How do I know if I need to see a psychiatrist?
That is a personal decision that is entirely up to you. If you have been struggling with significant mood impairment (whether that be persistent feelings of sadness, despair, anxiety, irritability, mood swings, or feelings of hopelessness or helplessness), it may be a good idea to seek help from a trained psychiatric physician (M.D.) who has the ability to prescribe pharmacological intervention should that be needed.
I’m hesitant to begin medication for my mood. Will medication change my personality?
No, medication will not change your personality. Psychiatric medications, when prescribed judiciously and with care, have the power to transform the lives of those suffering from mental health issues, like depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and OCD. At The Happiness Psychiatrist®, we believe in using the lowest effective dose of psychiatric medication, tailored specifically to each patient’s individual needs. In addition, Dr. Ambardar incorporates other treatment modalities to treat mood symptoms, including psychotherapy, meditation, walking therapy, and Kundalini Yoga.
Why don’t you accept insurance?
Insurance companies typically place many restrictions and demands on doctors and dictate the frequency and level of care that physicians may provide to their patients. In order to offer you the highest-quality personalized service, tailored to your individual needs and not subject to third-party restrictions, Dr. Ambardar does not contract with any insurance providers. In this way, she can focus all of her energies on serving you, the patient, to the best of her abilities.
Do you offer in-person appointments?
While we are primarily a boutique telehealth practice that serves patients throughout California and New York, we continue to offer in-person outdoor walking therapy sessions in the Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, Santa Monica, and UCLA/Westwood areas. In addition, Dr. Ambardar is periodically in the San Francisco Bay Area, Stanford area, and New York City areas.
Do you offer weekend and evening appointments?
Dr. Ambardar is aware that many of her patients are busy and successful professionals, executives, creatives, and students. For this reason, she is happy to offer Saturday and evening appointments.
I already have a great therapist that I see on a regular basis. Can I see Dr. Ambardar for medication management check-ups only?
Yes of course. If you are already under the care of a therapist, Dr. Ambardar is happy to work collaboratively with him or her throughout the course of your treatment in order to ensure that your care is coordinated optimally.
I’ve never heard of walking psychotherapy. How does it work?
Walking psychotherapy, first employed by Sigmund Freud in the late 1800s and now practiced by a handful of mental health professionals around the U.S., combines regular talk therapy with the tremendous added benefit of physical exercise. Numerous studies have shown the positive psychological effects of outdoor exercise on mental health and we know that open-air workouts have the power to transform and revitalize mood. During these sessions, you will be walking side by side with Dr. Ambardar at a comfortable and unhurried pace, literally moving forward as we work out issues and problems in a casual and peaceful setting. Some patients have reported that they find it easier to relax and let their guard down when walking outdoors as opposed to being face-to-face with a doctor in a formal office setting. Currently, Dr. Ambardar offers walking therapy in the Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, Santa Monica, and Westwood areas.
I’m not a religious or spiritual kind of person. Would meditation and/or Kundalini Yoga work for me?
Yes, of course. Meditation and Kundalini Yoga, while founded on Hindu principles, can be used by people of any religious persuasion or philosophic background. Meditation is universally applied by people of all faiths as a path to calmness, mental clarity, and peace of mind. Regular meditation helps us gain inspiration, leads us to a greater understanding of our true selves, and provides us with valuable insights into our lives.
What is Kundalini Yoga?
Kundalini Yoga, also known as the Yoga of Awareness, is an ancient Hindu spiritual practice, first developed thousands of years ago in India, that strengthens the nervous system through the use of breathing techniques, body postures, and meditation. Regular practice is believed to awaken the latent and powerful kundalini energy found at the base of the spine within every human being. Releasing this powerful life force through the use of prana (breath), asana (postures), mantra (sound therapy), and meditation, leads to an increase in self-awareness, intuition, and peace of mind. If requested, Dr. Ambardar will incorporate elements of Kundalini Yoga into our therapy sessions according to your level of comfort and individual needs.
How long will I be in treatment?
That is a personal decision that is entirely up to you. The ultimate goal of all therapy is to allow you to eventually complete therapy, equipped with the tools and behaviors that you need to lead a productive and happy life on your own. During your time at The Happiness Psychiatrist®, that will be our primary goal and you are free to discontinue therapy at any time.
That being said, many people do find it beneficial to continue seeing their therapist regularly over the long-run. In addition, if you are on psychiatric medications, it is important that you see your psychiatrist monthly for regular check-ups, lab work, and any medication adjustments that may be needed.
What if I can’t make my appointment or have to reschedule?
We kindly request 48 business hours notice for any cancellations or changes in appointment time. Any cancellations made after this window will be charged 100% of the full fee.
Do your patients get better?
Absolutely. While treatment outcomes differ from individual to individual, the vast majority of patients who follow Dr. Ambardar’s prescribed regimen of medication (if needed) and psychotherapy notice significant improvement in mood and overall outlook over time.
At The Happiness Psychiatrist®, our patient philosophy centers around treating the whole person: mind, body, and soul. We believe that the judicious use of psychopharmacology, coupled with psychotherapy, and other alternative treatments (such as meditation, Kundalini yoga, and walking therapy), can bring about transformative changes in the lives of those suffering from depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, OCD, and other common mental conditions and life issues.
As a woman-owned online business, we are proud to serve all parts of California, including the Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, West Hollywood, Westwood/UCLA, Pasadena, Malibu, Burbank, San Francisco, Marin County, Portola Valley, Palo Alto, Stanford, Silicon Valley, Cupertino, Menlo Park, and San Jose areas.
We are also proud to serve all parts of New York, including New York City, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Greenwich Village, the Upper East Side, the Upper West Side, the West Village, and the Hudson River Valley area.