Psychiatric Medication at Counterbalance


Medication serves an important role in mental illness. It can reduce symptoms and prevent relapses of symptoms. Everyone needs the right balance of brain chemicals to live full, productive lives. Some brains naturally produce organically occurring brain chemicals, while others require some assistance to achieve optimal balance. This can be amplified for clients who have experienced severe trauma. 

While some patients benefit from psychiatric therapy alone, many need a combination of medication and therapy interventions. At Counterbalance Counseling & Psychiatry, we value the interface of what research shows us to be true in clinical practice. We believe that for some clients, the combination of the two is the best path towards achieving peace of mind and your mental healthcare goals or as part of your trauma recovery. 

Because of the uniqueness of each medication and client, we believe it is important to allow ample time when assessing and adjusting mental health medications for clients. We offer 1-hour initial appointments and 30-minute ongoing follow-up appointments to ensure our clients start on the right track. 

Medication management is an important tool to utilize when experiencing or recovering from trauma. Severe trauma can significantly affect or change our brain chemistry and general physiological state, making medication management a vital tool throughout recovery for some clients.

Check out our blog article about why to see a psychiatric Physician Assistant for medication and why to see us!

Our practice does not prescribe stimulants and narcotics.

What can Counterbalance Counseling & Psychiatry treat with medications?


Depression

Depression

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) and Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRI) are commonly used to treat depression. These medications regulate serotonin alone or along with norepinephrine, which are neurotransmitters that can play a role in how we feel. It is important to speak to your provider about finding the right fit as there are other alternatives.

Depression

Seasonal Affective Disorder

This type of depression is typically related to changes in the season. Medications can be utilized in addition to increasing exposure to sunlight or even artificial light therapy. SSRIs or other anti-depressants can also be used to improve mood to get through the winter blues.

Depression

Generalized Anxiety

SSRIs are commonly used to treat anxiety. This class of medications is the first line of treatment for anxiety disorders. SNRIs are another class of medications that are an appropriate alternative. Other medications can be used adjunctively or specifically to treat panic attacks or anxiety in an acute setting.

Depression

Social Anxiety

This is also known as “social phobia” and is typically associated with extreme distress or fear in social settings where the individual experiences intense emotions that may cause avoidance of certain situations. SSRIs can be used to treat social anxiety, but there are also other alternatives that can alleviate symptoms in an acute setting such as beta blockers. 

Depression

Bipolar Disorder

The treatment for bipolar disorder can vary and depends on an individual’s symptoms and mood patterns. Mood stabilizers are typically used as maintenance treatment for bipolar disorder to prevent mania/hypomania and depressive episodes. Antipsychotics are also used as adjunctive agents, in addition to antidepressants, if indicated. 

Depression

ADD/ ADHD

There are many different components to treating ADHD. Medication options for ADHD include both non-stimulants and stimulants. Both options are effective and can improve your symptoms. Talk to your provider about finding the right fit of medications for you. Note: We do not prescribe stimulants at Counterbalance.

Depression

OCD

Many of the medications we use to treat anxiety are similar to the treatment options for OCD. SSRIs are the first line of treatment, but there are other alternatives such as SNRIs that can also be used. The goal is to improve the quality of life for the individual by reducing recurrent thought patterns and distressing behaviors.

Depression

Insomnia

While there are several medications that can treat insomnia, figuring out the driving factors that are affecting the quality of poor sleep is crucial. There are various medications and supplements that can be utilized depending on the patient’s symptoms and pre-existing comorbidities, if cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia is not improving sleep quality, 

Depression

PTSD

SSRIs or SNRIs are generally used to treat PTSD. However, other agents can target specific symptoms. Alpha adrenergic blockers can be used adjunctively to reduce PTSD-associated nightmares. It is important to speak with your provider to address your concerns and find the appropriate medication to achieve a therapeutic response. 

