Integrative Psychiatry

Go beyond conventional psychiatric treatment.

Integrative psychiatry goes beyond the conventional approach to psychiatry, which assigns a diagnosis based on clusters of symptoms that may be highly stigmatizing.

This conventional method leaves patients feeling disempowered and ashamed that they have somehow failed at being “normal.”

Psychiatric medication prescribers (such as me) often treat their patients using medications to reduce or manage symptoms without addressing the root cause of the disorder.

Integrative psychiatry involves diagnosing and treating root causes of mental illness, mainly using Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) methods, while sometimes using the conventional tools of psychiatry.

Medication alone cannot address the problem.

I take what I like from conventional psychiatry’s toolkit and leave the rest behind.

My stance is not “anti-medication,” but I am critical of the over-prescription of pharmaceuticals, including those used to treat mental health disorders.

My philosophy emphasizes being extremely judicious using medications to keep unnecessary chemicals and toxins out of the body and minimize side effects.

Overreliance on medications can become a vicious cycle of taking more medications to address the other medications’ side effects, creating a bigger mess.

Let nature aid in the healing process.

I have a good deal of faith in nature’s ability to heal, which has led me to explore various alternative avenues of addressing mental and physical issues, such as through supplements and plant-based medicine, mindfulness, qigong, and somatic therapy.

The power of being in nature itself (hiking, forest bathing, swimming, etc.) provides a profoundly healing process!

While I have much to offer you in terms of non-medication routes to healing, there may be times I recommend medication. Alternatively, there may be times I refer you to a CAM (Complementary and Alternative Medicine) provider who specializes in a modality that I think would benefit you.

Some of the CAM modalities include naturopathic or Ayurvedic medicine, acupuncture, herbalism, yoga or other body movement therapies, massage, or craniosacral therapy.

The approach to healing requires identification of the root cause of the illness.

Some mental illnesses relate to physical health.

Root causes in the BODY include gut health, brain health, hormones, genetics, infections, chronic inflammation, and toxins such as metals or mold.

An integrative approach does not overlook what is happening in the body. Therefore, special lab tests aid in the diagnosis of the potential physical cause of your illness.

Organic acids tests provide a metabolic snapshot of your overall health, looking at chemical compounds excreted in the urine.

Saliva tests for cortisol and DHEA help identify hormones with implications for “adrenal fatigue” from chronic stress and burnout.

Stool tests look for bacteria, fungus, yeast, parasites, or viruses that may be the culprits causing the problem.

Your mind can play a causative role.

With my integrative approach, we will explore the role that your MIND plays in illness.

Gaining information on your belief systems, trauma history, and life choices helps us understand how these factors may affect your body and mind.

Understanding patterns in mind/body interactions allows us an opportunity to uncoil and release those thoughts embedded in our nervous system, thus freeing the hold of past events and attitudes.

Understanding the mind’s role is where supportive therapy, including somatic therapy, can be beneficial.

Lifestyle has a major effect on your physical and mental health.

In our integrative approach, we also will look at how your LIFESTYLE potentially contributes to your illness.

Your relationships, sleep and sleep habits, nutrition and eating habits, and exercise are lifestyle attributes that can affect your health.

So many changes are possible here! We’ll spend some time gaining insight into your values so that you can make choices that are in alignment with those values.

Spirituality plays an important role in mental wellness.

SPIRITUALITY is different from religion. It can be thought of as our deepest sense of belonging and connection – with self, others, nature, and a larger sense of wisdom and love.

Sometimes we get lost in our grief and suffering, becoming painfully disconnected from the bigger picture, our spiritual flow blocked.

Part of our work together will include exploring what gives your life meaning, and what gives you a sense of purpose and belonging. We will find ways to orient towards positive emotions – those of awe, love, trust, compassion, gratitude, forgiveness, joy, and hope – rather than focusing only on negative ones.

Let’s get to the root cause of your problem.

Conventional psychiatry often overlooks the root cause and relies on medication to fix the problem.

We will explore all attributes, including your body, mind, lifestyle, and spirituality, that makes you who you are.

Contact me today!