Expert Profile - Josh Friedman
Dr. Josh Friedman
PsyD, Integrative Psychologist
Certified Holistic Health Counselor (CHHC)
Certified Low Energy Neurofeedback Systems (LENS) Practitioner
Trained with Siegfried and Sue Othmer in InfraLow & Alpha-Theta Neurofeedback
Certified via the Academy of Functional Medicine and Genomics
Yoga Instructor with over 200 training hours
Founder of Integrative Psychotherapy of Omaha
Dr. Josh Friedman’s Bio:
Dr. Friedman earned his doctorate in Psychology from New York University and received post-doctoral training in Psychoanalysis from the Training and Research Institute for Self Psychology (TRISP) in New York City. He worked as an eating disorders psychotherapist at the esteemed Renfrew Center of New York and was appointed to faculty of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. For more than 10 years he has worked as a psychologist with adults, couples and families.
As his practice evolved, it became clear to Dr. Friedman that something was missing from traditional psychotherapeutic approaches. Curiosity and a chance meeting led him to discover the world of Nutritional Psychology, which teaches that many psychological issues are caused or made worse by underlying biochemical/ nutritional deficiencies. Further exploration led him to the practice of yoga, with its emphasis on breathing, meditation and movement for emotional centering.
To enhance his effectiveness in helping a patient to heal and grow, he became certified as a Holistic Health Counselor at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York and went on to earn a Diploma of Comprehensive Nutrition (Dip.CN) from Huntington College of Health Sciences. He become interested in Neurofeedback, and became certified as a Low Energy Neurofeedback System (LENS) practitioner, and trained with Siegfried and Sue Othmer in InfraLow and Alpha-Theta Neurofeedback.
In pursuit of the most up to date information taught by Functional Medicine for Mental Health, Dr. Friedman enrolled in the Certificate Program at the Academy of Functional Medicine and Genomics, which teaches tools for assessing the root biochemical causes of mental health disorders, and later went on to become a Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner.
Additionally, he is also a yoga teacher, having completed the 200 hour training program at Yoga Now in Omaha, Nebraska
Dr. Friedman’s practice now offers integrative psychotherapy services which combine the healing power of insight oriented psychotherapy with and education about lifestyle and nutritional tools that have shown scientific efficacy in improving mental health symptoms.
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?
When I went to college my life kind of fell apart. I suffered from years of anxiety and depression that seemed to come out of nowhere and hit me like a ton of bricks.
I have spent the next several decades finding way to help myself. I first focused on psychotherapy and medication and after found so many other avenues of healing.
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 depression and anxiety made me so much more aware of how hard it is to be human and how lost people can feel. It also made me acutely aware of how many people do not find the alleviation of their mental health symptom from psychiatry and medications.
I have grown to hate the word “treatment resistant” which in psychiatry means that the person has not responded to psychotherapy and several medications. People with the label are left to feel that there are no other options to healing when in fact there are many options that few providers are unaware of that can be called integrative like diet, testing to identify the underlying physical trigger (like infections or heavy metals), yoga, exercise and many, many others.
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 saw the limitation of “traditional mental health” (psychotherapy and medication) first hand as a person who was suffering from depression and anxiety in and early days of my career as a psychologist in public hospitals in New York City. It was light a light switch went off in me drove me to learn about as many healing modalities as I could so that I could bring them back to my patients, friends and to help myself be as balanced and happy as possible.
What methods or practices do you utilize to help individuals get/feel better?
I use a combination of psychodynamic psychotherapy (fostering healing relationships with people that allow them to understand who they are and how their formative experiences shaped them), practices to help diffuse the effects of traumatic experiences including EMDR, yoga stress management, mental health nutrition and functional medicine testing to address physical blocks to mental health healing.
How did people react when you share this Integrative/Holistic approach with them – whether it be patients or other doctors?
I have been doing this work for close to 20 years now. At the beginning doctors and patients were skeptical. Over the years there has been an increasing openness to integrative practices and many people are seeking my out specifically because I focus on creating treatment plan drawing on many traditions. There is no doubt this is the future of mental health.