Family Psychiatry
Counseling and Wellness

A comprehensive, integrative psychiatric and wellness clinic serving the mental, physical, emotional and preventative health needs of all members of the family. Find better, one step at a time.

Holistic Psychiatry for your Mind, Body and Soul

At Family Psychiatry Counseling and Wellness, we specialize in performing comprehensive psychiatric and psychological evaluations to establish accurate diagnoses and prepare individualized treatment plans. We combine advanced conventional methods with safe alternative treatment approaches to bring about lasting relief and improved quality of life.

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Ketamine Therapy

What is Ketamine?

Ketamine was originally developed as anesthesia and a pain killer. Since the 1970s, ketamine has been advertised in the United States as an injectable, short-acting anesthetic for use in humans and animals. It was used in treating wounded soldiers on the battlefields in the Vietnam War. In 2000, there was the first study published to show encouraging results for ketamine infusion therapy.

While Ketamine has been known to produce a “dissociative experience,” under the strict medical eye, researchers are able to administer it in a controlled clinical setting to aid with treatment-resistant depression and other conditions. In 2019, it was FDA approved for treating depression in the form of a nasal spray called Esketamine (Spravato). Due to this treatment being so influential in helping patients who have been unsuccessful with past anti-depressants, the FDA expedited the approval process to make it more readily accessible.

Ketamine comes in different forms. The only FDA-approved as medication for depression is the nasal spray which is given to adults who haven’t been helped by antidepressant pills, are suicidal, or have a major depressive disorder.

How Does Ketamine Work?

Unlike most antidepressants, which only affect the patient when it is in their system, Ketamine can generate reactions in the cortex of the brain that allows connections to regrow. According to John Krystal MD, chief psychiatrist at Yale Medicine, “It’s the reaction to ketamine, not the presence of ketamine in the body that constitutes its effects.”

There are neurons in the brain involved in mood that use a neurotransmitter called glutamate to connect with each other. The neurons need glutamate receptors to communicate. In some people with depression, the glutamate receptors are often underactive or weakened.

After people received Ketamine, those neuron connections were replenished with new glutamate receptors that allowed the neurons to respond again. That regrowth can help the brain’s ability to change which can aid in depression.

What is Ketamine Infusion Therapy?

Ketamine infusion therapy is a treatment that helps mental health conditions, particularly treatment-resistant depression. To be diagnosed with treatment-resistant depression, people must have tried and failed at least two antidepressant treatments.

According to one study, 88% of participants given ketamine infusion in the emergency room noted that their suicidal ideation went away in 90 minutes.

Ketamine infusions have been shown to be the treatment the body absorbs the best. This therapy has been praised for its high rate of response. In another study, 85% of participants experienced a remission in their depressive symptoms.

Most patients receiving Ketamine infusions state the feeling as meditative and relaxing. The effects of the ketamine normally wear off in 1-2 hours but places that offer the infusions will walk through the process more thoroughly.

Depression is one of the most common mental disorders affecting 1 in 15 adults in any given year. The effects of depression often cause a lack of motivation and procrastination. Where thoughts of “I tried one thing and it didn’t work” ring in the minds of many who suffer from depression, the good news is that there isn’t one fix. If antidepressants don’t seem to work, there are other options. Besides Ketamine, TMS or transcranial magnetic stimulation is another option that responds well to patients who have been treatment-resistant to depression.

Here at Family Psychiatry and Activate TMS, we are motivated to give our patients options. If you or someone you love need some extra help, please reach out. We are always here to help.


Tap into new possibility

Depression is a common mood disorder that negatively affects how you think, act, and feel. People with depression have trouble completing day-to-day activities and find that it greatly impacts their relationships with others. While there are options to help combat depression, sometimes it is not so straightforward.

Maybe you’ve tried medications and talk therapy but feel like you aren’t making any progress. While medications might work for some people; others could struggle to find the right prescription combination. Studies show that the chance of remission goes down with each new medication. According to NeuroStar’s studies, “In a large study of pharmaceutical treatments for depression, patients who tried 4 medications had just a 7% rate of remission.” While it is not easy figuring out what method works best for you, the good news is there isn’t just one path.

What if there was another solution?

What is TMS?

TMS stands for Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation and is an FDA-cleared, safe, effective, non-drug treatment for depression.

Who is used for?

TMS therapy is for adult patients with Major Depressive Disorder. This treatment is best for people who have not benefited from prior medication and would like to consider non-systemic treatment.

What is the time commitment?

