Frequently Asked Questions

What is a psychiatric nurse practitioner?

A psychiatric nurse practitioner is an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) trained to provide a wide range of mental health services to patients and families in a variety of settings. The role of a psychiatric nurse practitioner is similar to that of a psychiatrist in that they are licensed to diagnose and treat patients for mental health conditions using interventions such as psychotherapy and medication management.

What are your education and qualifications?

Drs. Ryan and Olivia both received their degrees from Fairfield University’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program, a clinically-oriented degree that focuses on the evaluation and application of existing evidence to improve practice outcomes. Beyond the traditional offerings of master’s degree nurse practitioner program, they have taken additional coursework  on topics such as public health, organizational systems, leadership, business management, clinical scholarship, information technology, and policy-making.

Drs. Ryan and Olivia are both board-certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) as psychiatric mental-health nurse practitioners (PMHNP-BC). This means that they have met the standards required to provide high quality patient care by passing a rigorous competency based examination. This test validates and provides a reliable assessment of the clinical knowledge and skills of nurse practitioners.

Dr. Ryan has also received board certification as a certified addictions registered nurse (CARN) by the Addictions Nursing Certification Board (ANCB), making him adept in the field of addiction-medicine. Dr. Olivia is in the process of obtaining board certification as a certified eating disorder registered nurse (CEDRN) through the International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals Foundation (IAEDP).

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What can I expect at my first appointment and subsequent visits?

The time allotted to your first visit is typically about 1 hour and 30 minutes. During this appointment, your provider will conduct an initial psychiatric evaluation. This will include discussing topics such as your presenting problem, when your symptoms began, and how they affect your day-to-day functioning. Your provider will also ask you information about your social history, medical history, and family history. At the end of the appointment, you and your provider will come up with a plan together about how to best address your individual needs.

Follow up appoints are about 30 to 45 minutes in length. The goals of these visits tend to be more focused upon primary problems and refining your treatment plan. Typically, your provider will ask you questions about any progress or areas that may be in need of improvement. Depending upon your symptoms, your provider may incorporate psychotherapeutic techniques to help treat your symptoms. Your provider will likely ask you questions about any current medications you are taking, such as efficacy and any potential side effects. During the end of your visit, you and your provider will work together to establish your next appointment time. This may be in as little as two to three days or up to three months depending on how you are doing.

What makes High and Grounded Wellness unique?

There are many qualities that make High and Grounded Wellness a unique mental health practice.  Patients tend to value the level of privacy provided in our easily accessible, yet discrete office setting. Furthermore, because High and Grounded Wellness is a small practice, providers limit the amount of patients seen. This allows them to provide ample time and attention to address your individualized treatment goals. In addition, the practices does not have ancillary staff members, so all communication is done directly through your provider. Being that the providers do not directly bill insurance companies for payment, they have the ability to provide a highly personalized treatment plan that is not dictated by the regulations of insurance guidelines. This directly aligns with the ethical values of High and Grounded Wellness: human dignity, privacy, justice, autonomy in decision-making, efficiency in care, commitment, human-connection, sympathy, honesty, and individual and professional competency.

What is your treatment approach?

Drs. Ryan and Olivia have been fortunate enough to have received a sound education that has helped to inform their clinical practice. Trained first as nurses, their approach is holistically oriented. It is characterized by the treatment of the whole person, taking into account the mental, social, and spiritual components of an individual, rather than simply reducing patients to the physical symptoms of a disease. They want to learn about who you are as a person. This includes your hobbies and interests, values, and life goals. Drs. Ryan and Olivia believe that a good working therapeutic relationship is characterized by trust and honesty. Because health and wellbeing is the priority, if they feel that the patient-provider relationship is not a good fit, they will direct you to a specialty referral source.

Drs. Ryan and Olivia consider themselves trauma-informed providers. Both have completed extensive training and supervision in a psychotherapeutic approach known as Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy (EMDR). EMDR is an evidence-based form of psychotherapy used to identify and process traumatic memories. Regardless of the extent of your trauma history, distressing events can be significant contributing factors to a wide variety of mental health symptoms.  Drs. Ryan and Olivia also take into consideration the attachment-style between you, your primary caregivers, and important individuals in your life, as these relationships tend to influence interpersonal dynamics within long- and short-term relationships.

Can I utilize my insurance for your services?

Providers at High and Grounded Wellness are considered "out-of-network". As such, providers do not accept insurance nor will they bill your insurance company directly. If you would like to utilize insurance to pay for services, it is your responsibility to check what your out-of-network benefits are, if you have met your deductible, and what percentage you are responsible to pay, if any. We are more than happy to provide you with a detailed invoice which you may submit to your insurance company for reimbursement. Payments are due in full at the time services are rendered.

What is your cancelation policy?

Patients are encouraged to inform their provider as soon as possible when they know they are unable to make an appointment. Patients who make cancelations less than 24 hours before the scheduled appointment may be responsible for payment in full.

What forms of payment are accepted?

We accept cash, check, and credit/debit cards.