NICOLE LEISTIKOW MD
PACING OF TREATMENT
We tend to seek treatment when we are distressed. There are so many barriers: having enough time, attention, money, and most of all, finding the right person who can actually help, a professional who will listen, ask the right questions, and provide advice that is knowledgeable and appropriate.
Once a patient takes the first step and makes that phone call, I’m typically able to schedule a first appointment within 2 to 4 weeks. After an initial 2 hour visit, our work together generally begins at a higher level of intensity so that we can identify what’s happening and start trying options to help. I often meet with new patients every week or two until they start to feel better.
Sometimes, relief happens quickly, and an intervention or a medication can result in rapid improvement within the first few weeks. Sometimes it takes longer to find a solution and feel that definite progress is being made. Medication trials, in particular, can be frustrating and time consuming. I am skilled at listening to what you are experiencing and discerning whether timing, dose or a combination of factors needs to be considered to reduce side effects and increase benefit.
Once we feel like life is moving in the right direction for you, we have more space to determine how often we should meet to maintain progress and prevent new exacerbations. This may be weekly psychotherapy alone if it feels particularly effective, or visits that are every 2, 3, or 4 weeks. Often we reduce the frequency of visits when need is low and then swivel to meet more often if stressors intrude.
If I’ve done my job right, hope should be present from the very first visit. My goal is for you to feel known and understood. If we are working together, you are not going through this alone.