Expert Profile - Arman Taghizadeh
Arman Taghizadeh M.D.
Integrative Sports Psychiatrist
Founder of Mindset Training Institute & Host of the Podcast “The Mindset Experience.”
Baltimore Magazine has selected him as “Top Doctor” in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020.
Baltimore Business Journal and the Living Classrooms Foundation has recognized him as a “Rising Star.”
The International Association of Healthcare Professionals recognized him as a “Top Doctor.”
Distinguished Fellow of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) and the American Psychiatric Association (APA).
Dr. Arman Taghizadeh’s Bio:
Arman Taghizadeh, M.D. also known as “Dr. T”, is a Johns Hopkins trained Board Certified Adult, Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist also specializing in Sports Psychiatry. He is the founder of Mindset Training Institute (MTI) and host of the Podcast, “The Mindset Experience.”
Dr. T grew up in the greater Baltimore area and attended the Gilman School where he was a wrestling All-American. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from James Madison University where he was awarded a varsity letter every year on the NCAA Division I wrestling team.
He received his M.D. from the University of Maryland School of Medicine in 2004 where he was selected to be in the Combined Accelerated Program in Psychiatry (CAPP). He completed both his Adult Residency and Child and Adolescent Fellowship at Johns Hopkins Hospital where he served as Chief Resident from 2008-2009.
He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, General Psychiatry and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
What life events or challenges that you’ve experienced (could be minor, could be major) – whether you’ve experienced them directly or via someone close to you, have had any type of impact on your desire to pursue a career in psychiatry?
I grew up as the son of a child and adolescent psychiatrist. My father often worked long hours and weekends to provide for our family and accommodate the schedule of his patients. As a young child, it seemed like the hardest job in the world because I never saw him. As I got older, I would go to his office to earn money helping organize/clean after which we would play a game in his office or go to the hospital’s game room where we would decide between ping pong, billiards, air hockey or arcade games. I would often remark, “Why do you work so hard? This job is so easy. All you do is play games all day!” He tried to explain that during the activity, his patients would become more comfortable, open up, share their experiences and they would work together to improve the patient’s state of mind.
How did those events impact you emotionally/morally? How, if at all did those events impact the way you view how our current system teaches us to treat patients with mental health challenges?
In high school, I volunteered in a classroom with emotionally distressed children and was struck about how challenging it was physically and emotionally. In college, I spent my summers working in a special education school and was directly exposed to different treatment modalities. I gained a greater appreciation for my father’s comprehensive approach compared to other providers as he integrated medication when needed, various therapeutic methods, behavior modification, nutrition, exercise, etc. I was humbled as many patients and colleagues would remark about how my special my father was because he viewed each patient as an individual rather than a diagnosis and looked to treat the whole person not just their symptoms.
When and why did you decide to actually focus on practicing Integrative Psychiatry, specifically, and how was your decision shaped by the experiences above?
Despite these experiences, my primary passion was to become a teacher and coach as my dedication to athletics had led me to become a high school All-American and NCAA Division 1 wrestler. In fact, after graduating college, I worked as a middle school teacher and high school wrestling coach. However, I did apply to medical school and after one year of teaching, decided to pursue a career in medicine. In considering a specialty, I was drawn to psychiatry given the ability to integrate medicine, teaching, coaching and the ability to treat each patient as an individual. My psychiatric training at Johns Hopkins was based on a model of evaluating mental health and in terms of biology, behavior, personality, life experiences and development.
What methods or practices do you utilize to help individuals get/feel better?
Given my personal athletic success, medical knowledge, comprehensive psychiatric training, and extensive clinical experience, I have developed several programs for individual athletes, elite sports teams, coaches and parents to address emotional barriers including performance anxiety, managing injuries and the recovery process, teaching mental skills training, developing a competitive mindset and creating a plan to achieve fulfillment in sports and transition to life after competition. I integrate various practice modalities including but not limited to supportive psychotherapy, CBT, ACT, motivational interviewing, mindfulness, behavioral modification and medication when necessary.
How did people react when you share this Integrative/Holistic approach with them – whether it be patients or other doctors?
It has been incredibly rewarding to help athletes achieve immediate improvement in sports performance but also gain confidence in managing and overcoming challenges beyond athletics. The self-awareness and insight my programs foster have also enabled several athletes to reach out directly to access mental health treatment when they had previously been resistant! The patients, families, and organizations I have the privilege to serve remark how much they appreciate my approach and outcomes by treating the complete person, not just the individual symptoms. Sound familiar?!