Expert Profile - Ayesha Macon
PMHNP, Integrative Psych Nurse Practitioner
Ayesha Macon’s Bio:
Ayesha Macon is a nationally certified psychiatric and mental health nurse practitioner. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a Bachelors in Science of Nursing from Johns Hopkins University and Masters in Science of Nursing. Ayesha is certified in integrative psychiatry through the Integrative Psychiatry institute and Trained in Ketamine assisted psychotherapy through The Psychedelic Research and Training Institute. She is the founder of Insight Integrative Mental Health which provides treatment to patients in Colorado, Maryland, and Texas. She uses a holistic and multifaceted approach to help patients of all ages reach true mental wellness.
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?
Like many of us in psychiatry, I was originally drawn to the field due to my own traumatic experiences. I wanted to understand why people who appear kind and healthy can be compelled by an unseen internal force to harm those around them. I learned that people are multifaceted and that their own histories and traumas often inform their choices. I also wanted to be a support for others who struggled with trauma and who lacked the support they needed to heal.
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?
My own history of trauma coupled with a support system that allowed me to be resilient and find strength gave me a sense of obligation to help others who were dealing with traumas and mental health issues. I spent my first decade in psychiatry working with children and families struggling with complex trauma in inner-city Baltimore. I often felt frustrated by our lack of deep progress in healing the underlying intergenerational traumas affecting these patients and their families. Although we seemed to understand a bit more about the ways complex trauma affected the brain than we did a decade before, we didn’t have many tools that allowed us to effectively treat the issues. We continued to rely heavily on conventional psychiatric medications often with mediocre results.
When and why did you decide to actually focus on practicing Integrative Psychiatry, specifically, and how was your decision shaped by the experiences above?
I moved into a more integrative practice model about a year ago. I grew up as the child of two research scientists. I was taught from a young age to look for the why and to figure out the root causes of dysfunction. After a couple of decades of feeling disheartened with conventional treatments and our lack of understanding as to why they so often failed, I started to look for other options. I took some courses with James Greenblatt, MD, and signed up for the IPI integrative fellowship. I felt such a sense of excitement and revitalized energy as I learned new strategies that seemed to approach mental health and trauma from the inside out instead of mostly just reducing symptoms.
What methods or practices do you utilize to help individuals get/feel better?
I currently use a number of integrative techniques and strive to help patients in the ways that feel best to them. I believe that true mental wellness is achieved by addressing the whole person-mind, body, and spirit. As such, I work to incorporate treatments that address all aspects of human living. I use conventional medications as requested or as previously prescribed and work on lifestyle interventions, gut imbalance, supplements, and nutraceuticals. I also work with patients to incorporate mind-body techniques into their daily routines and help them learn to regulate their nervous systems. I trained in Ketamine assisted psychotherapy at PRATI and plan to incorporate KAP into my practice in the near future.
How did people react when you share this Integrative/Holistic approach with them – whether it be patients or other doctors?
Most patients respond with excitement and a sense of relief. Finally!! Something different! Often they have been trialed on a number of medications without ever feeling like they are thriving. Other healthcare providers can be skeptical but most have been open-minded and curious.
Organization: Insight Integrative Mental Health, PLLC
Location: Baltimore, MD, 21212 (providing telehealth in Colorado, Maryland, and Texas)
Address: East Chase Street