Brian L. Ackerman, MD

Providing Holistic and Integrative Psychiatric Care in Rhode Island



More about Dr. Ackerman's Unique Approach


Holistic Integrative Psychiatry (HIP) integrates conventional treatment like Prozac, with complimentary treatment like meditation, cognitive behavior – behavioral training, and even physical exercise in order to optimally treat mental illness or any state of mental distress. The term “holistic” refers to the care of the whole person… physical, intellectual, emotional, spiritual, and the relationship world in which a person lives in order to achieve optimal wellness. Holistic psychiatry cultivates the healing abilities of the body to both heal and thrive. It also seeks to heal the various relationship divides that often compound the state of feeling misunderstood and alienated.

In conventional psychiatry, there is an excessive emphasis placed on privacy and confidentiality, which invariably results in your seeing your therapist and your psychiatrist on your own. In my work, anyone that matters to you – with your permission - is welcome to attend the appointments, whether that be a parent, a child, a sibling, a partner, a friend, a minister, or a neighbor. People do not heal in a vacuum, but in the relationship world in which they live. A holistic psychiatrist cultivates this healing environment.

According to the Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine (AIHM), “Integrative medicine is a practice that reaffirms the relationship between practitioner and patient, focuses on the whole person, is informed by the evidence and makes use of all appropriate therapeutic approaches to achieve optimal health and healing." The direction of conventional psychiatry is to spend less and less time… now approximately ten minutes with each patient. I believe this direction is a huge mistake. Conventional psychiatrists and conventional therapists also guard their turfs in ways that are constrictive and not in the best interest of optimal care. If you are seeing me for your medication management and seeing someone else for your therapy, that is perfectly fine, as long as, you and your therapist understand there is a therapeutic element to being prescribed medicine that rests in the quality of the relationship with the prescribing doctor and not just in the pill. In order to establish that optimal connection, as in any good relationship, quality time is needed. When I meet with a patient for whom I am managing medications, I meet for a half hour and we discuss both the pharmacological and non-pharmacological approaches to symptom management.

The focus of holistic treatment is the whole person. Everyone has become so fragmented, we tend to divide ourselves (body), intellectual (mind), emotional (heart), and spiritual (soul), failing to recognize these parts are intimately connected the whole. My aim is to treat the whole person. As a meditation teacher. I also help people learn how to access to their best selves. Those patients who learn how to acces sates of inner peace and learn how to cultivate their positive emotions and better retrain their negative ones will find they do not have to be so reliant on a pill to manage states of distress...that they have choices.

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401-500-5638   -   154 Waterman St. Suite 16, Providence, RI 02906   -   [email protected]