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What is the difference between a psychiatrist and a psychologist?

A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who can diagnose and treat mental health conditions, including prescribing medication. In contrast, a psychologist holds a doctoral degree in psychology and provides therapy and counseling without prescribing medication. Both professionals play critical roles in mental health care, often working together to address patients' needs comprehensively.

What should I bring to my initial appointment?

Before your first psychiatry appointment, please make sure to fill out all forms provided through the Luminello portal and send it back to us before in-person/virtual visit. On the day of the appointment please bring a photo ID, medication list, and any prior medical or psychiatric records. Prepare to discuss your symptoms and concerns openly. Jot down questions to ask the psychiatrist. This information will aid in a thorough and effective evaluation.

How many sessions might I need?

The number of sessions you might need depends on your unique needs and progress. It varies from person to person. During your initial evaluation, we will discuss your goals and concerns and work together to create a treatment plan. We will regularly review your progress and adjust the number of sessions accordingly.

Do you accept insurance, and how does billing work?

Our clinic operates on a cash-only / fee for service basis and does not accept insurance. Payment is typically required at the time of your appointment, and we can provide you with a detailed receipt (superbill) that you may submit to your insurance provider for potential reimbursement, depending on your policy.

Can you prescribe medications, and how does medication management work?

Yes, Dr. Patel can prescribe medications as part of your treatment plan. Medication management involves a thorough evaluation, medication discussion, potential side effects, and a monitoring plan. Regular follow-up appointments ensure the medication's effectiveness and address any concerns, prioritizing your well-being.

What is your policy/protocol for controlled substances?

Controlled prescription medications adhere to federal and state laws, along with professional prescribing standards. Misuse can lead to side effects, addiction, or overdose, with potentially fatal consequences. To ensure safety, patients or their guardians are required to understand our medication guidelines. Patients prescribed controlled substances must acknowledge our policy, and adherence to scheduled follow-up appointments is mandatory. We do not provide early refills for any reason, including loss of controlled substance medications.

What is your cancellation and rescheduling policy?

Please refer to the bottom of our “services & fees” page.

How do you handle emergency situations or crisis?

In case of a mental health emergency or crisis, please take immediate action to ensure your safety. Call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room, and follow up with us afterward. You can also contact a crisis hotline, such as the National hotline numbers for support and guidance. Following the crisis, please notify us so we can provide ongoing care and support. Your well-being is of utmost importance.

National Crisis Hotline Numbers (available 24/7)
National Suicide Life Line:
English: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Espanol: 1-888-628-9454
Deaf & Hard of Hearing: 1-800-799-4TTY (4889)

Crisis Text line - TEXT "Talk" to 741741
LGBTQ Trevor Project Crisis line -1-866-4-U-TREVOR (1-866-488-7386)
National Youth Crisis Hotline - 1-800-442-HOPE (4673) or TEXT "Connect" to 741741
National Drug Information Treatment and Referral Hotline - 1-800-662- HELP (4357)
Suicide & Crisis lifeline: 988 ;

Call 911 and ask for help. Tell them you are suicidal and ask for a Mental Health Officer.

Are there any local resources for psychiatry help?

Local Crisis Hotlines:

Travs County Integral- Hotline/MCOT/ PES- 512-472-HELP (4357)
Bastrop/Bumet/Caldwell/Fayette/Guadalupe/Lee/Williamson County (Blue Bonnet)-800-841-1255
Hays County (Hill Country)- 877-466-0660
Waco/ McLennan County (Heart of Texas)- 866-752-3451
San Antonio/ Bexar-1-800-316-9241
SAFEline: 512-267-SAFE (7233) or TEXT 737-888-SAFE (7233)
CPS Hotline: 1-800-252-5400

Central Texas Pediatric Psychiatric Hospitals:

Dell Children's Mental Health Unit: 512-324-0029
Austin Oaks Hospital: 512-440-4800
Austin State Hospital: 512-452-0381
Cedar Crest Hospital (Belton, TX):254-394-3117
Cross Creek Hospital: 512-215-3893
Georgetown Behavioral Health: 512-819-1154

Websites/ Resources:

NAMI Texas (National Alliance on Mental Illness)-
Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration-
Domestic and Dating Violence and Abuse: or
Community information and Referral (emergency financial aid, housing
mental health counseling, support groups, food pantries, etc.):
Dial 211 on any phone or visit