Mental Health Prescriber in Massachusetts: Interview with Mark Monfasani, CNP
Psychiatry and Medication Management with Handel Behavioral Health
October 27, 2022
“I want to use my nerdiness for good.”
Are you looking to start treatment with a medication prescriber or a psychiatrist in the Greater Boston area? Mark Monfasani, CNP with Handel Behavioral Health is here for you.
Mark is a Adult-Gerontology Certified Nurse Practitioner at Handel Behavioral Health, where he provides online psychotropic treatment and mental health services to clients experiencing a wide range of health conditions.
His services focus on medication management, assessment of health conditions, and the integration of medication into non-pharmaceutical, therapeutic modalities.
Mark’s approach to care is integrative and client centered.
He is trained in both physical medicine and mental health. Mark focuses on the mind-body connection, and combines traditional Western approaches to treatment with Eastern applications of Buddhist philosophy.
Mark’s endless curiosity for people has led him to provide psychotropic and mental health services to people from all walks of life. These experiences attune Mark to the impact of the systems within which we live; including our bodies, families, institutions, and society.
Mark’s open-minded and non-judgemental approach is what draws clients to him.
To learn more about Mark’s background, approach to psychotropic treatment, and what to expect from working with him, please read this interview conducted with Mark.
Q. What brought you into the mental health field?
A. Growing up, a lot of people in my family suffered from mental illness. I’ve been exposed to it from a very young age. I found myself acting as their mediator, their counselor, and even their reality check. It felt second nature to me; it didn’t occur to me that I’d make a career out of it.
I went to graduate school to study Chinese religion and philosophy. I worked in Chinese academic publishing for several years before transitioning to healthcare. I liked the notions of the mind and body, as they’re inherent in Chinese philosophy. I wanted to use my nerdiness for good.
Q. When did you make the transition to working in healthcare?
A. My first job in healthcare involved conducting research studies with people who were HIV positive, or had substantial risk for contracting HIV. I worked with people who were sex workers, people who used drugs, people who were unhoused, or transiently housed.
My work also involved interviewing people about their social networks, their early adverse childhood experiences, and various psychosocial aspects that affected their health. The work came naturally to me.
Q. When did you begin your career in psychiatry and medication management?
A. I went back to school to earn my Nurse Practitioner certification through Boston College. I went onto provide primary care, mental health care, HIV care, and transgender care at the Los Angeles LGBTQ center. The work brought me to a lot of different settings.
I focused on the psychosocial aspects of care so much that I earned a reputation for being the medical care provider who helped clients with significant mental health conditions. The clients enjoyed working with me, and I loved working with them.
I went on to pursue further graduate education at John Hopkins University to become a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. At the time, I was running a public health/STI clinic in an economically vulnerable neighborhood of South Los Angeles.
When I got accepted into the program at John Hopkins University, I returned to Boston to be closer to family. Soon after, I was offered the opportunity to work in Psychiatry and Medication Management with Handel Behavioral Health.
Q. What Goes Into Your Work As a Certified Nurse Practitioner?
A. As a Certified Nurse Practitioner, my role focuses on psychotropic medication management. Psychotropic medications are used to treat a variety of emotional and behavioral health symptoms and disorders.
I decide whether medications are necessary to help clients feel better and control their symptoms so they function at home, in school, and in their daily lives. I integrate that decision into an overall therapeutic plan that fits the clients individual needs and lifestyle.
I work with clients experiencing a wide-range of acute, chronic, and complex health conditions, including:
- Anxiety, Panic, and Phobias
- Bipolar Disorder
- Anger Management
- Grief, Loss, and Bereavement
- Health, and Medical Problems
- Self-Injurious Behaviors, and Self-Harm
- Attention-deficit Hyperactivity Disorders (ADD/ADHD)
- Sexual Offenders
- Peak Performance and Performance Anxiety
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
I also have years of experience supporting people in the LGBTQ+ community with their mental health.
Q. How would you describe your therapeutic style and approach?
A. My background is in both primary care and mental health, and I’m trained in harm-reduction. Harm-reduction involves a spectrum of strategies to meet clients wherever they are, on their own terms.
Not everyone is familiar with talking about their mental health. I encourage clients to not feel shame or stigmatized with their mental health. These feelings can block a lot of progress in a person’s individual and interpersonal relationships.
I see myself as an equal and an ally with clients. The primary focus of our work together is to focus on what’s important to the client, and how we can reach their goals.
I’ve learned to give people space to process their feelings and interests before making any treatment decisions or conclusions.
Q. What Therapeutic Modalities Do You Use?
A. My therapeutic modalities are more focused on psychotropic medication management than psychotherapy. Still, there are many elements of talk therapy in every visit. I always try to use a therapeutic approach no matter what we’re discussing.
I’ll use different Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy techniques depending on the client, their symptoms, and mental health condition.
There’s a toolbox of techniques specific to each condition that can help improve each client in their own individual context. I try to tailor each technique to the client’s unique wants and needs.
I’m also trained in mindfulness/meditation and yoga. Both of which can be helpful tools in developing therapeutic relationships with clients, and furthering improvement in their lives.
Q. What’s one unique quality that you bring to your practice?
A. Clients tell me that they find me really easy to talk to, and non-judgmental.
- I’ve worked with different communities of color, LGBTQI+ communities, immigrant communities, people experiencing homelessness and transient housing.
- I know how to develop relationships with different people who may have encountered various mental health problems in their lives.
- I’m also trained in various types of meditation, mindfulness, and yoga, both from the philosophical perspective and the Western interpretation.
Q. What do you like most about working in psychiatric treatment?
A. I love getting to help people! I’ve had the ability to meet so many people, and hear their stories.
I feel honored to be allowed into people’s lives, and be part of their mental health journey.
What is your favorite part about living in Boston?
A. I put down roots here. While I loved living in California, I realized the importance of having strong social ties for overall mental health.
I’m available for tele-health medication management and psychotropic treatment throughout Massachusetts.
Interested in scheduling an appointment with Mark?
If you’re interested in online pychotropic treatment and mental health services, please call us today at (413) 343-4357. You can also request to schedule an appointment with Mark online.