People suffering from Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) have a greater probability of developing chronic diseases. Timothy J. Hayes, Psy.D interviews Dr. Jodie Skillicorn, a holistic psychiatrist who believes strongly in the body’s innate healing powers. Dr. Jodie talks about how you can’t just numb a soul wound with a biochemical solution. The key is to learn how to calm your nervous system. Breathing techniques are critical to sending safety signals to your brain. Join the conversation to learn more about the body’s innate healing abilities.
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How To Heal Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) With Dr. Jodie Skillicorn
Dr. Jodie Skillicorn is board certified in Psychiatry and Neurology and a Diplomat of the American Board of Holistic Integrative Medicine. Dr. Skillicorn is the author of the book Healing Depression without Medication: A Psychiatrist’s Guide to Balancing Mind, Body, and Soul.
Dr. Skillicorn, thank you for being here. It is good to see you again.
It’s good to see you.
I am hoping you can regale us with some stories of how you deal with identifying and then remedying the effects of trauma in your work with people.
This is not something that is mentioned in medical school, even though we now know that these childhood events increase the risk for about every chronic disease you can think of. It quadruples the risk of CLPD. It doubles the risk of heart disease, cancer and strokes. The links are crazy and significant, and yet they are not a part of general medicine and even psychiatry, which blows my mind. Psychiatry, of all the professions, should at least be taught this. We were taught traditional psychotherapy and psychoanalysis. We know that what happens as a child affects what happens in the future. It does not change anything in how you treat the person.
Traditionally in psychiatry, you still are handing out medications. It is ridiculous to think that you can numb a soul wound with a biochemical solution. What is worse is these childhood traumas, what these studies show is that 97% of people with these end up with four or more of these childhood traumas. That would be the ones we think about, so physical, sexual or verbal abuse. It could also be neglect. It can be that your parent has depression and they are cut off from you and you’re neglected, or the loss of a parent, whether it is from an actual death, but also if they are not in your space, witnessing abuse, and now they have added things like bullying, poverty and discrimination.
All of these things change our brain, our body, and the structure and function of our physiology and our nervous system. It changes the shape and structure of the brain. It has profound effects, yet we ignore it and treat it as if it is a box on an intake. It is crazy because it explains everything. It starts a whole series of events. By changing the structure, the body induces this chronic hypervigilance.
The body is on guard and tense and always looking out for something bad to happen. We are creating all these hormones and all this inflammation. It is hard to settle and regulate the system, so then we start looking for other ways to do it. You can find that alcohol, drugs, sugar, eating, not eating, keeping busy, being perfect or giving up and not doing anything, self-harming or cutting.
You need to learn how to calm your nervous system at any given moment.
All these things are related to these coping skills. There are all ways to try to find some way to manage these early events. To ignore that makes no sense whatsoever. When I see people, I take a couple of hours to get their story and see all the pieces. Going through it, just by asking the questions, there is a healing that happens. There are studies showing that asking these questions, even if it is just on a survey in a pediatrician’s office or an internist’s office, it has been shown to reduce the number of doctor visits in the future. It is acknowledging what has happened because so often, it gets buried under the rug and ignored, and then the medical community does the exact same thing. We just ignore it.
Do you ask the ACEs questions? Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, in her book The Deepest Well, talks about how they took that original ten-item ACEs question. They modified it so that when people do the assessment, they can give a score at the end and not tell which ones they identified. It frees up the people even more to be honest about how much trauma or how many adverse childhood events they experienced and/or how many adverse childhood events their children have experienced. Do you have something similar that you use in your practice?
I use the standard one, but I ask a lot of other questions. As they were telling me their story, we spent a long time going through their stories. I have that advantage as a psychiatrist versus as a pediatrician, where you do not have as much time. It is interesting to me how sometimes people will tell me but not write it on the form. Sometimes people will write it on the form but not tell me.
There is a real value in doing polls because it is whichever way people feel comfortable. They will put a couple on their form, but then when we are talking, other stuff comes up. Sometimes I will have a whole conversation and then they will send me the form afterward because not everyone gives it to me right away. All these other things, it’s right then that they are willing to tell me.
Asking is the most important thing. If you do not hear it the first time, I often hear other psychiatrists will be talking about a patient and I will be asking about these ACEs. They will be like, “There is nothing.” I will be like, “Nothing?” It is pretty rare, even in an initial study in a middle-class, mostly white area, 67% have at least one.
In the world, there was a survey of 23 countries and they found that at least a third, but then when they looked at people that actually have mental health issues, it was closer. It was over 70%. It is the majority of us. It is not the minority. I am always skeptical when nothing pops up because, to me, that means nothing has been acknowledged yet, but there is still something lurking.
