Integrative Psychiatry

Cultural Humility, Empowerment and Advocacy in Psychiatry by Noshene Ranjbar, MD

By March 22, 2021No Comments

Watch this awesome video as Dr. Noshene Ranjbar talks about Cultural Humility, Empowerment and Advocacy in Psychiatry.

Trauma studies and knowing how to best address trauma culturally, racially, intergenerationally, personally, is the reason why integrative psychiatry is needed. Because trauma goes above and beyond any one box of ways to deal with. And so we really need every aspect of human science, anthropology, history, philosophy, medicine, cultural studies, social studies to come together. No one field has a monopoly when it comes to trauma and its effect across cultures.

“Injury” – to the mind, body and spirit
Trauma, as we have heard a lot about, shakes us up.
It produces an injury to our mind, to our body, and to our spirit.
And it can look, it can make us behave in ways and act in ways and feel in ways that almost defy any particular box in the DSM.

Trauma-Informed Care
Trauma-informed care tries to train us in ways that we can meet people where they’re at, help them be safe enough so that they can actually access the care we’re providing. Learning how to see trauma in its complexity and beauty, and as a birthing place for transformation, which I think trauma informed care tries to look at from a distance, doesn’t get into it, is an ancient process. It is the core of what integrative medicine is. It is the core of what Mind Body medicine is.

How does our body naturally release trauma?
● Breathing
● Screaming
● Shaking
● Connecting
● Crying
● Yawning
● Moving, Dancing
● Etc.

There are aspects of anthropology, human studies, biological studies and animal studies that can help us reconnect to the strength and to the capacity that the human mind, body and soul has to transform, even when things feel impossible and appear impossible. We come into this world as little babies, knowing without knowing how to release stress and trauma. We are, as Brene Brown says, wired for survival. We are wired to be transformed. And we start right as we come out of the first trauma of all of our lives, which is going through the birth canal from a most sacred, safe place to a place that is, all of a sudden, we are at the mercy of our mother-father environment to meet our needs.

What is Cultural Humility?

A personal lifelong commitment to self-evaluation and self-critique.

What Mind Body medicine and integrative psychiatry does, because it opens our mind to a much bigger picture of what a human being in pain and in need for healing, and what resiliency they carry and how can we support them in all of these different ways. It can make us humble; it can make us recognize that I have no idea what the person in front of me has been through. Even though I see the color of their skin, I see on the chart that it says they’ve been through X, Y and Z, or have whatever diagnoses or what culture they come from, I have no idea.

And if I can breathe with them, if I can connect with them on a human level, the chances that whatever modality I come up with is going to be a wiser one that actually suits who this person is in front of me is much greater. And the chance is that they’re going to trust me and I’m going to heal with them. So, I am not above them or just the provider. But I have the opportunity to dance with them through this journey and watch them heal and empower and strengthen and become an incredible source of light in their lives. And that takes humility.