Episode 019: Will Van Derveer MD, Integrative Psychiatry: A New Model for Addressing Mental Illness, How Diet, Trauma and Genetics are Contributing to Mental Illness
In Episode 019 of A Medicinal Mind I share a conversation with integrative psychiatrist Will Van Derveer MD. As you will hear in the podcast, I first came across Will as part of his joint presentation with Dr. Janet Settle on the February 2017 edition of the Evolution of Medicine’s Functional Forum: the Evolution of Integrative Psychiatry. Serendipitously, before I had a chance to reach out to Will to thank him for his inspiring presentation, he contacted me following the release of my E-Book on Integrative and Functional Medicine Education, and a friendship was born.
Will Van Derveer, MD is the founder and medical director of the Integrative Psychiatric Healing Center in Boulder, CO, where he has practiced integrative psychiatry for 15 years. 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. He is course director for the University of Colorado psychiatry residents’ course on integrative psychiatry, and is a co-founder and core faculty of the in-depth integrative psychiatry training program, The Psychiatry Masterclass. Dr. Van Derveer regards emotional trauma as a significant root cause of psychiatric symptoms in integrative psychiatry practice, along with gut issues, hormone imbalances, inflammation, mitochondrial dysfunction, and other functional medicine problems. He provides to most of his patients somatic psychotherapy for trauma recovery. Trained as a meditation instructor, he teaches mindfulness to his patients. In addition to his clinical work and teaching, he was co-investigator in 2016 a Phase II randomized clinical trial of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for treatment-resistant post-traumatic stress disorder, sponsored by the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), the protocol of which has recently been approved by FDA for an upcoming phase III clinical trial.
In our conversation, we dig in deep as Will shares his revolutionary framework for approaching mental illness, one where Will recognizes a trinity of interconnected and primary contributions to a patient’s present illness including psychospiritual disturbance, physiologic imbalances and a patient’s specific presenting symptoms.
Will provides us with some practical methods for using lifestyle approaches to address chronic mental illness and outlines how he incorporates both medications and lifestyle medicine in his practice.
We explore some of the fascinating science behind the bidirectional gut brain axis and the influence of various dietary and environmental factors such as gluten and glyphosate to disrupt one’s optimal functioning.
Seeking to revise or perhaps dispel the currently espoused neurotransmitter imbalance theory of mental illness, Will walks us through the inflammatory cytokine or the inflammatory brain hypothesis and its power, in combination with the exploration of adverse and traumatic experiences to explain much of our current mental health crisis.
Follow Will and his work
To take part in the revolutionary Psychiatry Masterclass
To watch Will and Janet's Presentation at the February 2017 Functional Forum
Will offers up some of his personal research as well, working with psychedelics in combination with various forms of cognitive therapy in order to help those suffering with PTSD and others negatively impacted by adverse childhood experiences.
We even dabble in exploring the emerging field of genetics, pharmacogenomics and the role of genetic testing to inform treatment in mental illness.
There was so much to cover in this podcast, and we will certainly have Will back for more of his insights and wisdom.
If you enjoy the show, please leave comments on our podcast page, follow us on Facebook and consider leaving a review in I-Tunes. We are always inspired to hear your thoughts and recommendations for future podcasts or articles!
I am grateful as always to have such passionate speakers on the show and look forward to bringing you more episodes as we continue this amazing journey called life.
Enjoy the show!
Episode 018: Anna Gannon, Mindful Moms and Compassionate Children, One Mom's Journey to Bring Meditation to the Womb
In Episode 018 of A Medicinal Mind: Wisdom and Well Being I share an amazing conversation with my new friend, mindful mom, and meditation pioneer, Anna Gannon. Anna is a mom, the Community and Editorial Lead at Expectful, a Writer and a Yoga & Meditation Teacher. Her work has been featured on The Huffington Post, MindBodyGreen, Yoga Today and The Expectful Blog. Anna is passionate about the importance of the mind, body, and sometimes baby connection. Her mission is to improve women's emotional health during their fertility, pregnancy and new motherhood experience by sharing open and honest stories, educating them on the benefits of meditation and movement and most importantly, letting them know they are never alone.
As you will hear in the podcast, Anna’s story is beyond remarkable and one that speaks to the beautiful randomness of this life when we finally surrender to the entirely unexplainable.
