Expert Profile - Laurie Teal
Laurie B. Teal, PMHNP
Integrative Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Additionally holds certifications in both Advanced Clinical Hypnotherapy , and Breath Work
Laurie Teal’s Bio:
I bring to the practice 25 years of acute psychiatric care experience, having held Certifications in Holistic Nursing, Psychiatric Nursing ,Advanced Clinical Hypnotherapy , and Breath Work. Prior to becoming a NPP I completed training with The Four Winds Society for shamanic studies. Due to my long interest in Trauma I have volunteered with an amazing organization called Soldiers Heart which was developed by Dr. Ed Tick and also volunteered with a local man performing critical incident debriefing for local EMS workers.
During my schooling for my Masters in Nursing I had the privilege of being an adjunct Professor for BA level Nursing Program doing there Psychiatric rotation. I graduated with Honors for my Master’s Degree in 2017.
Since then I have attended 2 conferences in Integrative Medicine and Completed a Fellowship Program in Integrative Psychiatry. I am excited to see what comes next!
I am passionate about offering multiple options to support wellness and assist individuals in becoming the best version of themselves. I am currently offering Medical Cannabis for PTSD, high quality CBD products, nutrient/gut health testing and Lyme Disease Testing and Genomind’s Gene testing.
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?
My parents were foster parents for over 30 years, including during my adolescent years. One case in particular stands out to me. A young set of siblings were removed from their home due to sexual abuse. The youngest was 2 years old. I will never forget that day. This precious little girl arrived displaying significant sexualized behaviors. As a 15 year old navigating the “goods” and the “bads” of adolescence- having to understand, grieve, and at the same time love this child, prepped my future work in this field.
As an adult, I had to explore how my own early childhood trauma impacts my belief systems and subsequently my relationships. I know first-hand how very challenging it is to grow, and to advocate for oneself.
This theme of growth, and development of healthy boundaries is an ongoing process. I continue to be challenged by an immediate family member struggling with mental health issues. I recently had to intervene in their high risk suicide attempt. Despite all of my growth and psychiatric knowledge, sometimes you have to just have faith in the world; looking beyond the challenges for the beauty in order to have a balanced sense of self.
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 my early 20’s I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome after suffering a viral illness. It has taken me years to understand the impact of that virus on all levels of my being. I was often told I was psycho somatic, that I needed antidepressants, etc.
Looking through the lens of integrative psychiatry, which looks more closely at functional factors, genetics, polyvagal theory, and many other supportive modalities has given me hope and health. I want my struggle to serve as a way to listen more empathetically, and have more tools (and referrals) to help people searching for answers.
This desire to challenge the current scope of practice has for sure been impacted by my life’s past and current experiences. I have a fierce moral and ethical compass; our healthcare system, its biases, and its lack of supportive care directly impact my work with clients. I find myself challenging the system on behalf of others’ care frequently. This has not been welcomed and has come at its own cost. But, I feel so strongly that the current systems for treating mental health need to evolve into a more compassionate and integrative model of care.
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 have known I wanted to do Integrative Psychiatry even before I knew it existed. I used to read a magazine called IONS in the 90’s and I remember seeing advertisements for Great Plains and Genova testing, thinking “how cool is that”. At that time I was working as a RN in an acute care psychiatric hospital and had already seen numerous “holistic” providers to assist in my own care as well as my continued education in Hypnotherapy, breathwork and other energy modalities. I was also reading books on “Food and Mood” trying to educate my peers and bending the ears of medical doctors who would listen.
As I furthered my nursing education it only made sense to follow my heart and move fully to an integrative approach to psychiatry.
What methods or practices do you utilize to help individuals get/feel better?
I use a heart centered approach to listening. My evaluations often take 2-3 one hour appointments. While psychiatric symptoms tend to be the reason for the referral I also complete assessments addressing social, physical, spiritual, coping strategies, support systems, and personal goals. Understanding the holistic person and their foundational beliefs from their life’s experiences are a priority for integrative care. In addition, I order
lab work to evaluate basic functional and nutritional status. At times deeper testing to evaluate dysbiosis, food allergies, or Lymes Disease is needed. However, I do refer out to other functional providers for treating Lymes, Mycotoxin and hormone related concerns. I also refer people for myofascial release work, Osteopathic Manipulation and Acupuncture. For those who have done some previous psychotherapy and want to go deeper I use a combination of energy work from hypnotherapy, breathwork and shamanic practices. I love teaching about how to create ceremony and the use of storytelling techniques.
I still use traditional pharmaceuticals when requested or indicated. However, I do provide nutrient support for functional markers and offer a variety of non-pharmaceutical options. I am Certified by NYS for Medical Cannabis and very knowledgeable about CBD i indications/products. I also have resources for Ketamine infusions when indicated.
How did people react when you share this Integrative/Holistic approach with them – whether it be patients or other doctors?
approach with them – whether it be patients or other doctors?
It has been humbling to hear patients say “you have done more for me than any other person”, “you actually listen to me”, “you mean it’s not all in my head?” This reinforces my understanding of the importance of integrative care, and basic values as a provider.
As far as local MD’s…this continues to be a struggle. I have seen much less enthusiasm and/or challenging or minimizing my approach. It’s my hope that integrative care will become a more standard level of care.
Organization: Laurie B Teal NPP Integrated Wellness LLC
Location: Shushan, NY 12873
Address: 725 Juniper Swamp Road
Telephone: 518-812-6842 Office
Fax: 518-332-0174 Fax