions, and psychotherapy available to help. Give us a call today to schedule your intake appointment to get started.
At Pacific Pain & Wellness Group, we care about you as much as you do. Our goal is to help you feel better so you can live better. We can be reached in Torrance, Los Angeles at (310) 437-7399.