How I work with Clients
Treatment work-up and planning occurs over two or three visits with approximately three hours of office time dedicated to each patient. In addition to a clinical examination, Dr. Becker’s process includes a thorough evaluation of historical and newly initiated lab work, comprehensive genetic analysis, and a review of prior medical treatment. Dr. Becker modifies his treatments for each patient to help restore baseline health and treat underlying imbalances, energetic and antioxidant depletion, endocrine weaknesses, and poor digestion and elimination. Treatment planning may require consultation and coordination of care with other health specialists to properly treat the variety of physiologic systems that may be contributing to ill health.
Dr. Becker’s unique approach to psychiatry has developed over his 16 years in private practice, during a time when Western Medicine has progressed towards increasing acceptance of holistic health principles. Emerging health philosophies have created new terminology like “functional” and “integrative,” which patients and doctors alike can find confusing. Dr. Becker is dedicated to researching and exploring the latest treatments in the field of health and science and is at the forefront of implementing many new researched-based advancements in psychiatry. For this reason, he does not identify with any single movement but has adapted his practice to include the most effective and proven methods of three leading fields explained below:
Functional Medicine addresses the whole person and seeks to identify the molecular root cause of disease, not just treat an isolated set of symptoms. It attempts to identify “upstream” dysfunction in metabolic and biochemical patterns that can trickle down causing a cascade of poor health. Practitioners of functional medicine attempt to unravel this complex web of internal and external factors using five main tools:
Labwork and Studies
Clinical Signs & Symptoms
Lifestyle, Nutrition & Behavioral Patterns
In standard Western medicine, a depressed mood is often treated with a neurotransmitter-based medication (e.g. Prozac, Zoloft, Cymbalta etc.), while in functional medicine, specific nutrients and vitamins may be employed to improve biochemical imbalances that may be affecting mood. In addition to medications, treatments may address issues like low levels of B12, zinc and magnesium that are compounded by a genetic weakness in folic acid recycling. Other health issues known to affect mood are also explored (e.g., IBS, autoimmune disease, polycystic ovarian syndrome) and medications with potentially negative side effects on mood are identified.
As defined by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine at the National Institutes of Health, integrative medicine “combines mainstream medical therapies and CAM (complimentary and alternative medicine) therapies for which there is some high-quality scientific evidence of safety and effectiveness.” Potential integrative approaches may include:
Vitamins and Nutrients
Therapy: Supportive, Dynamic, Cognitive, Somatic Experiencing, EMDR
Movement Practices: Tai Chi, Tregar, Alexander Technique
Strength Practices: Yoga, Pilates, Foundation Training
Acupuncture, Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda
Meditation and Mindfulness
Engagement of Art, Music and Literature
An integrative treatment for a depressed mood may still include a neurotransmitter-based medication (e.g. Prozac, Zoloft, Cymbalta etc.), but the practitioner might seek additional support for the patient from complementary modalities like hypnotherapy, acupuncture and nutritional consultation.
Holistic medicine is based on the belief that humans are a complex integration of Body-Mind-Spirit and that we express health through balanced integration of three axes of being:
Body – Molecular and Biochemical Patterns
Mind – Thoughts, Emotions and Beliefs
Spirit – Awareness, Self, Intuition and Meaning
Holistic practitioners believe that our health is affected by our genetic code, our upbringing, what we eat, what we think and what we do. Within this model, a depressed mood may again be treated with traditional medicine, but the depression can be seen as part of a larger interrelation of forces and patterns within the same individual. Rather than the cause of a depression being purely chemical, a holistic practitioner will look for underlying causes in all three layers of being.
Additional Provider Information
The goop Podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/mw/podcast/how-do-we-untangle-depression/id1352546554?i=1000476027276