In a recent episode of Therapy Chat Podcast, host Laura Reagan, LCSW-C, founder of Trauma Therapist Network, interviewed Dr. Jodie Skillicorn. Dr. Skillicorn identifies as a holistic psychiatrist. She defines being a holistic psychiatrist as seeking to find the root cause of depression and other mental health concerns, rather than simply using medication to manage symptoms. If you’re ready learn more about the benefits of trauma therapy and Dr. Jodie Skilllicorn’s perspective on medication on today’s episode of the therapy chat podcast.
Challenging Conventional Wisdom About Serotonin
All of us know that depression and low serotonin levels coincide. If you’ve heard that, it might be surprising to learn that Dr. Skillicorn has a different perspective. And it is not just her opinion, research agrees, as she explains in her book, Healing Depression Without Medication: A Psychiatrist’s Guide to Balancing Mind, Body, and Soul. She challenges the idea that most mental health problems are the result of low serotonin, stating:
“What they’ve found is that basically a quarter of the population, either with a history of mental illness or without, have low Serotonin, and a quarter of the population with a history of mental illness or without, have high Serotonin. And the rest of us are somewhere in the middle. This suggests that there is no ‘normal’ level of Serotonin that a person should have.”Dr. Jodie Skillicorn, Therapy Chat Episode 234
Consider the Impact of Trauma In Mental Health Treatment
Rather than the idea of a chemical imbalance causing mental health symptoms, Dr. Skillicorn suggests that we consider the impact of trauma, whether that trauma occurred during childhood or more recently. We here at Trauma Therapist Network agree with her perspective, and that is why we created this site: to help people find information and resources for healing.
When we think of visiting a psychiatrist we might expect them to inquire about our symptoms and write a prescription. That is one way it can be, but as Dr. Skillicorn explains, holistic psychiatry uses a different approach. Some of the methods she uses in her practice include:
- Assessing nutrition
- Recommending exercise/movement to improve mood
- Breathing techniques
- Sleep hygiene
- Nature therapy
- EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique)
- EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing)
“There is no such thing as a broken brain.”Jodie Skillicorn, Therapy Chat Episode 234
The Benefits of Trauma Therapy Outweigh the Stigma
Dr. Skillicorn emphasizes the importance of a non-pathologizing approach to mental health treatment. Being told by a mental health professional that your brain is “broken,” is neither helpful nor productive to the trauma therapy process. She argues that this can be retraumatizing and can lead to people feeling more isolated. Further, she says that the “broken brain” concept is not supported by research on neurobiology.
We at the Trauma Therapist Network agree wholeheartedly that trauma can heal, and no one is broken! Part of our mission is to depathologize therapy and reduce stigma by helping people learn about their mental health and how trauma can contribute to it.
Another Benefit of Trauma Therapy is…
One of the reasons that therapy is helpful is because of neuroplasticity. Simply put, this means that our brains can physically grow and change throughout our lifespan. Dr. Skillcorn uses a neurobiological approach in her work. As she describes in the podcast interview, “Our brain changes with every thought and with every action…but, as you start to shift those things, you start to shift the wiring, you start to shift the nervous system, then you start to shift how you feel and respond to the world.”
Coming Back Home To The Breath
Dr. Skillicorn is also passionate about the power of breathwork, explaining that breath is one way for a person to directly communicate a felt sense of safety to their limbic system. She also discussed the power of nutrition in triggering and alleviating anxiety and depressive symptoms.
She explains, “the microbiome and all the bacteria in our gut, and the balance of these bacteria, which outnumber us, they send a constant message with every bite of food up to the brain to let the brain know the state of our situation. So when it’s fatty processed foods, it sends this message of a yellow or orange alert of ‘something’s not quite right,’ ‘something’s not quite right,’ because we’re really not designed to eat those foods.”
In This Weeks Episode of Therapy Chat, There are Many More Tidbits on the Benefits of Trauma Therapy!
There were so many more interesting tidbits of information in this podcast interview. You can hear the whole conversation between Dr. Skillicorn and Laura in episode 234 of Therapy Chat, titled: Holistic Psychiatry For Depression and Trauma- With Dr. Jodie Skillicorn, by clicking here.
Dr. Jodie Skillicorn is the author of the book: Healing Depression Without Medication: A Psychiatrist’s Guide to Balancing Mind, Body, and Soul, available wherever books are sold. She also has two websites: Mindful Psychiatry, and jodieskilicorn.com.
Find a Trauma Therapist and Learn More About the Benefits of Trauma Therapy
If you’re ready to find a trauma therapist or you want to learn more about the benefits of trauma therapy that is going to help you have a breakthrough then check out our online therapy directory. Know that we are regularly adding therapists to our directory. Therefore, the list will only continue to grow. To begin follow these steps:
- Head to our find a therapist page.
- Begin looking for a therapist in your area and find one that is a good fit.
- Visit their website and learn about our trauma therapists.
- Learn more about the benefits of trauma therapy today!
*If you’re a trauma therapist who wants to help clients understand the benefits of trauma therapy, our directory is for you. If you’re looking to be a resource for individuals needing help, learn about our directory. Then, visit our page to get set up as a therapist today!
Resources On the Benefits of Trauma Therapy and More:
Dr. Skillicorn’s website: http://www.mindfulpsych.com/
Link to Loveland Foundation: https://thelovelandfoundation.org/
Link to Laura’s fundraiser for Loveland foundation: https://www.flipcause.com/secure/fundraiser/NzU4MzM=/45973
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