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Richard Bermudes, MD: Esketamine, Medication Management and TMS
Dr. Bermudes is Board Certified in Adult Psychiatry and Family Medicine, with 20 years’ experience caring for patients. He founded Mindful Health Solutions in 2007, serves as the practice’s Medical Director, and is an expert on TMS practice organization and policy development. With his background as a professor and researcher, he leads the practice in its mission to educate the public and clinicians on both mental health issues and TMS, to continually seek the most advanced treatments, and to actively contribute to the medical community’s knowledge of mental health conditions and therapy efficacy.
He recently wrote and edited “Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation: Clinical Applications for Psychiatric Practice”, a book with key research findings on TMS as well as its potential to be used for other conditions such as OCD, PTSD, Adolescent Depression and mild dementia. He is experienced in treating patients with MDD (Major Depressive Disorder), including Unipolar Depression.
Dr. Bermudes is a caring, collaborative practitioner with a structured, goal-oriented approach to treating mental health conditions. His treatment plans may include TMS, medication management or cognitive therapy.
Christopher Chin, MD: Esketamine, Medication Management and TMS
Dr. Chin is a board-certified adult psychiatrist with a focus on diagnosing and treating individuals suffering from mood and anxiety conditions, and helping people in the management of clinical depression. He has a significant interest in diagnosing and treating mood disorders, specifically bipolar spectrum disorders, unipolar depression, treatment-resistant depression, as well as OCD, and anxiety conditions.
Although his undergraduate learning primed his interest in the neuroscience of human experience, he initially entered the medical field with the aspiration to become a primary care physician, as he greatly idealized the doctor-patient relationship. Over time through his medical studies and personal experiences, he developed an appreciation for the profound – and at times isolating – psychological and social consequences of psychiatric conditions. Caring for individuals living with these experiences as a psychiatrist became a natural fit for him, and he hasn’t looked back since.
Dr. Chin has a collaborative and holistic approach with his patients. Taking time to understand his patients’ personalities, situations, and preferences enhance his ability to modulate his approach and provide the most personalized care. Dr. Chin views clinical medicine as the art of understanding and responding to individual value judgments, and psychiatric practice is no different. He values his patients’ questions as it opens the door for dialogue and understanding of the best treatment for the individual.
For Dr. Chin, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is an effective, non-invasive therapeutic technology, and it provides an opportunity of robust improvement for many patients unresponsive to medications and psychotherapy. Having worked with patients with treatment-resistant conditions, he is excited to be able to offer this option to his patients. Moreover, the development of TMS as a therapeutic has contributed to the fundamental understanding of clinical depression and the brain’s role in other psychiatric conditions.
He joins TMS Health Solutions in the winter of 2021.
Irina Filip, MD: Esketamine, Medication Management and TMS
Dr. Filip is a Board-Certified Psychiatrist who specializes in diagnosing and treating mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders. She has an extensive background and training in psychopharmacology and, in addition to her Doctor of Medicine, has completed her Doctor of Health Sciences.
Understanding that people come to see a psychiatrist for a variety of reasons yet share the same pain, Dr. Filip will meet her patients in that vulnerable spot in a caring and sensitive way, helping them find their strengths to feel more confident and recognize they are not alone in their struggles. Perhaps emotional reactions that once served well may no longer do so. For her, each person has a unique makeup of personality traits and has the right to be heard and understood, finding comfort and safety in sharing their emotions in an encouraging, empathetic and warm environment. Her therapeutic approach is to mutually arrive at an understanding of the problem through active listening and social perceptiveness and develop a holistic plan by using critical thinking and complex problem-solving skills.
When working with a patient, she assesses the risks, develops an individualized treatment plan, and may order laboratory and diagnostic tests. She believes that the thoughtful use of psychopharmacology, combined with psychotherapy and other noninvasive treatments, helps in treating the person as a whole and not merely treating the symptoms.
Dr. Filip developed a special interest in Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) as a non-invasive and effective therapy for treatment-resistant depressive disorders. TMS produces painless repetitive magnetic pulses targeting the deeper limbic system, which is vital in regulating emotional responses. It activates the brain regions that have a decreased activity in depression.
She joined Mindful Health Solutions in the Spring of 2020.
Sarah Shah, MD: Esketamine, Medication Management and TMS
Dr. Shah is a Board-Certified Adult Psychiatrist with an interest and experience in helping individuals suffering from a wide range of mental conditions, including ADHD, Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), and Major Depressive Disorders (MDD).
When originally pursuing medicine, she was drawn to internal medicine and began a residency in it, though psychiatry had always captured her interest and intrigue. For Dr. Shah, psychiatry is a field of medicine that is unique in the sense it combines science and art. This was a driving reason to consider pursuing psychiatry. What truly finalized her decision, however, was her own personal experience witnessing the ongoing stigma still present in terms of mental health care treatment. And while there are many reasons she enjoys the field of psychiatric care today, her continued advocacy for promoting the “destigmatization” of mental health care remains close to her heart.
Dr. Shah has a very individualized working style, based on the person or patient she is treating and their needs and style. Working together with the patient, as opposed to the sometimes “patriarchal” method of medicine, is her prime goal. For example, two patients with the same diagnosis don’t necessarily indicate approaching treatment goals in the same manner. She finds this highly collaborative approach leads to better patient treatment outcomes overall.