TMS is a total of 36 treatments, Monday through Friday. The initial mapping ranges from 1-1.5 hours and the follow-up appointments are around 30 minutes a session. This is a time commitment that does require you to come in person to our office and receive the treatment. If you happen to miss a day or two due to unexpected circumstances, your Provider will make a recommendation on how to continue with treatment. However, if you plan to have some time away, we do suggest planning the treatment before or after the trip.

How much does it cost?

TMS is covered under most insurances, we are currently contracted with Anthem, Cigna, UBH, Magellan, MHN, and Aetna. We are in the process of getting contracted with more insurances as well. We also offer Self Pay rates too.

What are the treatments like? Does it hurt? Is it safe?

You get to relax in a comfortable reclining chair where you can chat with our staff, watch a movie, read a book, or listen to music. You will be awake during these treatments and will be able to drive to and from the appointments. You will feel a tapping sensation on the front part of the left side of your head. Everyone experiences the pulses differently, and your provider can modify them so you are more comfortable.

The most common side effect is discomfort in the treatment area. Some patients complain of a slight headache after the first day but that goes down after the first few days. Most patients find any discomfort diminishes after the first 5 days of treatment.

How is TMS different from medications?

TMS targets the problem at the source. The coil placed on the left prefrontal cortex is sending pulsed magnetic fields to stimulate the underactive cells in your brain. Since medications affect your entire body there tend to have systemic side effects. The probability you will achieve remission with another antidepressant after 3 medication failures are less than 7%. The efficacy with NeuroStar TMS is 83% of patients responded and 62% achieved remission.

While these are some of the common questions around TMS, if you find yourself wanting more information please reach out. Check out our website,

Think of this time as a positive move into your mental health journey. This time is dedicated to you so every day you show up for the treatments you should be proud. It’s not easy taking the first steps but we are here to help you along this path. If you or a loved one are interested in learning more about TMS please reach out, we would love to talk with you.

We encourage everyone who is curious about what TMS can do for you, to take our quiz now.



Whether it be keeping in touch with friends to filling up spare time, social media is an active presence in people’s daily routines. Many individuals start and end their day on their devices, according to recent data “58.4% of the world's population uses social media. The average daily usage is 2 hours and 27 minutes (January 2022).”

With every new app, there is a want to keep scrolling and posting, but while there are some benefits to social media there are also negatives. Taking a break from your device can allow you to appreciate the present and have positive effects on your mental health.

Less Stress and Anxiety

Constantly being on social media has shown an increase in anxiety and depression. Frequently comparing yourself to others and feeling like you are missing out are two main contributors. A study showed that logging off for a week reduced a considerable amount of stress in the individuals. If a week is too long, there is another recent study that showed limiting the use of social media to just 30 minutes a day greatly decreased the feelings of depression and loneliness.

Improved Sleep

How often are you scrolling just before bed? Do you turn the lights out before your phone? Researchers have found that many people have a fear of missing out (FOMO) and that drives them to be active on social media into the night. These events cause sleep difficulties and problems getting a proper night’s rest. A study found that limiting access to the internet before bedtime had positive effects on sleep.

Being in the Moment

With the fear of missing out and the want to document one’s life, it’s hard to truly be in the moment. It is understandable wanting to post and save important life events, but if it is distracting from experiencing them then that can be a problem. Taking a break from the apps can allow you to directly interact with experiences without the filter of social media.

Fewer Distractions

Think about how much you could get done if you silenced your notifications and put your device away. Without the alerts and the mindless scrolling, that time can be put to other productive tasks. If you need help creating that structure, we suggest having a set schedule of no screen time that can be dedicated to engaging in other activities.

Allows self-reflection

Having to compare yourself to others or feel like you must be your best self, due to social media can have a negative effect on your self-esteem. Disconnecting from the judgments and standards caused by social media can allow you to focus on yourself. The time away from a screen can be the time that you check in with yourself and practice self-care.

It’s not easy to put the phone down, but there are many benefits to limiting your screen time. Silencing notifications and turning off alerts can be helpful in reducing social media. Deciding to stop scrolling after a certain time of day or having an allotted time when you can use your device can also help. Noticing how you are feeling when you are on social media can be very important. If you or someone you love feels like social media is impacting your life negatively and you need help disconnecting, please reach out. We are here to help!


(805) 341-3416

Monday - Friday, 9:00am - 6:00pm


31194 La Baya Drive
Suite 202
Westlake Village, CA 91362


© 2021 Family Psychiatry Counseling and Wellness.