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Integrative Psychiatry – Using What Works

Watch the lively conversation between Ray Barrett of Telehealth Certification Institute and Chanel Heermann about integrative care, technology, and marketing a private practice for integrative psychiatry.

If you look up a detailed definition of “Integrative Psychiatry”, you’ll find a lengthy entry.  But Dr. Heermann condenses it to this simple statement: “Using What Works.”  It’s looking at the whole person and combining the best of both traditional and holistic methods to design a treatment plan that works best for that person. In straddling the two worlds, integrative medicine brings people towards the center by finding the best blend for each individual.

One person might want a pill to fix the problem, but you may also address possible lifestyle adaptations (diet, movement, etc) that may prove just as beneficial.  Conversely, a client may have their life aspects right in line with what is “ideal” – yet they may need a pharmaceutical nudge to help them be their best and to balance it all out.  The “prize” for either of these examples is to live an awesome life, and integrative medicine can help find the right tools to offer for each particular situation.

Dr. Chanel Heermann, M.D. has a vast amount of experience in the world of telemedicine: She is a physician, a consultant, a private practice owner, and an innovator to name just a few. Heermann is one of 121 physicians worldwide who is certified by the American Board of Integrative Medicine, she is board-certified in both psychiatry and integrative holistic medicine.

A telepsychiatrist for fifteen years, Dr. Heermann has also been providing services via video for the past ten years in her private practice (which spans seven states) in integrative telepsychiatry. She started programs in two countries and three US states and serves as a consultant for psychiatrists who are interested in starting their own telepsychiatry practice.

Mindfulness is everywhere now, as is telehealth. Explaining what either of those terms means is no longer necessary. With COVID-19, telemedicine is ubiquitous and necessary. Heermann first began her telemedicine visits through the VA – one clinic to another - and was able to serve veterans in rural locations.  The video service is more personal now with improved technology, but a lot of clinical information can be lost over video sessions.

Heermann misses hugging patients and recalls the American Holistic Medicine Association motto, “Hugs Heal.”  She demonstrates a method for virtual hugs at the 14-minute mark during the interview. Seeing the client in their own space can deliver clinical information that she otherwise would not see in person or if they were in a clinic-to-clinic situation. She DOES receive better follow-up via secure messaging. Having updates before the next session about what does or doesn’t work can be very helpful for a treatment plan.

Heermann is also the creator of MHDirect, an online directory that meets the unique needs of online telemental health practices and uses innovative methods to make sure that everyone finds the ideal professional to help them.  When marketing your mental health practice, she suggests having an online presence – not necessarily social media – and indicates that she finds most clients find her by doing their own search.  She suggests being listed on directories. But don’t forget about in-person referral networks, building personal relationships (from conferences, mutual acquaintances, etc.)  that produce personal referrals from people who know you.

You can find MHDirect here - it's another tool for you to use when marketing your own practice. Dr. Heermann is offering those of you connected with Telehealth Certification Institute a 25% discount on an annual subscription for MHDirect using the following discount code: Telehealth25