Integrative Psychiatry is the field of medicine that combines the best of conventional and holistic modalities to offer patients better mental health care. I focus on the mind-body's ability to heal itself. I evaluate the whole person: body-mind-spirit and I take into account all aspects of lifestyle in understanding mental health and illness including diet and exercise, work and relationships. I value the patient practitioner relationship most of all and make use of all therapies no matter where they come from as long as they show reasonable evidence of efficacy. I incorporate safe, effective treatments that most psychiatrists have not been trained in to support the mind-body's ability to heal itself: nutritional medicine, mind-body approaches, meditation, herbs, supplements and self actualization which I define as the individualized and unique drive for meaning, value and purpose in our lives and a connection to something beyond ourselves.
Sometimes but not always there are underlying root causes interfering with the mind-body's ability to heal itself naturally. There is a growing body of evidence linking issues like gut dysbiosis and "leaky gut", food allergies, mold toxicity, and chronic lyme disease to chronic inflammation and neuro-inflammation and hence to mental illness. Therefore I am trained in the evaluation and treatment of such issues. I also refer to and collaborate with naturopaths and acupuncturists as needed. I use medications in a more cautious manner, trying to maximize benefit and safety at the lowest dose possible. I am a firm believer in family centered care and a collaborative model that puts you at the center of all treatment decisions. In addition, I am also trained as a general psychiatrist.
If you or someone you love is suffering with chronic mental health issues and has not responded to prior care, or suffered bad side effects from conventional psychiatric medications, and you’re looking for an alternative, or you’re looking for a second opinion, then this approach could be the ticket to wellness and a better quality of life. The focus of an integrative psychiatric approach is on identifying underlying core issues such as inflammation, gut dysbiosis, methylation problems, nutritional imbalances, food allergies, and sleep and lifestyle/behavior patterns. I emphasize skill building and empowerment, and while I do use medications, I do so in a much more conservative and limited role – using medication as a catalyst for change rather than purely relying on it.
In short, integrative psychiatry includes a consideration of the environmental, social, spiritual, and physical spheres of life, in adddition to cognitive and emotional factors that impact mental wellbeing. It is intuitive in style, scientific in framework, humanistic in approach, developmental in concept and collaborative in practice.