Dr Lawrence Tucker

Lawrence V. Tucker, M.D. is a Diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, and a Diplomate of the American Board of Addiction Medicine, practicing in pharmacological management of psychiatric disorders and addiction medicine. Dr. Tucker attended UCLA for his undergraduate degree, where he obtained a B.S. in Physiological Sciences. He then attended UCLA School of Medicine for his Medical Degree and stayed at UCLA for his residency in Psychiatry and Neurology.  He has been in leadership roles since 2006 and is a Certified Physician Executive.  Prior to attending UCLA, Dr. Tucker served in the United States Marine Corps, Infantry, and served in Desert Storm.  Among the long list of accomplishments, Dr. Tucker feels most accomplished with his blended family of 5 children and his wife of over 13 years.

Dr. Tucker has had extensive experience within the county of Los Angeles department of mental health and jail systems, State mental health systems and the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, as well in the Federal Veterans Administration Medical Center, where he established the first suboxone clinic within the VA system nationwide. This clinic decreased the ER utilization of chronic opioid users as well as decreased the number of morbidities, mortality and overdoses.

Dr. Tucker also has experience in the private sector managing inpatient and outpatient hospital systems.  He is currently the director of a behavioral health unit at Mission St Joseph’s Laguna Beach, where he manages dual diagnosis, acute stabilization and detox patients.

In 2016, Dr. Tucker established the first Chemical Dependency Recovery Hospital with the American Addiction Centers located in Orange County.  This is the first CDRH that has been established in the state of California in over 20 years.  In this facility he established national protocols for the treatment of perinatal substance abuse and detoxification.  In addition, Dr. Tucker has a private practice in Newport Beach CA. His paradigm of treatment is that he: “Treats a person Not a Diagnosis”. He uses a holistic model and incorporates sobriety, exercise, diet, therapy, supplements, as well as psychopharmacological therapies.

He has given presentations publicly and privately regarding the treatment of dual diagnosis.

The Practice Of Psychiatry

Psychiatry is a complicated, and demands a multi-dimensional approach to treatment, which is often overlooked by many health care professionals.

I am very well-trained, and provide stellar psychiatric and psychological care to my patients.

I believe in having reasonable access to your care — we understand life happens outside the walls of our office, and outside of our appointment times. We want to be there for you when it does.  We encourage patients to make us a part of their lives, not confine their treatment or their recovery. I provide a realistic treatment regiment that can be applied on a daily basis. We want to be a catalyst for positive change, and a dependable resource for our clients, and we want them to know we are one of their foundations of support going forward.

At our clinic, we are the forefront of providing care to our patients — meaning that from the very first interaction with our highly trained administrative staff, when you call to set up an appointment. We will provide you with detailed information about our clinic, what we offer, and options that are available to you.  Here at our office, every patient’s needs or concerns are our top priority and we will make every attempt to address those needs in a timely manner.

At our clinic, we employ full time administrative staff, as well as a licensed vocational nurse, so your care begins before you even meet the doctor. For our established patients, any messages left for the doctor throughout the day will be responded to within 24-48 hours, depending on the urgency of the message. Our staff is able to assist with scheduling new appointments, follow-up appointments or adjusting existing appointments, medication refill requests, and unplanned situations that may arise.

When you come to our clinic, you will find the environment is clean, comfortable and inviting.  There are complimentary drinks available in the lounge located next to the waiting room. We make every effort to make patients feel welcome as they transition to a better place mentally, physically and spiritually. 

Finally, at our clinic, we will provide quality customer service, quality administrative support, accessibility to your provider, and genuine dedication and passion to helping you move forward and become a better you. 

For more information about our services, please feel free to contact us at (949) 257-4217. One of our staff members will be happy to speak with you and answer any questions you have.

Psychotherapy: How It Works – My Approach

What Can Psychotherapy Offer?

Therapy can help you:

  • Reduce stress in your life
  • Learn better, more adaptive coping mechanisms
  • Change maladaptive patterns in your life
  • Increase your self-awareness and self-esteem
  • Give you a new perspective on problems with family, friends, or co-workers
  • Help you communicate and interact more productively with people in your life

Psychotherapy Treatment Methods

There are many different types of therapy. Here are some of the most common.

Cognitive therapy, behavioral therapy, and cognitive behavioral therapy all focus on how your own thoughts and behaviors contribute to your current situation. You will learn new ways to react to situations and challenge your preconceptions. You might come up with concrete goals. You might also get ‘homework’ assignments, like keeping a journal, or applying problem-solving techniques in particular situations.

