Episode 047: Will Van Derveer MD, Integrative Psychiatry, Augmented Psychotherapy: The Role of Ritual and Mind Altering Compounds to Facilitate “Cures” in Clinical Psychiatry: A New Frontier
In Episode 047 of A Medical Mind: Wisdom and Well Being I bring back one of my previous guests, visionary integrative psychiatrist Dr. Will Van Derveer MD.
Back in Episode 19 of the show, Will gave us a great glimpse into his foundational approach to medicine and integrative psychiatry.
In this episode, we jump in right where we left off into an exploration of Will’s innovative research and clinical expertise utilizing psychedelics alongside psychotherapy to combat severe PTSD and treatment resistant depression.
Will leads us through an introduction offering an insightful rationale for using psychedelics in supportive psychotherapy.
Applying our emerging understanding of brain connectivity and the activity of the Default Mode Network, Will explains why this baseline “mind wandering” state of thinking is perhaps one of the greatest reasons for cognitive distortions leading to rumination, depression, obsessions and general maladaptive thinking patterns.
From this understanding of the importance of the DFN to our resilience and cognitive flexibility, Will explains the role of meditation and psychedelics to alter the activity of the DFN.
Getting more specific, Will then introduces the two psychedelic drugs emerging as effective augmenting treatments with psychotherapy: MDMA and Ketamine.
Will explains how his clinic and clinicians and general are using MDMA and integrative psychotherapy session to help individuals with severe PTSD breakthrough debilitating states of fear and hypervigilance to discover self compassion, forgiveness and paths to healing.
Expanding from here, Will also provides insights into the drug ketamine and how it is emerging through rigorous clinical trials to be off significant benefit to those undergoing psychotherapy for chronic treatment depression.
While the drugs are extremely distinct in structure and proposed mechanism of action, together they represent a new paradigm of psychiatric care that for perhaps for the first time can actually involve the word CURE.
We end the conversation with perhaps the most important and meaningful exploration I have had to date. Getting a little controversial, Will and I share our concern with our societal search for the quick fix, whether it be in the form of a pill, diet or green medicine.
Sharing vulnerable insights from our own journeys integrating traumatic experiences and doing the “deep work,” we open up about the reality that we cannot expect to heal wounds overnight that took years to form in the first place. From a place of hopeful curiosity, we urge everyone, clinician or layperson to recognize the deep need to engage in the process of iterative self exploration, extending compassion and forgiveness to all along the way.
To explore Dr. VDV’s Integrative Psychiatry Training starting in October:
Visit Dr VDV’s main page at www.ketaminetherapyboulder.com
To learn more about MAPS and psychedelic studies visit maps.org
Explore our conversations, delving into the depths of the authentic human experience.