Expert Profile - Tracy Peng
Dr. Tracy Peng
MD, Integrative Psychiatrist
Mind-Body Facilitator at the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at UCSF
Graduate of the End of Life Care Practitioner Program through the Metta Institute
Dr. Tracy Peng’s Bio:
Tracy Peng MD is an integrative and holistic depth psychiatrist practicing in the San Francisco Bay Area since 2000. A graduate of the USC School of Medicine, California Pacific Medical Center psychiatry residency, and Zen Hospice End-of-Life Practitioner Training, she has been facilitating healing trajectories and teaching psychiatry trainees for over 20 years.
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?
Both of my grandfathers suffered military/war violence, which in my father’s case meant he was physically abused, which he passed on in a much less severe way to me. This made me want to live in a field of mutual respect and healing, which led to my career in Psychiatry.
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?
Having an abusive father, who was also a Taiwanese immigrant whose first languages were Taiwanese and Chinese, and whose gay brother has never come out of the closet, impacted my view of our current system as being unaware of the deep roots of trauma in many mental health challenges, as well as being a system embedded in a racialized heteronormative socialeconomic context.
When and why did you decide to actually focus on practicing Integrative Psychiatry, specifically, and how was your decision shaped by the experiences above?
Learning how to meditate and heal at deep levels, and later at physical levels as well, were experiences that developed alongside my medical training, and led me to practice Integrative Psychiatry as I experienced the healing available outside of the mainstream psychiatric paradigm.
What methods or practices do you utilize to help individuals get/feel better?
Many of my patients like to meditate with me during the sessions, and most have their own meditation or movement practices which they then bring into our therapeutic conversations. High-quality bodywork from local practitioners also helps optimize the healing.
How did people react when you share this Integrative/Holistic approach with them – whether it be patients or other doctors?
People who are open to implementing integrative/holistic approaches tend to see faster and richer results if the time is right in their development for that exploration.