In our conversation Anna opens up about her journey as the Community and Editorial Lead with Expectful, a web and mobile based app designed to support mothers and mothers-to-be in developing and maintaining a meditation practice, supporting the health of their child to be as well as their own.
In the podcast, Anna describes the fascinating creative process behind each of Expectful’s meditation and the vision for the group going forward as they seek to support women at all stages of life
Digging deeper, Anna and I explore how exactly we can best support mothers months before conception and for months after the birth of a child.
Should meditation and support for mind-body practices be as routine as prenatal vitamins?
We then discuss some of the barriers faced by mothers and families throughout a pregnancy and the benefits of engaging in a meditation practice, carrying mindfulness into all aspects of one’s life.
Anna’s authentic story is touching beyond measure and left me on more than one occasion with chills and joyful disbelief.
I encourage you to check out the show notes for links to connect with Anna and try out Expectful for yourself.
As you will hear from my own mouth, being male or not pregnant is certainly not an excuse to explore some of Expectful’s meditations. Whether you are a clinician looking to help your patients or a supporting partner trying to grow your connection with your loved ones, I truly believe you will find peace and presence with Expectful and it’s thoughtful meditations.
I am so thankful for Anna’s pioneering work, and beyond grateful to have connected over our shared mission to support the flourishing of mothers, father and babies to be!
We really hope you enjoy the show!
Learn more through guided meditation for your fertility, pregnancy, and motherhood journey with Expectful, find us on the app store, and follow our podcast conversations by typing in "Expectful".
Episode 017: Mike Etlinger, Through a Patient’s Eyes, Finding Health and Life with Functional Medicine
In Episode 017 of A Medicinal Mind: Wisdom and Well Being, I engage in a practical conversation with my close friend and fellow functional medicine advocate Mike Etlinger. Mike is a Full Stack Web Developer living in Brooklyn, NY. When he's not coding, he enjoys cooking, hiking, and riding his bike all around the boroughs. He believes that the best way to manage your health is to empower yourself with the knowledge and skills to make healthy choices. Mike is on a mission to help others, armed with his experience managing his Psoriasis and all the health woes that come with it. Mike and I first crossed paths after a synchronous email following my guest podcast appearance with functional medicine practitioner Dr. Michael Ruscio.
As you will hear in the podcast, Mike’s background is quite unique, however, his personal story of losing his health as result of an overall unsustainable and less than optimal lifestyle during his college years is one that is becoming much too common in today’s world.
In our conversation, Mike opens up about his personal journey as a young man seeking to recover his health, searching for answers outside of traditional medical structures, eventually beginning a path to restoring his wellness working alongside Dr. Ruscio and his progressive functional medicine practice.
In the podcast, Mike outlines some of the most important lessons he has learned from being a patient seeking to educate himself and find the right functional medicine clinician to meet his needs.
Asking such questions as:
Is the practitioner compatible with my needs in this moment?
Do I need some encouragement or a stern source of external accountability?
Will I have freedom to experiment or will things be more protocol driven?
And what about my emotional needs? Will these be met or just my nutritional deficiencies?
What is my potential doctor’s specific area of expertise? Does is match my primary concerns?
And of course money. What can I expect in terms testing and treatment? Will everything fit within my budget?
Mike also offers some incredible insights on how to best prepare for your visit, making sure to honor and prioritize your needs as well as the time of the practitioner.
Some suggestions from Mike include:
We also discuss some of the often overlooked areas of the healing process, focusing on growth and the many positives that can come from an illness or suffering.
Some of the opportunities we discuss include
Building awareness into what nourishes your body,
And revealing what hinders its flourishing.
Beginning to cultivate gratitude for your symptoms, seeing them as information and the body’s attempt at solving an area of dysfunction and not something to simply suppress
And lastly we close discussing Mike’s dynamic career change as he now pursues a career in health technology following his personal dive into functional and ancestral health.
Mike shares his recent work developing a food diary app that seeks to aid in one’s documentation of overall food quality, allowing an individual to build his or her awareness around food, potentially elucidating a specific food, emotional state or eating environment that is actually negatively impacting one’s health.
I was so excited to share this conversation with Mike, and I really hope you enjoy the episode, seeing the real, authentic and practical side of restoring health and promoting one’s flourishing.
I am incredibly grateful to Mike for reaching out in the first place many months back, and encourage you to contact Mike from the information in our show notes to hear more about his path and perhaps how you can begin your own journey to restoring your health.
Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or comments.
I hope you enjoy the show!