When Dr. Gisela Kohl and her husband of 27 years, Federico Lammel, opened Certus Psychiatry & Integrated Care in Winston-Salem in 2017, they knew they had their work cut out for themselves. But facing challenges head-on, rolling with the changes, and working hard was nothing new to them.
Originally from Argentina, the couple had worked in different careers prior to founding Certus.
Before becoming a board-certi ed psychiatrist, Dr. Kohl had earned a master’s degree in chemical engineering and worked for Coca-Cola and Monsanto. Federico worked in sales and management for a global satellite communications firm that took him all over the world.
In 2000, with a passion for studying the brain, Dr. Kohl decided to go to medical school – a challenge in and of itself, but things became even more interesting in 2001, when she gave birth to triplets Marcos, Anna, and Martina. “Fortunately, they were born in the summer, so I never missed one class,” Dr. Kohl says proudly.
She completed her residency at hospitals in Florida, and the family moved to Winston-Salem in 2009.
In 2013, the family “was blessed with a little girl” when Paloma was born. If managing busy careers and their growing family wasn’t enough, they faced a new challenge with Paloma’s Autism diagnosis, and they rolled with the changes together as a family.
“Having the triplets was a Godsend,” Dr. Kohl says. “We all learned together how to care for Pali, and we have grown stronger together in helping her learn and grow.”
As a psychiatrist, Dr. Kohl believed that her patients realized better outcomes when they were active participants in their own care. This may mean patients sharing in treatment decisions, when appropriate, and be willing to look at different factors that could be contributing to their mental health, such as trauma, nutrition, exercise, chemical abuse/dependency, and other factors.
It was this idea of doctor/patient collaboration that gave rise to “believe in we,” the tagline used in Certus’ marketing materials.
“Certus is Latin for ‘determined,” Dr. Kohl says. “I want patients to know that when they come to our practice, that we are determined to help them find the right solutions for their particular diagnosis.
“There isn’t a one-size- fits-all cure for mental health issues, and we work with each patient to determine the best path of care for their diagnosis, and together, we will strive to find the right solutions.”
Common reasons people come to Certus include treatment for ADD/ADHD, addictions, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, and depression.
For those who have battled depression and have met with mixed results, or have not recovered, Certus offers Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) as a potential cure.
TMS is an FDA-approved treatment that uses magnetic pulses aimed at specific targets in the brain that can help achieve remission of major depressive disorders.
“For people with treatment-resistant depression, we have seen tremendous results with this drug-free treatment,” Dr. Kohl says.
Since Certus opened, Federico left his job to run Certus fulltime, and the practice now includes five medical care providers and five therapists. “It certainly has been a lot of work, but we enjoy working together, and it is incredibly rewarding to see a patient discover a better quality of life after treatment,” he says.
Today, the triplets live at home and are all rising sophomores at Wake Forest University, and Paloma is a rising second grader at Southwest Elementary in Clemmons.
Certus Psychiatry & Integrated Care is located at 1255 Creekshire Way in Winston-Salem (located between Brixx and Firebirds) off Hanes Mall Boulevard. To learn more about the practice, visit CertusPsychiatry.com, or call 336-701-3111 during office hours.