The UNC Department of Psychiatry has a long-standing commitment to excellence in fulfilling our three vital missions: clinical service, teaching, and research. In each of these areas, our tradition of integrating biological and psychosocial perspectives is emphasized. One of our objectives is to provide a comprehensive array of clinical services that span the entire spectrum of psychiatric illness. One of the ways we do this is through psychological services.
It is important to note that one or more forms of treatment may be needed to help manage a person’s problems and symptoms. One of the goals of psychological treatment is to provide a person with a variety of tools that he or she can use to cope effectively. This type of treatment is tailored to the individual and tries to maximize a person’s natural abilities and skills. It is used in conjunction with the person’s other health care providers and medications to achieve optimal management of his or her symptoms.
UNC Mental Health Specialists
UNC Mental Health Specialists, a community-based private practice, enables the Department to provide high-quality care by a group of faculty members who are considered specialists in specific areas of mental health. These specialists cover a broad range of psychiatric problems for children, adolescents and adults, and offer the most current treatment and care available. The clinic at Rex will include a full-time psychiatrist specializing in women’s reproductive mood disorders, such as PMS, premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), postpartum depression, depression during pregnancy, pregnancy-related psychosis and depression following pregnancy loss.
UNC Mental Health Specialists is a “payment at the time of service” practice operating under a separate federal tax ID number from our other P&A clinics. Patients are expected to pay in-full at the time of each visit. No third-party payer is accepted, although patients will receive a statement for services rendered that will include diagnosis and treatment codes, which patients can then use to file for insurance reimbursement if they so choose. Because the UNC Mental Health Specialists clinics do not accept third-party assignment, services cannot be provided to Medicare and Medicaid patients at either our Conner Drive clinic in Chapel Hill or the new Rex location. In addition, the practice does not participate in the Health Care System patient financial assistance program. Medicare and Medicaid patients will receive evaluations and treatment through Psychiatry outpatient clinics at the UNC Neurosciences Hospital.
Shirley Morter, Administrative Director, is responsible for informing patients about practice policies and screening referrals. Shirley's email address is
UNC Mental Health Specialists in Raleigh is located at the Rex Medical Plaza, 4414 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 509. The phone number for the Raleigh practice is 919-882-0590. UNC Mental Health Specialists in Chapel Hill is located at 110 Conner Drive, Suite 4. The phone number for the Chapel Hill practice is 919-929-7449.
Please clickfor directions and a map to UNC Mental Health Specialist in Raleigh.
Please click here for directions and a map to UNC Mental Health Specialists in Chapel Hill.
Acute Diagnostic And Treatment Clinic
The Acute Diagnostic and Treatment Clinic (ADTC) is a general adult psychiatric clinic staffed by teams of faculty and resident psychiatrists. It provides comprehensive outpatient evaluation and treatment for adult psychiatric patients. Patients may refer themselves to the clinic or their physician or therapist may refer them.
Services are offered five days a week, Monday through Friday, and are divided into half-day modules. Each module is staffed by a team of faculty and resident psychiatrists, social workers, and medical students. Rooms with two-way mirrors are available for observation and teaching. Patients may be seen for diagnostic screening, consultation, and/or for ongoing care.
Incorporated into the ADTC are a Geropsychiatry Clinic and a Consultation/Liaison Clinic. When appropriate, patients may be referred to other clinics such as STEP or Medwell, or they may be referred for concurrent care in the Psychotherapy Education Clinic, Crisis Clinic, or Group Therapy.
Again, please note that one or morel forms of treatment may be used to help manage a patient’s problems and symptoms. One goal of psychiatric treatment is to provide a variety of tools that will help the patient cope with his or her symptoms. Treatment is tailored to the individual in order to maximize their natural abilities and skills. We collaborate with the patient’s other health care providers to achieve optimal management of symptoms.
For appointments, call 919-966-5217.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy? The basic principle of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is that what a person thinks or believes can affect his or her emotions and behavior. CBT focuses on the interrelationships between a person’s thoughts (cognition), actions (behavior), and feelings (affect) and the roles they play in a person’s illness, ability to function, and quality of life. By focusing on these three components, changes can be made in how a person thinks, acts, and feels about his or her difficulties.
Research studies have shown that CBT is an effective treatment for a wide range of psychiatric illnesses and symptoms including panic disorder, depression, generalized anxiety disorder, simple phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorder, social phobias, post-traumatic stress disorder, and agoraphobia. CBT can help couples with relationship problems, including some types of sexual dysfunction. It can also help an individual learn stress management and relaxation techniques, as well as anger management skills. Certain medical conditions, including migraine and tension headaches, chronic pain, irritable bowel syndrome IBS), hypertension, and temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) may also benefit from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
Individual CBT is typically brief (6-20 sessions) and highly goal-oriented. The relationship between the patient and the therapist is collaborative in that both individuals work together to identify maladaptive thought and behavioral patterns and to develop a new set of health cognitions and effective coping skills. This is accomplished using a variety of techniques, including self-monitoring, questioning, self-disclosure, education, role-playing, modeling, exposure to feared or avoided situations, stress management, relaxation training, and homework assignments.
For more information, call the Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) Program at 919-966-4739.
CBT For Individuals With Psychotic Disorders
This service offers individual, family, and group treatment for psychotic disorders. Treatment is cognitive-behavioral in orientation. Testing and consultation are available upon request.
For more information, please contact David Penn, Ph.D., at 919-843-7514.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a form of cognitive behavioral therapy that emphasizes behavior change and Eastern ideas of meditation and acceptance. The treatment consists of 4 modules - mindfulness (being in the moment), interpersonal effectiveness (communication skills), emotion regulation, and distress tolerance (coping skills). These skills are designed to enhance self-awareness, problem-solving abilities, and self-soothing behaviors.
If you are interested in the Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) skills training class, please ask your doctor to complete a referral form on your behalf.
The Psychotherapy Education Clinic
The Psychotherapy Education Clinic provides individual psychodynamic psychotherapy. Resident psychiatrists meet with their patients at least once a week to explore internal conflicts that may contribute to their psychiatric condition. The course of treatment may last months or years. Referrals to this clinic are generally made through the Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Clinic (ADTC).
For appointments, call 919-966-5217.