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Integrative Psychiatry

Advanced Nutraceuticals: Complex Biotreatment Cross-Tapers by Lawrence Cormier, MD

Watch this video and learn about Advanced Nutraceuticals: Complex Biotreatment Cross-Tapers as Dr. Lawrence Cormier talks about MIF, MCNS and much more.


For me, the story begins back around 2000, the late 1990s actually, when Scott Shannon, Will Van Derveer, Janet Settle, and a couple other colleagues and I would meet every couple of months for peer support and clinical growth in the area of integrative psychiatry. And that really is a very important part of the integrative psychiatrist’s, integrative mental health practitioner’s journey. And one of the important elements that Keith and Will have included in this IPI fellowship.

Scott would mention this out of the box product called EMPowerplus, and he was very impressed with it. And he told me how it had been transformative for some of his most difficult to treat patients, and he encouraged me to, you know, look into it.

It wasn’t until 2004, that I treated my first patients with the product available at that time from Truehope, EMPowerplus, and I haven’t looked back.

What is a Multi-Ingredient Formula (MIF)?

Julia Rucklidge and Bonnie Kaplan have really done a lot of work not only in the clinical research, but in helping to establish the nomenclature and the parameters. It is so important for any treatment modality so that we know what we’re talking about, we can communicate, and research can be compared and built upon.

It’s important then to distinguish a multi-ingredient formula product from that which is not. So, it’s somewhat arbitrary, but important for research and clinical practice that if the product is three or less vitamins and minerals, it is not an MIF.  Ayurvedic medicine or internal medicine, those are other worlds.

What are Micronutrients (MCNS)?

Minerals and vitamins required in small quantities to ensure normal metabolism, growth and well-being.

What are these micronutrients that constitute the majority of the ingredients in the MIF? For the most part, they are minerals and vitamins and not amino acids, essential fatty acids, hormones, and some of the other very important nutraceuticals.

And even though the formulas do include some botanicals, we don’t consider them to be micronutrients. The relevance of micronutrients to mental health has been appreciated for a century.

Even in this modern era, we have the Eastern medicine, you know, issuing important policy and public health statements regarding nutrition, causing or altering the course of a disease.

Dietary Reference Intake (DRI)

 Another background check matter has to do with the dietary reference intake. You will be asked about this by some of your patients, perhaps by their other physicians. Keep in mind that the DRIs pertain to the general population. So the RDA is the minimum value that’s been set in 95% of the general population. If they meet that RDA, they’re not going to develop the classic disease states associated with a deficiency of that specific micronutrient, vitamin or mineral.

Factors to consider during Cross-tapers

Factors to consider are that if you’re having a patient for whom the progress is slower, or more difficult than you anticipate, you can make reductions in smaller increments than 1/8. And it sounded silly to me at the outset, but sometimes you might want to compound the medication and administer it as a suspension for instance, a paroxetine. To get from five milligrams to zero per day you might go down at 1 mg increments with a compounded formula if the person’s had great difficulty tapering off of that short half-life SSRI.

Sara Reed, MS, LMFT

Sara Reed is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and CEO of Mind’s iHealth Solutions, a digital health company that provides evidence based and culturally responsible mental health services for underserved groups. As a mental health futurist and clinical researcher, Sara examines the ways culture informs the way we diagnose and treat mental illness. Sara’s prior research work includes participation as a study therapist in psychedelic therapy research at Yale University and the University of Connecticut’s Health Center. Sara was the first Black therapist to provide MDMA-assisted psychotherapy in a clinical trial and continues to engage in ongoing advocacy work around health equity in psychedelic medicine.

Will Van Derveer, MD is co-founder of Integrative Psychiatry Institute (IPI), along with friend and colleague Keith Kurlander, MA. He co-created IPI as an expression of what he stands for. First, that anyone can heal, and second that we medical providers must embrace our own healing journeys in order to fully command our potency as healers.

Dr. Van Derveer spent the last 20 years innovating and testing a comprehensive approach to addressing psychiatric challenges which transcends the conventional model he learned in medical school at Vanderbilt University and residency at University of Colorado, while deeply engaging his own healing path.

He founded the Integrative Psychiatric Healing Center in in 2001 in Boulder, CO, where he currently practices. Dr. Van Derveer regards unresolved emotional trauma as the most significant root cause of psychiatric symptoms in integrative psychiatry practice, along with gut issues, hormone imbalances, inflammation, mitochondrial dysfunction, and other functional medicine challenges. He is trained in Somatic Experiencing, EMDR, Internal Family Systems, and other psychotherapy techniques. His current clinical passion is psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy, which he mentors interested doctors in providing. An avid meditator, he has been a meditation instructor since 2004.

For the past several years Dr. Van Derveer has taught psychiatrists and other psychiatric providers integrative psychiatry in a number of settings, including course directing the CU psychiatry residents’ course as well as with Scott Shannon and Janet Settle at the Psychiatry MasterClass. In addition to his clinical work and teaching, he was co-investigator in 2016 a Phase II randomized clinical trial, sponsored by the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). He continues to support this protocol, now in a Phase III clinical trial under break-through designation by FDA.

Dr. Van Derveer is a diplomate of the American Board of Integrative and Holistic Medicine (ABoIHM) since 2013, and he was board certified in the first wave of diplomates of the new American Board of Integrative Medicine (ABIM) in 2016.