Through my own Wounded Healer’s journey, I help healers who are struggling with burn-out, compassion fatigue, work frustrations and existential doubts.

More and more colleagues tell me they don’t like working in the way they’ve been trained to, but feel trapped. They’re not sure how to proceed or transform and honor their soul’s calling to be healers.

I work with you to reawaken your soul’s purpose and what it truly means to be a healer. 

I behold you and your individual path of transformation.

What Others Are Saying About This Experience

“Good luck and blessing for your current path. It has so much more to offer you than allopathic medicine. Not just your work with aromatics, but your efforts to keep old wisdom alive!”
Jamie W., MD
“I've had a hard time tolerating the patriarchal system in medicine. What's been missing is a sense of belonging. I know something else is possible.”
M. M., MD

I have heard from more and more colleagues–be they psychiatrists, psychotherapists, nurses, psychologists, guides, and healers in a range of other fields–that they don’t like working in the way they’ve been trained to, but don’t know how to change.

They find their disciplines dehumanizing to their clients and themselves. Their initial enthusiasm and idealism has given way to profound doubt. Yet, they often feel trapped, not sure how to proceed or transform and honor their soul’s calling to be healers.

I went into psychiatry, because I idealistically thought that I could treat everything from the molecule (micro) to the community (macro). I also felt that long before physical illnesses manifest, helping people transform their emotional and mental challenges would allow them to live more fulfilling lives.

However, with time and experience, I felt that the behavioral health system was keeping clients (and healers) trapped in being dehumanized.

For clients, the emphasis was on different medications, often in untested combinations or ‘off-label use’, while at the same time, the practitioners invoked ‘evidence-based practices’ in discussions, while their prescribing, and the ‘expert opinions’ by ‘leaders in the field’ were not evidence based. The implicit goal was compliance by the client, accepting diagnoses and medications and becoming a ‘professional patient.

My idealistic hopes for recovery and helping clients regain autonomy and resilience were faded by the power of the behavioral health system. Even the diagnoses, as more and more people are now recognizing, were more a matter of ‘expert opinion’ rather than looking more deeply at the science and human condition.

This also is dehumanizing to the practitioners. I had to diagnose people and prescribe medications. Other options were dismissed. I came to realize that many times I, and my colleagues, wrote a prescription more to appease our own anxieties about truly beholding the client on their challenging path.

 

In my private practice, which I started in 2009, clients found me because they wanted help getting off medications. I realized the system hadn’t taught me about this important skill. The difficult withdrawal symptoms that many psychiatric medications give those who try to stop them are really a ‘feature not a bug,’ because they make people stay on them for years, often long after the initial reasons have resolved, and people become long-term, even life-long ‘customers.’ Working with many clients to come off medications was an honor. In addition to the practical issues, helping with the withdrawal or cessation symptoms, I learned it was also really important to behold clients’ anger and frustration at having been placed on medications and having experienced chronic, damaging side effects, including abnormal movements (which contribute to stigmatization), sexual side effects (which impacted relationships and self-esteem), emotional numbing, and above all, a profound self-alienation, a feeling, really imposed or reenforced by the behavioral health system, that something was so fundamentally wrong with them that they needed to be on medication(s).

There’s more to my path, that I don’t want to overwhelm you with right now, but can share more individually.

I did have an opportunity to discuss my path more with Dr. Roger McFillin in his Radically Genuine podcast.

In 2015, after reading the book “The Alchemy of Healing” by Edward Whitmont MD, a Jungian analyst and homeopath, I had a harsh awakening. I realized that no matter how compassionate I tried to be, because my own inner woundedness, that part that felt unworthy of healing, was in my shadow, in my unconscious, I was unconsciously projecting this onto my clients, asking them to hold it, and unconsciously keeping them trapped. I decided that I needed to address this, before I could continue as a psychiatrist and closed my practice. Little did I know at the time that this would lead me down a lifelong path of being confronted with dearly held, unconscious illusions that I had to let go of, in order to evolve and in order to not ask any clients or anyone to carry this shadow aspect of myself.

As I started sharing about my path, more and more colleagues, be they psychiatrists, nurses, other healers who are interested in the psyche, found me and were looking for guidance and support on their own paths of reckoning and letting go of illusions. The behavioral health system has been called a ‘gilded cage’ or a ‘prison of privilege’ and, looking at my own path, trying to disentangle myself has led me to examine my often dearly held unconscious assumptions and programming more and more. It’s hard. And that’s why I feel I understand and can behold you.

So…

…if you’re ready to discover who you truly are, what your soul really wants you to share with the world…

…yet you’re unsure or nervous about how to let go of the role you’ve been programmed into and you feel your colleagues just don’t understand…

…if you’re tired of how the behavioral health system traps and dehumanizes us as practitioners and our clients…

…I’d be honored to work with you.

The initial sessions are 90min so we can really get to know each other. Subsequent sessions are usually 60min. The initial session is $300, subsequent sessions are $200.

to see if we’re a good fit.

 

If you sign up for individual coaching, you’ll also be signed up for an exclusive email list, where I will share my thoughts and discoveries along my path.

 

I don’t know how many sessions you’ll need, but my goal is to help you set up practices you can implement in your life and above all to not turn you into a ‘professional patient.’

 

You, like each of us, have a unique soul path. You can be the healer your soul knows you are capable of. Work with me to embrace this.

Florian Birkmayer, MD is a wounded healer with years of experience guiding people through their challenges to a place of empowerment. He previously worked for years as a holistic psychiatrist.

B.A. in Molecular Biology from Princeton University. M.D. from College of Physicians & Surgeons, Columbia University. Psychiatry Residency at the University of New Mexico. Board-certified in Psychiatry. ASAM-certified in Addiction Medicine. Certified Life Coach (CLCI). 

Selected Publications:

Birkmayer F. (2022). Essential Oils for the Wounded Healer: PTSD, Post-Traumatic Resilience and the Wounded Healer’s Journey. International Journal of Professional Holistic Aromatherapy. 11(3), p. 37-41.

Birkmayer F. (2021). Using Essential Oils to Enhance the Effects of Ketamine Psychedelic Therapy in Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Substance-Induced Psychosis (Two Case Reports). International Journal of Professional Holistic Aromatherapy. 9(4), p.15-22.

Birkmayer F. (2020). The Molecules of Connectedness. International Journal of Professional Holistic Aromatherapy. 8(4), p. 51-57.

Birkmayer F., Skipper C. (2018). “The Role of Aromatherapy in the Treatment of Substance Abuse and Co-Occurring Disorders”, chapter in Modir S. & Munuz G. (eds.) Integrative Addiction and Recovery, Weil Integrative Medicine Library, Oxford University Press, ISBN 9780190275334.

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