Dona Chiechi Elam, MPAC, CH
Psychiatric Physician Associate Certified, Clinical Hypnotherapist
Narrowing down the causes of our suffering is a starting place for healing; is it the soul? life’s experiences? the body’s genetics or chemistry? injury? Knowing the cause is not enough. Using holistic approaches to the whole person lends the greatest chance for reaching the goal of wellness. Understanding internal dynamics of the past, mechanisms of current struggles, and future desires, with best intentions, we can devise fluid strategies that are realistic and doable parts of a treatment plan.
Since 1980 I have been working in health care, from holistic beginnings in massage therapy and nutrition, to allopathic and family medicine, and now full time in Psychiatry and Behavioral Health as a Medicine Woman. I am a Master Physician Associate Certified in Psychiatry. I earned my Masters Degree from the University of Nebraska Medical Center, and my Bachelors Degree from Oregon Health Sciences University School of Medicine. I have been practicing for over 40 years, first in Holistic Medicine, then outreach for Underserved, then General/Family Medicine and now outpatient Integrated General Psychiatry. The capstone for my education is facilitating non-ordinary states of consciousness for wellness with Clinical Hypnotherapist Certification, Transpersonal Therapy, Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy, and Neurolinguistics Programming. Specialty trainings have included MAPS-Certified MDMA-Assisted Therapy Practitioner, Integrative Psychiatry Institute Psychiatry Fellowship, Polaris Insight Center Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy (KAP), and Telos Transformational Therapies for KAT.
By using a diagnostic clinical interview, personal history, surveys, questionnaires, old records and collaborative data, we can come to an idea of what are the target symptoms that need to be addressed, what are the concerns that interrupt function. Medication-Assisted Therapy (MAT), simply put, is a modality of therapy is using medicines to access the systems we've created of fixed beliefs. With the dissociative properties of ketamine we can move away from our attachments to our thinking and engage our internal intelligence to reorganize our beliefs. Facets of psychoeducation, and preparation and integration sessions, also help to facilitate this process. Complementary Alternative Medicine is about building natural stress tolerance. Specific choices of foods, plants, herbs, nutraceuticals and supplements can get symptoms to move, improve cognitive function, physical stamina, quality of sleep and natural physical energy. Posturing and mindfulness goes a long way when the body is well cared for. We may ask for nutritional evaluations, laboratory tests and baseline diagnostics in some cases. Medication Management if needed, is calculated choices of medications can get symptoms to move, to soften, or blunt, in order to improve stamina for stress, improve pain and pain tolerance, help with sleep, energy, and mood. Being aware and flexible, knowing benefits and risks, including short and long term outcomes, informs decisions for using medications. What medication cannot do is change the content of what we think - that is up to us. Hypnotherapy is a technique whereby complete and total relaxation is possible. We use this for bringing an experience of letting go of fixed beliefs that are causing distress and being curious about the pure being that we all are. Healing with this tool can shift chronic entrenched ways of behaving and relieve symptoms of illness and disharmony. Transpersonal Therapy is an unbiased, non-religious framework with which to explore a person's way of thinking and being. This is an analytical type discussion that includes exploration of the internal landscape, a searching of the nature of the human spirit, and 'meaning making,' … all with the expectation to encounter what is needed to heal and grow.