Depression

Eating Disorders

While medications are largely used for the treatment of mental health symptoms, this is usually not the case for most eating disorders. Medications are typically utilized to treat co-occurring illnesses such as anxiety and depression in individuals with an eating disorder. 

Depression

Skin Picking/ Hair Pulling

These behavioral patterns  that 
 are generally caused by underlying stress and anxiety. It is important to delve into the reason behind the action. There are supplements and medications that can be utilized to reduce these body-focused behaviors by targeting the stress such as N-Acetylcysteine and SSRIs.

Depression

Hormonal Changes and Sexual Functioning

Hormonal imbalances can occur at many stages of life, and it’s important to identify how these changes play a role in one’s quality of life. It’s crucial to obtain lab work to rule out underlying illnesses, while assessing factors such as medication side effects that can be attributed to changes in sexual health. 

What medications do we prescribe?


  • Antidepressants
  • Anti-Anxiety Medications
  • Mood Stabilizers
  • Non-Stimulant ADHD Medications
  • Antipsychotics

Comprehensive Evaluations


  • Obtain thorough clinical histories including behavioral, medical, family and social histories
  • Review previous medical records if available
  • Order screening blood work if indicated
  • Refer for Neuropsychological Evaluations if indicated
  • Offer GeneSight® testing
  • Collaborate with other providers such as Primary Care Provider or Therapist

Individualized Treatment Plans

  • Prescribe medications if indicated
  • Recommend nutritional supplements based on symptoms and/or lab results
  • Recommend behavior modifications such as nutrition, exercise and/or sleep hygiene
  • If indicated, refer to PHP, IOP, Group Therapy, Family Therapy or Individual Psychotherapy

Regrettably, there are some services that we are unable to provide, specifically within the psychiatric medication section of our practice.

This does not mean we cannot address these concerns on the therapy side of the team. These services include:

  • Controlled Substances (specifically stimulants and narcotics)
  • Emotional Support Animal Letters
  • Forensic Psychiatry (e.g., custody evaluations, legal cases, and disability evaluations)
  • Geriatric Psychiatry (patients 65 years of age and older)
  • Neurological Disorders (e.g., epilepsy, dementia, chronic migraine, and traumatic brain injury)
  • Substance Abuse Treatment

Appointments for New and Established telehealth patients for medication management will be run via the Telehealth platform Doxy.me. Some visits may be conducted in person as well for our Austin and El Paso locations.

When using doxy.me, all data is encrypted, your sessions are anonymous, and none of your information is stored. Doxy.me adheres to HIPAA, PIPEDA, and GDPR data privacy requirements.

At this time, medication management services are provided for clients aged 16-64.

Pooja Memula

PA-C, (Certified Physician Assistant)

University of Alabama at Birmingham
Physician Assistant


Areas of Specialization

  • Women’s Health
  • Depression
  • ADD/ADHD
  • OCD
  • PTSD
  • Anxiety
  • Mood Disorders

Certifications + Training

  • National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants

Pooja has served patients in North Carolina prior to moving to Austin in 2022. She has experience working with children, adolescents and adults.

Pooja has experience in diagnosing and treating Depression, Anxiety, OCD, ADHD, Insomnia, PTSD, Mood Disorders and other psychiatric illnesses. She provides medication management and supportive psychotherapy by utilizing holistic, evidence-based medicine. 

Pooja’s priority is to help her patients feel better mentally and physically. She is dedicated to creating a customized treatment plan that caters to each patient’s individual needs. She believes it is important that the patient feels comfortable, heard and safe when receiving mental health services. Having the privilege to help improve one’s health journey is something she deeply values. She makes it a priority to collaborate with your therapist to ensure you have the best team of clinicians to guide and maximize patient centered care. 

Pooja received her undergraduate degree and obtained her Masters of Physician Assistant Studies at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2021. In her leisure, she enjoys spending time outdoors, working out, cooking and traveling. She loves spending time with her loved ones and Australian Shepard, Bowser.