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If you struggle with depression that won’t go away, you know how isolating and hopeless it can feel. You’re not alone. One in 3 people who suffer from depression will try several antidepressant medications without success. At Atrium Health, there is hope.

Within Atrium Health behavioral health, we have a state-of-the-art program devoted to what is called interventional and neurocognitive psychiatry. These treatments are based on therapies that aim to change patterns of activity in the brain.

When medications and counseling haven’t worked well or even at all, Atrium Health behavioral health interventional and neurocognitive psychiatry can be highly effective in treating depression and other mood disorders. As recognized leaders in the field, our brain stimulation team has the experience and tools to help.

We can help you 24/7

Why choose Atrium Health behavioral health for your care?

We offer our patients:

  • An expert medical team with advanced training in both ECT and TMS. Atrium Health behavioral health clinicians have extensive experience in treating mood disorders as well as in-depth, hands-on training in the use of TMS from nationally renowned physicians who first pioneered its use.
  • Individualized treatment plans. We believe in tailoring brain stimulation services to meet each individual patient’s needs. We also have experience with carefully adjusting therapies based on the way each patient responds to treatment.
  • Expertise in both techniques. Atrium Health behavioral health is one of the few healthcare systems in the region to offer both ECT and TMS. This allows you to work with a single care team to identify the best treatment option for your diagnosis.
  • Easy access to your doctors during TMS treatment sessions. Our trained technicians stay with patients during every treatment, and our doctors are always on-site.

Conditions treated with interventional psychiatry

What conditions does ECT treat?
  • Severe depression
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Schizophrenia
  • Catatonia
What conditions does TMS treat?
  • Anxiety
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Stroke rehabilitation
  • Schizophrenia
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Chronic pain
  • Nicotine addiction

Is ECT or TMS treatment right for me?

Atrium Health behavioral health will partner with you, your primary care doctor and your mental health provider (your psychiatrist, psychologist or therapist) to decide if ECT or TMS is right for you. We work as a team to ensure these therapies are part of your complete care plan. Interventional and neurocognitive psychiatry are often used in combination with other therapies, including:

  • Medications
  • Counseling
  • Exercise
  • Nutritional counseling/healthy eating
  • Group therapy

Learn more about transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and modern electroconvulsive therapy (ECT).

Make an appointment

Contact the Atrium Health behavioral health interventional and neurocognitive psychiatry team

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Make a Referral for Atrium Health Behavioral Health Interventional and Neurocognitive Psychiatry Services

Our primary goal is to partner with you and your patients to provide the best behavioral health services to help improve their mental health and quality of life.

Frequently asked questions

Interventional psychiatry includes treatments that change the patterns of activity in the brain. Atrium Health Behavioral Health medical professionals offer two types of this specific treatment:

  1. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)
  2. Modern electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)

TMS is a simple, non-invasive therapy that delivers short, repetitive magnetic pulses to stimulate and “reset” specific areas of the brain that help control your mood. During treatment, an electromagnetic coil is positioned over a specific spot on your head, usually near your forehead. The pulses only reach the outer layers of the brain but lead to effects deep in the brain that can control mood. TMS is conveniently offered in our offices and with no need for anesthesia, so you can go back to your regular daily activities right away. The treatment takes less than 30 minutes. Call the Atrium Health Behavioral Health Interventional and Neurocognitive Psychiatry team for more information: 704-512-7578.

ECT involves a brief electrical stimulation of the brain delivered while the patient is under anesthesia. At Atrium Health Behavioral Health ECT is administered by a team of trained medical professionals that includes a psychiatrist, an anesthesiologist, and a psychiatric nurse or physician assistant. ECT is one of the most proven therapies for treating treatment-resistant depression. This therapy has a long history of success, and today’s ECT treatments have improved considerably from the past. For your comfort, the treatment is done under brief general anesthesia. This treatment takes about 2.5 hours, and you will need someone to drive you home. Call the Atrium Health Behavioral Health Interventional and Neurocognitive Psychiatry team for more information: 704-512-7578.

No, ECT is much safer today and has been wildly misrepresented in popular media. Compared with earlier types of ECT, modern-day ECT offered at Atrium Health Behavioral Health uses electric currents given in a controlled setting to achieve the most benefit with the fewest possible risks. Our highly trained medical team uses the latest equipment and approaches to reduce side effects such as memory problems or headaches. There is no discomfort or pain with either ECT or TMS.

When someone has dramatic memory loss, difficulty communicating and managing day-to-day tasks, confusion, personality changes, and mood or behavioral changes, they may have what we call a neurocognitive disorder. Neurocognitive disorders are commonly referred to as dementia and may be the result of any one of the following diseases or conditions:

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Lewy body disease
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • HIV infection
  • Prion disease
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Huntington’s disease
  • Vascular disease

Treatment for this type of cognitive disorder is closely aligned with diagnosis and assessment, meaning your doctor may run a series of tests to see what is causing the disorder and how best to manage it. Treatment may include:

  • Medications
  • Intense therapy
  • Patient and caregiver education

SPRAVATO® is the first nasal spray prescription medicine specifically for adults, used along with an antidepressant taken by mouth, to treat:

  • Adults with treatment-resistant depression (TRD)
  • Depressive symptoms in adults with major depressive disorder (MDD) with suicidal thoughts or actions

Ask your provider if SPRAVATO® is right for you. For more information, visit