Children and Adolescents
In addition to his work with adults, Dr. Oklan is a Board Certified child and adolescent psychiatrist with expertise in all ages, from infancy through school age, preteen, teenage and college age young adults. He has a gentle knack for engaging children and teens who have previously “hated therapy,” and who don’t want to experience the injury to their self image or stigma associated with seeing a psychiatrist or having a “problem.” Perhaps this is because of his humor, openness, or possibly that he does not take himself too seriously (a “turn off” for any teen). His “green thumb” with kids, teens and young adults may also be due to the fact that he conveys, “There but for fortune go I.” They pick up that he is not judgmental of them because he realizes that he, and all of us have the potential for psychiatric difficulties, and that suffering is an inevitable part of life. His understanding of mental health issues in children and adolescents considers developmental differences, the impact of life events, temperment and biological variations, parent-child “match” and attachment issues, traumatic events, external stressors, the confounding effect of the use of illicit substances, as well as the wide range of “normal variations” in behavior, especially in teens. His many years as a child psychiatrist in Marin has given him insight into the unique issues faced by teens in affluent suburban communities. In 1981, along with Psychiatric Nurse and Coach, Anne Oklan, R.N., CPCC, Dr. Oklan founded Pregnancy to Parenthood Family Center, providing a wide range of services to parents, infants and young children up to age 5. In 1991, Anne and Ed were awarded the “Spirit of the Family Award” by the Family Service Agency for their work during pregnancy and the early parenting years. Currently Dr. Oklan is very concerned about the issues of social isolation, stigma, discrimination, bullying (including “cyber bullying”), and suicide in middle and high school aged students. He is on the Advisory Board of Beyond Differences, a nonprofit agency whose goal is to address these issues.