I find that when I believe in my patients, and they find belief in themselves, they can change. As a holistic psychiatrist, I have built a personal philosophy based on these core principles to help others embark on their journey and grow.

My Personal Philosophy

  • Every individual needs to be seen as a WHOLE.
  • You are not defined by your life’s circumstances or your reactions to them.
  • Anything can change. So can you.
  • If something’s not working, you just haven’t learned the skills to make it work yet.
  • Learning and growth happen through movement, connection and neuroplasticity.
  • Finding your part in every situation is the catalyst for growth and change.
  • Everything is an opportunity for growth. A growth mindset is the key.

I believe that life’s challenges are opportunities for personal growth and transformation.  During life’s difficult times, it is vital to stay curious and open to learning. When we are curious and open, we are able to learn other ways of knowing and being in the world. This allows us to receive dynamic solutions to problems and move forward along a path of personal growth.

I adopted this belief because throughout my work I have found that the majority of mental health issues are not diseases, but rather problems in living. When we experience problems in living, they can cause disturbances in our biological nervous system leading to mental health issues. Herein lies the opportunity for personal growth and transformation. Our brain has the innate ability to unlearn old patterns and instead adapt to new, healthy patterns of living. By unlearning the patterns that contribute to problems in living, we can restore balance to the biological nervous system. Medication, when needed, can be used to support this process.

The reason people struggle to change is that true change only happens when we decide to take full responsibility for ourselves and commit to personal growth. When we genuinely commit to learning and growing, we can being to do the work of mastering our reactivity and learning a new way of being.

Personal growth is the key to inner health.

Personal growth is a path where growth happens over time through incremental learning. As we journey along the path of personal growth, moving through periods of growth and learning, we connect with ourselves and we begin to put the inner guidance we receive into action.

While we may experience frustrations and roadblocks along the way, the skill of self-regulating our minds, bodies, and emotions to access our inner guidance will eventually become a natural habit. The key is to practice self-regulation in all moments of life, whether it’s in a moment of calm or a moment of crisis. Eventually, when we have had enough practice, the act of self-regulation becomes embedded in our body’s intelligence. We don’t have to think about it mentally – our bodies are simply able to do it.

When we do the work to build these self-management skills, we start to be able to see more clearly the problems we may have had in the past. From a space of self-observation, we can then begin to unlearn the stagnant behaviors and thought patterns that no longer serve us. This frees up space to learn new, healthy patterns based on learning and growth.

If we want to learn and grow more effectively, we can surround ourselves with others in a community where we practice living in self-regulation together. Practicing with others in a real-time dynamic learning pool can help us to better understand ourselves, connect with others, and create a healthy life. By committing to a path of personal growth, we can grow into our true selves and live with a greater sense of meaning and purpose as we bring ourselves fully into all aspects of our life.

When we commit to a path of personal growth, it can take immense stress off of our brain chemistry. We no longer feel lost in our life’s direction because we are following an incremental stepwise progression to learn and grow into our fullest selves. Thus we begin to understand that we truly can learn how to do anything that we don’t know how to do, such as being confident, getting married, succeeding at a job, and so on.

The key is having a teacher to teach you step-by-step to attain the skills you don’t have and a practice community to practice those skills with. When we understand that there’s nothing wrong with us if we don’t know how to do something (even something as simple as feeling happy!) and we do the steps to learn our way into that new behavior, then there will be a natural relief of pressure from brain chemistry. Our brain chemistry can then stabilize as we take the pressure of stress off of it. This is the natural medicine of personal growth!

This is why, as a psychiatrist, I believe in the power of medication to help stabilize brain chemistry when it has been altered to the point that there have been physiological changes. I also believe that by engaging in personal growth practices we can learn how to take pressure off our brains, which allows us to move into the direction of healing naturally over time. For many people, we can eventually get off of medications and sustain holistic health using natural methods through the triad of life skills, mentorship, and a personal growth learning community.

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