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Integrative Psychiatry

The Future of Psychiatry By Scott Shannon, MD

By September 7, 2020No Comments

A schizophrenic person living in the United States today have significantly lower outcomes compared to those who are lived during the 1930s. More people at today are struggling when it comes to dealing with addiction, mental illness and having a dysfunctional system. Which gives us reason to believe that we need to find a new path to move forward when it comes to resolving the mental health issues.

The Default Mode Network serves as a hub made up many different functional hubs in the central nervous system which evolves as we age. This showed great surprise in the studies conducted back in the 1980s. It has significantly shown that our mind actually requires less energy when asked to do a task compared to when our brain is in a mind wandering state.

Psychedelics offers a powerful intervention that offers us more direct perception giving us better access to ourselves.

Future mental health calls us to have a greater understanding that mental health issues drive so much of human distress and chronic illness. Which asks us to treat their trauma in order to get better. Having a good diet plays a vital role in the set up and persistence of battling chronic mental illness.


So, if we were to create these three pillars of body mind spirit, it might look something like this body is the hardware, mind is the operating system and controller, and soul or spirit depending on which term you like is the application.

The hardware actually is a data center and in the data center is where all our servers exist. And although we talk about the brain in different ways, it is housed in a data center. It’s a schematic process, and it has all these data center needs such as heating, cooling, administration, conductivity, plumbing, security repair power. And this is, I think, the great benefit of integrative medicine and how it is informed Integrative Psychiatry that we have to pay attention to inflammation in the gut and diet, we have to pay attention to all of these things if we’re going to move forward, and I think we have moved far in the last 10 or 15 years understanding this.

Neurofeedback just building on that, is something that helps us to train the brain. It takes this quantitative electroencephalographic output, and we do real time biofeedback with it to alter the patterns. And we have very clear documentation that biofeedback works through opera and conditioning and, we now have very good evidence that neurofeedback works.

Psychedelics create this powerful tool that reduces the default mode network activity, but it’s a powerful intervention that offers us more direct perception and the other thing that It offers us better, is better access to ourselves. And by self, I mean the largest as young described, and that when we’re under the influence of powerful psychedelics, we have these profound insights, because we’re in greater connection with our true self, our deep self, and not our persona.

As we look more broadly to the spiritual and soul level, we have to think about the big application, what’s the quality of meaning, value and purpose? What’s the alignment of present self with deeper self, and this is where I think psychedelics can give us a wakeup call? We need to look at religious and spiritual beliefs, the current path of practice our call to service, our ability to love and how much we express joy. These are, I think, reflections of our application in it’s health and foundation.

So what future mental health is calling to us for, is a greater understanding that these mental health issues drive so much of human distress. Not just mental health distress, but chronic physical illness. And if we want to get people with chronic illness out of their stuck state, we can’t just treat their diabetes or their heart disease, we have to go back and treat their trauma, and they’re not going to get better, and they’re not going to cease to be frequent fliers or the medical system until we can do core level healing. We need to know that diet is such a profound factor in the setup, and the persistence of chronic mental illness, and that we need to think about social emotional education as a curriculum in elementary schools and that early monitoring of attachment neglect is critical and people can heal and that fun matters as we move forward.

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.