The first step toward treatment is to call us. After we receive your message, our administrative assistant, Claire, will call you back, usually within 24 hours.
Claire will ask for some basic information, describe our practice, and answer any questions you may have. If our practice features fit the type of treatment you’re seeking, she will pass your information on to the clinician who seems like the best fit for your needs.
One of us will then call or email you back to speak with you directly and schedule the initial evaluation. There’s often a wait of between one to four weeks for the first appointment, although this varies by clinician and according to the time of year.
The Initial Consultation
The first sessions are dedicated to understanding you and the problems that bring you to treatment as comprehensively and deeply as possible. This initial phase may last between two to four sessions. It involves a combination of open-ended listening and focused inquiry.
We will cover areas that include:
- your current life situation
- current and past symptoms
- current and past relationships
- early development
- academic and occupational experiences
- family history
- personal medical history
- past treatment history
We will also pay close attention to our interactions and chemistry during the evaluation and address any questions or concerns that come up during this time. We aim for a process in which two people are mutually, respectfully and thoughtfully engaged in understanding the problems at hand.
By the end of this initial assessment, your doctor will develop and share with you a preliminary comprehensive, multidimensional diagnostic impression of your particular situation. Your doctor will then lay out possible treatment options which might include medications, psychological therapies, and/or behavioral interventions. Together we will weigh the risks and benefits of each option and select the treatment plan that feels right for you.
After the initial phone call, your doctor will email you a registration packet that contains information about our practice, location, billing and insurance details. In addition to providing basic information, this packet contains four forms that you will need to complete and return to us: a practice registration form, a credit card authorization form, a Medicare Opt-Out status notice and a receipt of privacy notice acknowledgement. You will need to complete, sign and return these forms to your doctor prior to your scheduled appointment. These can be completed and returned to us electronically or you can print them out, complete them, and then send back to us via scanning and email, fax, or through regular mail.
Ongoing Treatment: What type, how often, for how long?
Decisions about the type, frequency and duration of treatment follow from the initial assessment. We strive to customize the configuration of your care as much as possible. Treatments might be medication-based, more psychotherapeutic, involve aspects of chronotherapy or psychoeducation, or any combination of these elements. Session frequency is also variable depending on the severity of the problem and other factors; it might range from once to twice per week to monthly or quarterly.
Predictions about the length of treatment are the most challenging. Your doctor will attempt to give you a possible range of time that your treatment might last, however these early projections are typically reworked and revised based on how the therapy proceeds and how you respond. As with all treatment decisions, these will be made jointly, through mutual discussion with your doctor.