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Integrative Psychiatry

Exercise Recommendations for Symptom Clusters by Jenn Pilotti, MA

By February 23, 2021No Comments

We all have habits. We go about our days moving. It’s what we do. It’s how we interact with the world. Often, we don’t think much about it. This has its pros and its cons. By taking a moment to start to observe and experience your movements, you can alter not just your body, but your mind.

Come join us as Jenn Pilotti talks about her Exercise Recommendations for Symptom Clusters.

FULL TRANSCRIPT

We all have habits. We go about our days moving. It’s what we do. It’s how we interact with the world. Often, we don’t think much about it. This has its pros and its cons. By taking a moment to start to observe and experience your movements, you can alter not just your body, but your mind.

Exercise: Definition

Let’s look at how the CDC defines exercise because I think if you can understand the definition of exercise, you might be able to see why so many people are hesitant to do it. It’s defined as a sub category of physical activity that is planned, structured, repetitive, and purposive in the sense that the improvement of one or more components of physical fitness is the objective. How much fun does that sound? Who in the world wants to spend their free time doing that?

Physical activity, on the other hand, is any bodily movement produced by the contraction of skeletal muscle that increases energy expenditure above a basal level. Physical activity generally refers to the subset of physical activity that enhances health.

Health Risk Related to Lack of Exercise

Anxiety, depression, loss of balance, bone fracture, erectile dysfunction, pain, and diverticulitis. And you guys see a lot of those things I suspect in your practices.

Exercise and anxiety disorders

One of the things you’re going to see with anxiety is it’s comorbid. Well, it’s often correlated to balance issues. Anxiety and depression are both often present in fibromyalgia, IBS, lower back pain, headaches, and nerve pain. Anxiety is correlated with hypermobility. Balance is predicated upon your proprioceptive, your visual and your vestibular systems, your proprioceptive system, ligaments. When that is not accurate, that’s going to affect your balance. If you suspect joint hypermobility, find a practitioner, a movement professional in your area that you can at least talk to, to understand how to work with these people. Because it becomes a very much a graded exposure therapy type of approach. If you do too much, too soon, they flare up, they don’t want to come back. So, there’s this balance that you have to create. And that’s really what happens with trying to get people who aren’t generally physically active, when you’re trying to get them more physically active. You’re constantly playing this game. How can I push them a little bit without pushing them too much that they don’t want to come back?

Depression and Mind/Body Interventions

Mind Body intervention. Here’s where the yoga and the Tai Chi and Qi Gong and all of the mind body interventions come in handy. They also come in very, very handy with PTSD.

Mind Body exercise techniques appear to have positive effects on treatments of major depressive disorder. And I am going to speculate that it’s partially due to the learning response that occurs. Again, it becomes interesting. I’m learning about my body; I’m learning a new movement and learning to move my body in a way I’ve never moved it before. Balancing in and of itself is going to be a focused attention exercise. With meditation and with learning, there are two things that show up over and over and over again, the two easiest types of meditation to teach someone are open monitoring and focused attention. Open monitoring means observing yourself without judgment, observing, observing your thoughts without judgment. Focused attention means paying attention to the task at hand. So, a lot of different exercise modalities can be taught in a way that is with a mind body connection.

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.

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Jeffrey Guss, MD is a psychiatrist, psychoanalyst, and researcher with specializations in psychoanalytic therapy and the treatment of substance use disorders. He was Co-Principal Investigator and Director of Psychedelic Therapy Training for the NYU School of Medicine’s study on psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy in the treatment of cancer-related existential distress, which was published in Journal of Psychopharmacology, 2016. He currently is a study therapist in the NYU study on Psychedelic-Assisted therapy in the treatment of Alcoholism, a collaborator with Yale University’s study on psychedelic-assisted therapy for Major Depressive Disorder and a study therapist with the MAPS (Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies) study on treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder with Psychedelic-Assisted Psychotherapy. 

Dr. Guss is interested in the integration of psychedelic therapies with contemporary psychoanalytic theory and has published in Studies in Gender and Sexuality and Psychoanalysis, Culture and Society. He has published (with Elizabeth Nielson, PhD) a paper on “the influence of therapists’ first had experience with psychedelics on psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy research and therapist training” in The Journal of Psychedelic Studies, August, 2018. He is an Instructor and Mentor with the California Institute of Integral Studies’ Center for Psychedelic Therapies and Supervisor in NYU’s Fellowship in Addiction Psychiatry. 

Dr. Guss maintains a private practice in New York City.

Will Van Derveer, MD

Will Van Derveer, MD is Co-Founder of Integrative Psychiatry Institute and Integrative Psychiatry Centers. Dr. Van Derveer was co-investigator on a phase 2 MAPS study of Psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy for treatment-resistant PTSD, and co-authored the publication of this study in 2018. He has also provided Psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy in two MAPS training studies. An active provider of KAP at his clinic in Boulder, CO, he has been teaching others KAP therapy for several years. Dr. Van Derveer contributed a chapter on mescaline in the 2021 "Handbook of Medical Hallucinogens" (edited by Charles Grob and Jim Grigsby). He is co-host of the Higher Practice Podcast.

Dr. Van Derveer regards unresolved emotional trauma as the most significant under-recognized 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.


Scott has been a student of consciousness since his honors thesis on that topic at the University of Arizona in the 1970s under the tutelage of Dr. Andrew Weil. Following medical school, Scott studied Jungian therapy and acupuncture while working as a primary care physician in a rural area for four years. Psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy became a facet of his practice before this medicine was scheduled in 1985. He then completed a psychiatry residency at Columbia program in New York. Scott studied cross-cultural psychiatry and completed a child/adolescent psychiatry fellowship at the University of New Mexico.

In 2010 he founded Wholeness Center in Fort Collins. This innovative clinic provides cross-disciplinary evaluation and care for all mental health concerns. Scott serves as a site Principal Investigator and therapist for the Phase III trial of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD sponsored by (MAPS). He has also published numerous articles about his research on (CBD) in mental health. Currently, Scott works extensively with psychedelic-assisted-psychotherapy. He lectures all over the world to professional groups interested in a deeper look at mental health issues, safer tools, and a paradigm-shifting perspective about transformative care.

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.