Interpersonal therapy focuses on how your relationships with other people play a role in your current situation. This type of therapy focuses on practical issues. You will learn how to recognize unhealthy behaviors and change them.

Psychodynamic therapy is a more traditional form of therapy. You will explore the roots of your depression. You might focus especially on any traumas from your childhood.

Group therapy gives you a chance to talk about your depression with other people who might have a similar condition. A therapist leads the group, which is what makes it different from a support group.

While there are many types of therapy, the most important part is finding a therapist whom you like and trust. I use a combination of approaches, and will utilize different therapies for different patients, and different therapeutic approaches for the same patient at different times throughout the course of treatment.

I create a personalized therapy for every patient, so each patient’s experience is unique and highly individualized.

While some people only need therapy for short periods of time, some people might need it longer (to lower your risk of relapse, continue to maintain improvements, or to continue with the work of self-exploration and increased self-awareness). Together, we will determine the appropriate length of therapy for your particular case.

Substance Abuse And Addiction Treatment

Substance abuse is an easy trap to fall into, especially when medication has been prescribed for a condition or injury. Some people are more prone to substance abuse than others. Detoxification can be mentally, physically and emotionally exhausting, and should always be undertaken under the guidance of a trained professional.

Outpatient programs can be set up to help individuals detox without needing to be confined to a medical facility. When used in combination with therapy, outpatient suboxone treatment can provide a safe, effective way to detox without severe withdrawal symptoms.

In addition to substance abuse and addiction, many people struggle with process addictions, which can include the following:

  • Ÿ  Compulsive gambling
  • Ÿ  Sexual addiction
  • Ÿ  Eating disorders
  • Ÿ  Spending addictions

Process addictions are often not as noticeable to people around the victim as substance addictions, but can cause debt, the destruction of relationships, and health problems. Diagnosis and treatment can help identify and stop self-destructive behavior.

Dual Diagnosis & Mental Health Treatment:

Anxiety disorders are the most common type of emotional disorders – in fact, more than 25 million Americans have some form of anxiety disorder!  Persons with anxiety disorders often have accompanying depression, are at risk to abuse alcohol or drugs, and may have trouble with school, work, or relationships. Anxiety disorders include:

  • Ÿ  Panic Disorder (commonly known as panic attacks.)
  • Ÿ  Phobias (including agoraphobia and social phobia or social anxiety disorder.)
  • Ÿ  Generalized Anxiety Disorder (also known as GAD.)

Each anxiety disorder has specific symptoms, and many disorders seem to run in families although exact causes for many disorders are not yet known. Anxiety disorders can be diagnosed and treated using either psychotherapy, medication, or a combination of the two. Treatment usually takes at least several weeks to become effective, and should be carried out under a psychiatrist’s care.

Sadly, many individuals with anxiety disorders don’t seek help, either being afraid of what people will say about them if they do, or not realizing that they have a problem that could be helped.  However, most anxiety disorders have safe, effective treatments, which can significantly increase quality of life.

Mood disorders are considered to be a range of mental health problems that are also referred to as affective disorders. The most common types of mood disorders include:

  • Major depressive disorder (MDD). This is a period of at least two weeks of a noticeable decrease in interest or pleasure in usual activities, accompanied by a depressed or irritable mood and other symptoms of mood disorder.
  • Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder (DMDD).  This mood dysregulation  manifest itself as severe recurrent temper outbursts in response to common stressors, averaging at least three per week, for at least 1 year.  The outbursts must occur in at least two distinct settings such as school or home, and the symptoms must began before the age of 10 years old.
  • Bipolar Disorder. This disorder has been portrayed and described more and more in the media and our society, although usually in a pejorative portrayal.  The diagnosis usually is on a spectrum of illnesses and can involve a combination of inflated self-esteem or grandiosity, decreased need for sleep, more talkative than usual, flight of ideas, distractibility, increased goal-directed activity, excessive involvement in activities that have a high potential for painful consequences, and delusional thoughts.
  • Dysthymic Disorder (DD). This is a low level, chronic depression or irritable mood that ahs persisted for at least one year. It can begin in childhood, adolescence, or early adulthood.
  • Mood disorders due to another medical condition.  Cancer, injuries, infections, and chronic medical illnesses can all trigger symptoms of depression.
  • Substance induced mood disorder. Certain medications, drug abuse, exposure to toxins, and other substance exposure can cause mood disorders as well.

A qualified psychiatrist can accurately diagnose and treat mood disorders, relieving symptoms and aiding in recovery.