By scheduling your first appointment you have taken the most important first step, asking for help. At this appointment I will do everything I can to create a safe and trusting environment. During this first evaluation session we will have to cover a lot of ground (medical history, symptoms, etc). The best way to use our time efficiently--and save you money--is to bring the completed new patient intake forms with you to your first visit. You want to be able to share as much as necessary for me to be able to help you. At the same time, I want to be able to help you to find relief from your pain and distress as quickly as possible. At our first appointment, we begin a collaboration of discussion and inquiry to arrive as quickly as possible at a solution, or even possibly several solutions.
This page, and the tabs above, contain information about my practice, which will help you get started with an initial evaluation and, possibly, treatment. Please take a moment to read over the following information about my policies and complete the forms prior to your first appointment. You may also bring these uncompleted forms with you to the first appointment, but that may lengthen your first visit (i.e. increase the cost of your first visit).
Many who come for the first time will have other concerns as well, for example: How much will it cost? Will my insurance cover this? How long will I need to be in treatment? Will I be able to return to normal? These are all good questions. My experience and expertise can provide useful tools to help you get answers.
To me, the important elements of treatment and recovery are compassion, trust, and empowerment. The most challenging obstacles are disappointment and shame. We work together to overcome these obstacles and develop the skills necessary to begin, or in some cases, continue the process of recovery. For more information and to obtain a consultation, please call my office at 310-744-5102 to set up an appointment.
I provide the following basic services:
*Please Note: If you are already in psychotherapy please provide me with your therapist's contact information. This will allow me to review the status of your current treatment prior to your first visit with me.
Appointments: Medication management (pharmacotherapy) visits are scheduled for 15-30 minute appointments, depending upon your needs. Ongoing psychotherapy sessions are scheduled weekly and last 50 minutes. Typically, I begin with 30-minute pharmacotherapy appointments, then transition to shorter appointments when there are no significant active issues and the medication or dose has not been changed for some time. The appointment time is reserved for you so it is important that you are on time. If you are late, your appointment may still conclude at the end of your scheduled appointment time. If significantly late, you may have to reschedule your appointment and will be charged my usual fees.
An initial evaluation generally takes 60-90 minutes if the new patient forms are completed in advance of your appointment. The first are mostly legally mandated for me to be allowed to treat you (e.g. consents). The second type provide me with an overview about your medical and social history and improve the efficiency of your first visit. These forms can be downloaded here. Please understand that the aim of this initial session is to provide an assessment of your mental health needs and to determine the best available treatment options, which may include referral to another provider. The evaluation is not an agreement that I will take you on as a patient.
I provide two basic types of treatments:
Medication management means the use of medication to alleviate symptoms of mental illness or maintain stability during recovery from illness. Although we rarely think of treatment in psychiatry in terms of "cure", many persons with mental illness have been able to lead seemingly normal and symptom-free lives, even in the public eye, with the help of medications. Several celebrities and other famous personalities have recently gone public about their struggles with mental illness, overcome with the help of treatment. I will try to highlight some of these stories elsewhere on my website.
Psychotherapy is the use of talk and communication between patient and therapist to improve a patient's condition and to facilitate recovery from mental illness, traumatic events, emotional difficulties, loss, etc. In my office, I provide psychotherapy for individuals, couples, families, and groups. Each of these therapy settings require a unique style and approach to the therapy process, and each can be rewarding in its own way. Most of my therapy cases see me from one to three times per week. Length of treatment can last anywhere from 2-3 sessions to as much as 2-3 years, or even longer.
Feel free to check out the FAQ for more information on medications and psychotherapy.
Location: I have relocated my private practice from UCLA-Westwood to Santa Monica. I am now conveniently located at 2730 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 325, at the southeast corner of Wilshire Blvd and Harvard street (two blocks past 26th street).
Parking: Metered street parking is often readily available. However, you may also choose to park in the building's private lot for an additional parking charge (enter from Harvard street). When you arrive: Once you enter the building take the elevator to the third floor, then turn right and proceed to the end of the hallway. Once inside the waiting room, press the light next to the nameplate for Eric Wexler, M.D. to alert me that you have arrived.
Malibu: Proceed south of the PCH. At the Santa Monica Pier bear left onto I-10 East. Use Exit 1B to exit onto 20th st. Turn left onto 20th street, then right onto Wilshire Blvd.
Downtown LA-Pasedena: Take 110 South to I-10 West. Use Exit 1C "Cloverfiled Blvd/26th street". Turn left onto Cloverfield then bear left onto 26th Street. Turn right onto Wilshire Blvd, your destination will be two blocks ahead on the right side.
San Fernando Valley: Take the 405 South (East) to I-10 West. Use Exit 1C "Cloverfiled Blvd/26th street". Turn left onto Cloverfield then bear left onto 26th Street. Turn right onto Wilshire Blvd, your destination will be two blocks ahead on the right side.
Beverly Hills, Century City, Brentwood, Westwood, Bel Air: You may prefer to use local streets to get here. Please keep in mind that during busy times of the day Google maps is not always correct. Wishire Blvd is usually preferable to Santa Monica Blvd becasue the timing of the traffic lights on the latter slows down the flow of cars.
A more complete discussion of my office policies can be found here.
Eric Wexler MD, PhD -- 2730 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 325. -- Santa Monica CA, 90403 -- TEL: 310-744-5102 -- FAX: 310-919-1919 -- firstname.lastname@example.org