Our Telepsychiatrist Providers
What is Telepsychiatry?
Telemedicine is the process of providing health care from a distance through technology, often using videoconferencing similar to Skype, Zoom, or FaceTime. Telepsychiatry, a subset of telemedicine, can involve providing a range of services including psychiatric evaluations, therapy (individual therapy, group therapy, family therapy), patient education and medication management.
Telepsychiatry can involve direct interaction between a psychiatrist and the patient. It also encompasses psychiatrists supporting primary care providers with mental health care consultation and expertise. Mental health care can be delivered in a live, interactive communication through telepsychiatry.
Richelle Strauss, MD
Dr. Richelle Strauss (formerly Porapaiboon), or as her patients affectionately call her, Dr. Richelle, is a trained Adult and Child Adolescent Psychiatrist.
She received her undergraduate degree from Purdue University and graduated from medical school at the University of Florida. She completed her residency at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital and completed a fellowship at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.
She specializes in psychiatric medication management of children, adolescents, and young adults, but works with patients of all ages. She strives to provide a secure environment for adults, adolescents, and children with behavioral and attention disorders. A secure environment is enhanced through Dr. Richelle’s use of Telepsychiatry: using telecommunications technology, usually videoconferencing, for her assessments and treatment. Thus, her clients are in a space they choose.
Her philosophy of practice is evidence-based at its core, and her evaluations often include laboratory or other screening procedures to rule out general medical causes. In addition, she offers consultation on evidence-based alternative therapies and nutritional guidance as appropriate, and as your individual needs and interests dictate.
Psychiatrist vs Psychologist
Psychiatrists differ from other mental health professionals in that they may prescribe medication as well as practice psychotherapy in treatment. Sometimes, Psychiatrists form part of a clinical team in which they will diagnose and prescribe, while psychologists or therapists provide the client's psychotherapy.
Our Psychiatrists are qualified medical doctors who specialize in treating mental health issues and diagnosable psychiatric disorders.
Sarah Ritter,RN, APN, PMHNP-BC
Sarah grew up in a small town two hours west of Chicago, Illinois. She developed an interest in mental health when she was a senior in high school while taking an elective class in psychology from a local clinical psychologist. This class was the catalyst for an education and career in mental health. Sarah attended Northern Illinois University and earned a bachelors' degree in psychology and went on to earn a master's degree in clinical psychology from Eastern Illinois University. Her education produced a deep understanding of psychopathology (the study of mental health disorders) as well as psychotherapy (talk therapy/counseling).
While completing the clinical internship portion of her clinical psychology degree, she came to realize that there was something missing in her work with persons who have a mental illness, and that she would benefit from officially learning about a broader approach. Sarah learned that the field of Psychiatric Nursing was an integrated approach to mental illness that included the study of social determinants of health, psychotherapy, varied elements of self-care, and traditional medical treatments. The psychiatric nursing discipline seemed to fuse these important domains together and thus trained students to be more holistic providers of mental health care which was a better fit for Sarah.
When Sarah was done with her degree in clinical psychology, she moved to Chicago to begin her education in psychiatric nursing at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Finally, after a few years of intense study, she earned a graduate degree in psychiatric nursing. She then became certified as a Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP-BC). During the past few years, Sarah has worked with a wide variety of patient populations and has developed a broad spectrum of clinical knowledge. Currently, she focuses on the outpatient treatment of mood disorders in adults and older adults and most recently using the telepsychiatry platform exclusively to provide care. She incorporates supportive psychotherapy in her sessions in order to develop a warm, caring relationship with her patients. She actively listens to herpatients and develops individualized, comprehensive treatment plans with or without the use of psychotropic medications. She believes that psychotropic medications and psychotherapy are a mainstay in the treatment of mental illness, but has learned about some effective non-pharmacological methods as well. While non-pharmacological approaches may not work for every patient, Sarah believes all effective treatments should be explored.
When Sarah is not working, she spends her free time with her elderly cat with special needs, helps to organize and sing in a local a capella group, and enjoys fantasy and sci-fi media.