#509 – The Naturopathic Approach to Psychiatric Problems with Jennifer Bahr ND

Jennifer Bahr

Dr. Jennifer Bahr, ND is a licensed naturopathic doctor practicing in San Diego, CA. She is an expert in natural medicine for the treatment of mental health conditions. She has particular interest mood disorders and child/adolescent mental and behavioral health. She is also adjunct faculty at Bastyr University California, the President of the California Naturopathic Doctors Association, and the Vice President of the Psychiatric Association of Naturopathic Physicians. Dr. Bahr received her Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine from Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine where she focused her clinical studies on homeopathy, nutrition, mental health, and pediatrics. She lectures extensively on integrative and naturopathic therapies for treating mental illness for both physicians and the general public. She authored a chapter on integrative medicine for the International Bipolar Foundation book, Healthy Living with Bipolar Disorder. She is the founder of Resilience Naturopathic, a center focused on delivering the best of integrative mental healthcare, and the CEO of Natural Mental Health Supplements. Dr. Bahr is truly committed to changing the way mental healthcare is delivered in America.

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  1. Mahyar
    Posted June 6, 2016 at 1:11 am | Permalink

    Very informative!
    Besides being remarkably open-minded about naturopathy and…, she was also exceptionally frank and honest about her self; an attitude I always appreciate in anyone, specially when it comes from professionals!

  2. James Alexander
    Posted June 9, 2016 at 1:43 am | Permalink

    As loath as i am to burst Jennifer’s bubble- if her most powerful proof of homeopathics is her dog’s reaction (which informs her that it is not a placebo effect), she must be unaware that research has shown animals like horses and rats to respond to an experimenter’s expectations of it. Dogs are intelligent, intuitive animals (probably more than rats, and as much as horses). The research would suggest that dogs can respond to placebo effects via the treater’s expectations. Naturapaths etc often claim to have ‘scientific’ evidence for interventions like homeopathy- however I have to wonder if what they consider to be ‘evidence’ conforms to double-blind controlled research? Expectations of both researchers and therapists influence the outcomes of subjects and patients- thats why double-blinds are necessary in order to exclude placebo effects. As such, the belief in interventions like homeopathy are just that- beliefs- legitimate beliefs perhaps, but still just beliefs. This is not science. The word medicine is these days predicated upon evidence derived from well controlled research studies. I know there is plenty of placebo in conventional medicine, but at least it is predicated upon science- rigourous experimentation and observations, where the placebo effect has been successfully controlled (BTW- antidepressants dont pass this test either). Homeopathy is at best pre-scientific. That is not to deny that it can work- but there is no solid reason to believe that it works for the presumed reasons (other than a placebo effect). That it is non-toxic is great, and a certain advantage over many medical drugs- and due to its non-toxicity, i think it is an improvement over biological psychiatry. But any profession that wants to gain credibility by giving itself honourary ‘doctor’ titles, and use the word ‘medicine’ in its self-designation needs to go way beyond an inclusion of pre-scientific (or yet to be scientific) interventions. One of the few commonalities this approach has with medicine is that they are both biologically reductionist- and this entails an ignoring of social and psychological factors which have a massive impact on emotional well-being (eg Peter Kinderman’s interview). I wonder what was going on for Jennifer as a teenager to result in her depression? What was it like for her to involved in two wars (of ethically dubious legitimacy)? What was it like for her as a woman in the navy? Why is it that biological factors are assumed to be what its all about, rather than her psycho-social experiences? My skepticism of such approaches is based on the observation of nearly 30 yrs that people with emotional problems in living routinely get better as a result of quality psychological treatment- with no supplements, herbs, homeopathics, or psychiatric drugs. This would not be possible if the biology was the primary factor.

  3. DGO
    Posted July 14, 2016 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    And yet, Naturopath’s often help people for whom no one else has been able to.

  4. Michael Daly
    Posted October 7, 2016 at 12:23 am | Permalink

    I’m curious to see the study results she mentioned about homeopathy…

  5. Posted October 7, 2016 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    Michael, she didn’t send those to me. I suggest you send her an email request, if you wish to follow up.

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