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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.

Frederick Barrett is a cognitive neuroscientist with training in behavioral pharmacology, and the Associate Director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research. Dr. Barrett has been conducting psychedelic research at Johns Hopkins University since 2013, and his research in healthy participants and in patients with mood and substance use disorders focuses on the psychological and neurological mechanisms underlying the enduring therapeutic and other effects of psychedelic drugs. In 2017, he received an NIH “R03” grant as Principal Investigator to investigate biological mechanisms of psilocybin effects, the first federally funded research since the 1970s administering a classic psychedelic to people with psychedelic effects as the primary focus. He has developed measures of subjective effects of psychedelic drugs, and has also published first-in-human studies characterizing the acute and enduring effects of psilocybin on the brain. He is currently leading clinical trials to investigate the use of psilocybin to treat patients with major depressive disorder and co-occurring alcohol use disorder, and he is leading a number of ongoing studies aimed at better understanding the psychological, biological, and neural mechanisms underlying therapeutic efficacy of psychedelic drugs.

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.