Expert Profile - Michael Broukhim
Dr. Michael Broukhim
DO, Integrative Psychiatrist, Current Fellow in Integrative Psychiatry through Integrative Psychiatry Institute
Certified in Accelerated Resolution Therapy
Masters in Public Health and Complementary/Alternative Medicine
Dr. Michael Broukhim‘s Bio:
Dr. Broukhim developed an interest in Integrative Medicine during the passing of his father and his experience volunteering in a hospital. His interest in an Integrative approach to medicine brought him to Georgetown University for a Master’s Degree that focused in Integrative Medicine and was followed by obtaining a dual degree in Osteopathic Medicine and Public Health. Dr. Broukhim knew he wanted to work in the field of psychiatry during his 3rd year of medical school while working in a psychiatric emergency room. He noticed early in his exposure to the field that significant trauma and stress had preceded many of the severe psychiatric symptoms he saw in patients and felt more could be done for the patients he faced that cycled through the system, many seeming to be hopeless for their future.
Dr. Broukhim trained at the University of Arizona for his psychiatry residency and participated in the Integrative Psychiatry track for 2 years. During his training he also spent time undergoing the Integrative Psychiatry Institute’s year long fellowship program and became certified in Accelerated Resolution Therapy. He was also trained in Mentalization Based therapy and other psychotherapy techniques. Dr. Broukhim credits his Integrative residency training to aid him to bring hope to patients to change their narrative to one of health, healing, and empowerment.
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?
Losing my father at age 19 to cancer was the most difficult challenge I have ever faced in my life. Before his death, I hadn’t experienced much adversity in my life and I would have never imagined losing him so early in adulthood. The circumstances surrounding his death really influenced me in pursuing a career as a physician and it has forever changed the way I view how our universe works.
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 father’s death made me question if there were other treatments out there that could have extended his life or cured him of cancer, this questioning led to my interest in Integrative Medicine.
When and why did you decide to actually focus on practicing Integrative Psychiatry, specifically, and how was your decision shaped by the experiences above?
Throughout college and especially in medical school I really questioned the treatments that were already available and the approach that was being taken with patients. I knew mental health outcomes were poor in the U.S. and conventional psychiatric medications were not widely effective so I positioned myself to get training during residency with an Integrative lens.
What methods or practices do you utilize to help individuals get/feel better?
There are a variety of methods and practices that I have used and I’m currently learning even more ways to help individuals regain their innate capacity to heal. I think a general approach I take with patients is one without judgment, that patients can be my teacher, and that they have their own sense of what is preventing their capacity to heal. Creating a space for this process of healing to occur within their value system is a vital and fundamental aspect of my practice.
A lot of my focus outside of conventional treatment involves frequent use of psychotherapy, mainly mentalization based therapy, incorporation of broad-spectrum micronutrients and various supplements with sufficient evidence of their use, optimizing various aspects of one’s lifestyle, and accelerated resolution therapy to help decrease the current emotional intensity of past traumatic events.
I do think a team-based approach is often necessary and I do not hesitate to connect individuals with other practitioners to fully enhance and empower one’s life. Our field is rapidly evolving/growing in its knowledge base and evidence of treatments, thus remaining humble and frequently exposing myself to new literature and training is essential to my approach.
How did people react when you share this Integrative/Holistic approach with them – whether it be patients or other doctors?
I have patients often react with a sense of relief and hope since many have come to me with a strong desire to change the narrative of their life, and no longer wanting to feel misunderstood or disconnected. In some cases, I have had patients react by saying that I have helped them change their life. This frequent positive reaction I get with patients has made my job as an Integrative Psychiatrist more satisfying and meaningful than I could have ever imagined. I’ve had doctors become curious about certain Integrative approaches and with one particular modality, Accelerated Resolution therapy, I have had other providers refer their patients to me and they have sought training in the modality themselves after I’ve shared my experience with it.