Here on the blog, we've been taking a closer look at team-based care. This psychology student learned that crucial members of the care team were right outside her door. Here she explains the value of team-based care and integrating behavioral health into primary care. By Linda Khatib
I treated “Tina” in an intensive outpatient program for psychological services. She was one of many patients I have treated who struggled with countless comorbid chronic conditions, both physical and mental. Specifically, Tina struggled to cope with bipolar disorder, diabetes and obesity.
Throughout the course of treatment, I tried my best to provide her with the greatest care possible, but I felt helpless because psychological treatment was not enough. I was able to help Tina recognize and acknowledge her maladaptive eating behaviors. We also worked together to gain a better understanding of her addiction to food, which was due to underlying traumatic experiences she faced during her upbringing. Although she was able to reach this pivotal point in therapy, I felt she needed more to see improvements in her overall life. One of her goals was to lose weight and better manage her diet, so I searched for a nutritionist who would see Tina to further address her diet needs and help her choose healthier foods. In addition, the nutritionist could better meet Tina’s needs for managing her diabetes and losing weight.