Leif Benjestorf, ARNP
As a Board Certified – Adult Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP), I offer psychotherapy and medication management. I believe you are the expert of your life so we will work together in a collaborative effort to best serve your needs. As we work together your needs may change so my approach is flexible to best suit the different stages of recovery, wellness and thriving. I emphasize prevention (of new issues and of relapses), symptom reduction, and achieving the highest level of wellness possible.
Some of the areas that I offer services include:
- Depression, Anxiety and Bipolar Disorders
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Thought Disorders like Schizophrenia
- Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD)
- Coping with a variety of life stressors and difficulties
My Philosophy of Care:
As a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) my main goals are to work in partnership with clients to:
- Be more present with what is right now to move forward in a sustainable way
- Look at all areas of your experience to create a treatment plan that is realistic and geared towards your goals with clear action-oriented approaches
- Target symptoms that are interfering with your life with medication so we can optimize their use
- Use psychotherapy to increase your skill set for managing issues that have caused you to veer from the life you want to have and to increase your resilience to future relapses or work collaboratively with you and your current therapist
- Integrate mind/body approaches to treat your whole being
What to expect from your appointments:
Our first appointment will be 60-75 minutes. We will have an opportunity to:
- Get to know each other
- Review your medical, psychiatric history and medications (please bring your medication containers)
- Work together to identify target symptoms and establishing therapy goals
- Frequently, develop homework assignments together for you to do between sessions to dramatically increase the effectiveness of our work together and ensure that these effects are long lasting
- Follow-up therapy and medication management appointments range from 15-50 minutes
My Approaches to Psychotherapy:
I believe positive long-term change can best be achieved with a healthy effort in therapy. We can work together to learn skills to manage your challenges and discover how to address issues in your life so you can move forward.
I enjoy working with adults and young adults (18-65) using an approach that combines elements of:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- Positive Psychotherapy
- Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
- Health and Wellness
- Mindfulness Approaches
- Biofeedback (emWave technology)
My Approaches to Psychopharmacology (Medications):
- I believe that medications can help you achieve a supported and balanced state of body and mind that allows you to better benefit from psychotherapy.
- I use conservative prescribing practices that are complimented and supported by psychotherapy.
- When practical I try to integrate many complementary and alternative health approaches.
Education and Training:
- Masters in Nursing - Adult Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Degree: University of Washington
- BA in Psychology: University of Washington
What is a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP)?
Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing is a specialized area of nursing practice committed to promoting mental health through the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of human responses to mental health problems and psychiatric disorders. PMHNPs are licensed to provide comprehensive, patient-centered mental health treatments and have an independent authority to prescribe medications. Essential components of this specialty practice include health and wellness promotion through identification of mental health issues, prevention of mental health problems and care and treatment (including medication management) of persons with psychiatric disorders.
Crisis Support Lines:
- We do not provide emergency after hours support.
- Voicemail messages are generally returned within 24-72 hours depending on availability and urgency.
- If you need immediate attention for your own or someone else’s safety, please do not delay seeking care in waiting for a return call.
- Call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room if you need emergency medical care or are having suicidal or homicidal thoughts.
Return to Shifa Health
- King County 24-hour CRISIS LINE: 206-461-3222 or 1-866- 4-CRISIS; TDD: 206-461-3219
- Snohomish County 24-hour CRISIS LINE: 1-800- 584-3578
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK
- Alcohol/Drug 24 hour Helpline: (206) 722-3700 or 1-800-562-1240; TTY (206) 722-3724