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FAQs

About Dr. Ballon Our Philosophy How We Can Help A Typical SessionFAQ Articles By Dr. Ballon



  In order to help you negotiate our web site quickly and easily, we have provided short answers in this segment. Look for more detailed information in other sections, or make an appointment with Dr. Ballon to discuss your specific questions.

General Information
What services do you offer?
What are your qualifications?
Why is it important that you be a medical doctor?
Where are you located?
What are your hours?
Do you participate with insurance plans?
What is your cancellation policy?

Kinds of Conditions and Issues
What are some of the things you treat?

Therapy Expertise
What kinds of therapy do you practice?

About the Process
How do we start?
The course of treatment – what will it be?
How long will it take?
How do we finish?

More Information
Are my records confidential?
How can I fit therapy into my work day?
Will I be too upset after a session to go to work?
What if I don't like you?
How much do you as doctor talk in the session?
How do you handle emergencies?
How do I know if therapy is working?
What should I tell my friends and family about my therapy?

 

 

General Information    [Back to Top]
What services do you offer?
Psychotherapy, Psychoanalysis, Psychopharmacology

What are your qualifications?
  • Board Certified in Psychiatry by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology
  • Certified in Psychoanalysis by the Institute of Contemporary Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis in Washington, DC
  • 30 years in practice
  • Licensed both in Virginia and Washington, DC

Why is it important that you be a medical doctor?
Psychiatrists are medical doctors with advanced training in mental health. They have completed a residency in psychiatry. They have an in-depth view of the whole patient and a deep knowledge of the relationship between physical and mental problems. Psychiatrists are the only mental health professionals licensed to prescribe medications in most states.

Where are you located?
We have offices in Arlington, Virginia, at Virginia Hospital Center, and in Washington, DC, near the Dupont Circle Metro stop on the red line.

Virginia Address:
1715 N. George Mason Drive
Suite 104
Arlington, Virginia 22205
703-525-5111

Washington, DC Address:
1616 18th St., N.W.
Suite 213
Washington, DC 20009
703-525-5111

What are your hours?
Dr. Ballon's regular office hours are 8 AM to 5:30 PM.

Do you participate with insurance plans?
No

What is your cancellation policy?
Appointments are often scheduled weeks or months in advance and may not be easy to fill on short notice. Although a charge is made for missed appointments, the doctor will work with you to reschedule whenever possible. Sometimes an appointment can be done by phone.

 

Kinds of Conditions and Issues    [Back to Top]
What are some of the things you treat?
Dr. Ballon diagnoses and treats many mental and emotional illnesses and is skilled in dealing with the chemical imbalances that can occur in the brain that have significant impact on emotional well-being and functioning. Among the many conditions he treats are:
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Mood disorders
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Mood swings
  • Panic attacks
  • Obsessive compulsive behavior
  • Excessive worry
  • Trauma, PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder)
  • Marriage problems
  • Relationship issues
  • Pregnancy concerns
  • Social anxiety
  • Gender issues
  • Problems with intimacy
  • Workplace difficulties
  • Productivity
  • Insomnia
  • Addictions, alcoholism, substance abuse
  • Eating disorders
  • Teen depression
  • Dementia
  • Thoughts of suicide

 

Therapy Expertise    [Back to Top]
What kinds of therapy do you practice?
Dr. Ballon practices Psychotherapy, Psychoanalysis and Psychopharmacology. He also incorporates useful techniques of behavior therapy and cognitive therapy. He combines his knowledge of various psychotherapies and medication to tailor a course of individual treatment for each patient. In addition to his deep interest in talk therapy and counseling, he is expert in the understanding and use of all medications used in psychiatry.

 

About the Process    [Back to Top]
How do we start?
Our initial evaluation includes:
  • A full description and history of the current problem
  • The patient's life history
  • Family history as well as history of psychiatric illnesses in family members
  • Current medical status
  • An evaluation of the patient's medical history

Follow-up:
  • Ordering of lab tests as needed
  • Review of material from the evaluation as well as tests and reports to discover any medical problems that might mimic or exacerbate psychological problems

The course of treatment – what will it be?
Depending on the evaluation of the problem, Dr. Ballon discusses mode and probable length of treatment with the patient. He recommends talk therapy and counseling as indicated. He thoroughly explains his recommendation for medication when it is deemed necessary.

How long will it take?
This varies greatly and depends on the nature of the patient and the problem. Long established patterns can take a while to change. The duration of therapy depends on the goals of the treatment. Less complex problems may require briefer treatment for their amelioration.

How do we finish?
Optimal length of therapeutic treatment varies according to the type of illness or condition. Dr. Ballon works out a sensible plan with each patient, allowing for periodic evaluations and reassessments of the goals of the joint work.

Termination of the work is part of that plan. There often is a period of weaning at intervals agreed upon by doctor and patient.

 

More Information    [Back to Top]
Are my records confidential?
Absolutely. Your records will never be shared with anyone at anytime without your written directive.

How can I fit therapy into my work day?
We will work to schedule your appointments at a time that is right for you. Some patients prefer early sessions before work; others prefer to come during scheduled leave times, lunchtime, or after work. Dr. Ballon does not hold weekend office hours.

Will I be too upset after a session to go to work?
Generally not. The therapy process can result in a feeling of well-being and increased self-understanding. Realistically speaking, there are times when difficult issues arise that evoke strong feelings of fear, sadness, anger or guilt. Dr. Ballon is highly experienced in guiding sessions so that there is a natural cooling down time for the patient to feel settled before leaving the appointment.

What if I don't like you?
Chemistry between the patient and therapist is very important. Sometimes the feeling of not liking the doctor can be an expression of the problem being treated. It can be part of the therapeutic process to work through the discomfort. Clearly there are instances when a therapist and patient just don't click -- another therapist might be indicated, and Dr. Ballon can often help in identifying some excellent choices.

How much do you as doctor talk in the session?
Dr. Ballon enjoys the open exchange of questions and comments during sessions, and is actively engaged in the conversation. While old modes of therapy required a doctor to be passive or silent, new techniques and theories show that a lively give-and-take between doctor and patient is key to the success of the therapy process.

How do you handle emergencies?
Dr. Ballon is reachable by phone during off-hours. During his scheduled vacation, his practice is covered by board certified psychiatrists who are highly regarded in the Washington/Virginia area.

How do I know if therapy is working?
One of the trademarks of Dr. Ballon's successful work with patients is the clear goals established at the outset of therapy. Patients learn to recognize significant indicators of progress at certain intervals, and are actively engaged in the evaluation process.

What should I tell my friends and family about my therapy?
This is completely up to you. You may want to tell friends and family members who can be supportive and helpful to you in your growth. It may be necessary to tell some administrators or employers in order to take time off for treatment. Most importantly, you should be as discriminating as you wish about what you disclose and to whom.