While Dr. Shah often helps her patients with a psychopharmacological approach, she sees psychiatry as a field of study that continues to grow and evolve with new advances and new treatments. This includes Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) and esketamine nasal spray, both FDA-approved treatments for depression. For her, it is of utmost importance to be able to offer patients alternative treatments when medication and talk therapy haven’t been enough. She is pleased to provide new and up-to-date treatment options to her patients and help them find relief.
She joined Mindful Health Solutions in early 2021.
George Tun, MD: Esketamine, Medication Management and TMS
Dr. Tun is a Board Certified Adult Psychiatrist specializing in treatment-resistant depression and Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS). He has a wealth of experience treating mood disorders and helping patients find recovery.
After treating over 500 patients in two San Francisco Mindful Health Solutions locations, Dr. Tun is now the lead physician in the Costa Mesa clinic. In addition to patient treatment, he is passionate about raising awareness in the community on the benefits of TMS therapy and its role in treating multiple psychiatric illnesses including major depression, generalized anxiety, OCD, and PTSD.
A longtime advocate of holistic and integrative care, Dr. Tun prefers a multi-dimensional approach in which he encourages his patients to make use of not one but multiple treatment options available to them, including TMS, medications, psychotherapy, nutrition, exercise, and relaxation methods such as meditation and yoga. He also believes in individualized care and seeks to tailor each treatment plan to every patient’s own unique history, beliefs, genetics, and body chemistry. After adequate improvement of symptoms, Dr. Tun prioritizes relapse-prevention, to ensure his patients remain in recovery and maintain a full and enriching life.
Katherine Weeks, PMHNP: Medication Management
Katherine is a psychiatric nurse practitioner with over thirty years of patient-care experience in a variety of settings, including behavioral health. Her specific areas of interest are mood disorders, especially challenging to treat depression and anxiety disorders.
Katherine has always had a lifelong fascination with how the mind and the brain work as well as how individuals recover from loss, disappointment, stress, and anxiety. Having worked for many years in nursing and critical care, she found her most satisfying aspect of nursing was facilitating and supporting patients to navigate their health crisis. This led her to seek additional training as an outpatient mental health nurse. She eventually pursued her advanced practice nursing degree with a specialty as a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP).
Her patient care is focused on collaboration and looking at a patient’s overall health holistically. As the patient is the expert on what they are experiencing and the impact it is having on their life, she sees her role as veraciously understanding that experience and offering the best, evidence-based treatment that respectfully incorporates their culture, values, strengths, and beliefs into the treatment plan. Her goal is to help patients’ brains work better and adopt changes to enhance their brain health, which leads to a better quality of life.
Due to the complexity of the brain and individual differences, Katherine recognizes there is no one treatment that works for every patient. For patients, when medication and talk therapy alone is not enough to lift them from depressive symptoms, Katherine is pleased to have another treatment option to consider that is evidence-based. She sees Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) as a treatment option that does not adversely affect memory, cognition or attention, and has few side effects.
Jody Whitehouse, MD: Esketamine, Medication Management and TMS
Dr. Whitehouse is a Board-Certified Psychiatrist whose focus is on depression, anxiety, Bipolar Disorder, relationship issues, and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.
Even at a young age, Dr. Whitehouse had a fascination with human behavior and a drive to alleviate suffering. When a family member was diagnosed with cancer, she saw firsthand that the body and mind are not distinct entities and that the quality of life matters as much, if not more, as the quantity. She vowed to learn how to help people lead fuller, richer lives. In her work with patients, she considers the whole person, not just the symptom or disorder.
She believes that everyone has an innate drive toward wellness and health. Unfortunately, the pathway to achieve well-being may be thwarted when old patterns that worked for earlier times are not serving us. In some cases, therapy is an appropriate solution. In other cases, genetics and biology overshadow development and there is a need to use the scientific tools at hand—medication, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), and the newer therapies coming online such as esketamine—to help relieve suffering. Dr. Whitehouse combines the methods available to create treatment plans and help each individual and their unique needs.
Over the course of her career, she has seen the limitations of medication and therapy alone. She is excited to be able to offer TMS to such patients that haven’t found relief or recovery from psychopharmacology and psychotherapy alone. She has seen patients respond well to modalities such a TMS.
She joined Mindful Health Solutions in the Fall of 2020.
Benjamin Williamson, MD: Esketamine, Medication Management and TMS
Dr. Williamson is a Board-Certified Psychiatrist whose areas of focus include the medical treatment of severe depression and anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder, social anxiety disorder, and bipolar disorder.
In his work with patients, he takes a special interest in the mind-body connection and emphasizes the importance of physical health for mental well-being. He is vigilant in investigating potential co-morbid medical problems that could exacerbate psychiatric symptoms. For example, depression, poor concentration, anxiousness, poor sleep, fatigue, and low energy are non-specific symptoms that may be associated with a major depressive disorder and obstructive sleep apnea. He believes that it is of paramount importance to screen for co-morbid physical disease states that can worsen psychiatric symptoms.
Dr. Williamson sees his role as that of expert consultant. He wants his patients to be fully informed about their options for treatment and, especially, what risks are associated with available treatments. Each patient has unique values and goals for treatment, and he wants to put them in a position to make the best decision for them.
Having treated patients with severe and complicated forms of depression, he has seen the limitations of pharmacotherapies. Sometimes patients do not respond well, even to multiple medications at high doses. Medications, even when they do work, can cause troublesome side effects. Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) has proven to be effective for many people and is not associated with the side effects that sometimes limit the use of medications. Moreover, there is promising clinical research for the use of TMS in treating psychiatric conditions other than depression.
He joined Mindful Health Solutions in the Fall of 2020.