That is where I start. It’s laying that out and then even as they are talking, keep reflecting back and acknowledging what they have been through because they often do not think of it that way. They do not think of it as trauma. They think this was their life. It is all they knew. Whatever is normal to us is normal to us. If you are screamed at, that is normal. Even if you are hit, “They had to. I was bad.” There are so many ways our brain works around that to find that it is justified. Usually, people see it as, “It is my fault.”
I have worked with people. One of the most striking was a mature woman. She is in her 70s. She was recounting an episode where she and her young sister were getting whipped with a riding crop on their legs by their mother. Her impression of it every time she had the memory was her poor mother. How sad it was that her mother had gotten saddled with two such horrible children that she had to whip them to get them to behave. That was the way she had internalized it.
That is not uncommon to internalize. That is the way we almost have to internalize it because to think that the people that are responsible for our well-being and the people that are providing us with safety and all our needs when we are small are unstable and cannot be trusted.
It is easier to think, “It is my fault. Maybe I can get it right the next time and then they won’t have to.” One of the things that comes up when we talk about this is if I have got an assessment and somebody comes along and says, “Some of your problems are formed because you had 5 or 6 of these adverse childhood events.” The question is, “Now, what do you do? Does that become an excuse for staying stuck or does that inform procedures or treatments that might help me?” How do you approach that?
I always approach it from your work through this stuff and you can start to regulate the nervous system because that is what has become dysregulated primarily. If we can calm it and let the body know that it is safe now, and we can work with those pieces and parts that were traumatized back then and let them know they are okay with the parts that got frozen in time when events happened, you can absolutely heal. It is not to say that there will never be any symptoms or that you will never get re-triggered. We all get triggered by stuff. We all have stuff that we react to. I do not know anyone that does not. Maybe you do.
Most of us get triggered by things. The work is to learn how to manage that and to learn how to calm our nervous systems at any given moment. Even if we are temporarily overcome by it, we do not have to stay in that place for very long. As we get better and better at it and build more resilience, then we have the capacity to handle more. The goal is to learn to shift the story around so that there is stuff to be gained from it, and also to heal these pieces and parts and to calm the nervous system. Those are the main tools. I always start with breathing because breathing is fundamental to our nervous system.
Almost everyone that comes to me they are breathing tight and shallow breaths up in their chest, which is sending this constant signal to the brain that there is some kind of threat. It might be a low-level threat but it is there. Something is happening even if you are sitting watching TV. That is constantly happening and we are amping up our nervous system.
We are just on guard, but if we can learn to breathe into the belly, we can send that signal of safety. The vagal nerve then gets activated when we breathe deeper breaths into the belly and it winds up to the nervous system. It lets the brainstem and the limbic system know that at this moment, everything is okay. It can finally turn off the high alert. The body can relax and have a chance to heal, but that cannot happen if we are constantly on guard.
People who work with adverse childhood experiences have much wisdom and compassion for others.
Do you prescribe specific breathing techniques?
I always work first to explore there to see what their breath is. There is no particular technique per se, but to be curious about what is going on for them and then starting to notice. Starting to notice the body helps to start to integrate the brain. For many people, when they are traumatized, they live up here in their heads. In our society, most of us live in our heads most of the time. We become disconnected from everything below and what does come up, and then we get scared.
We assume it is a threat versus learning to be curious about these sensations, even the racing heart, and faster breath and noticing how these changes affect us and noticing that they come and go. They are not threats. They are just information, but that is not something most of us learn. Let alone, if we are traumatized, we have even more reason to stay up in the head because the body can become a scary place.
When I am breathing in that shallow or constricted way, I am learning to live at a level where my muscles are so tight. What does that do to the hormonal system? What does that do to the rest of the complementary systems?
It causes massive inflammation and imbalance in every system because the body never gets a chance to regulate. When we talk about neurochemical imbalances, what we are talking about is a dysregulated nervous system that is causing everything to get imbalanced, the endocrine system and the nervous system. The cortisol is spewing out and we are in a fight, flight, freeze from that space. It is hard to regulate, so the goal is to get out of that and, over time, let our body learn to self-regulate better, so we do not get easily hijacked.
When I am breathing, softening and settling down, what is the next step if you were working with me and I had several ACEs and you say, “Your breath is all real tight?”
The next step is to have them be practicing that because it is not going to work if we do it in the office once a week or once every couple of weeks. Practice that for 20 minutes a day. It can be 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes at night, or 5, 5 and 5. Often, people start at 5 and that is fine. The more it is practiced over time, what the research shows is in a period of 6 to 8 weeks, you can change the structure and function of the brain, which is phenomenally amazing. That simple thing can do more than any medication. It is changing the root of the dysregulation fundamentally.
If you stop doing it, things will get a little more dysregulated. That is okay too, because what patients start to notice is what power they have. Often, people do it and they will be like, “I feel so much better. I am so much calmer already.” They then will start to feel good and then they stop doing it. A couple of weeks later, they are like, “I do not know why I am feeling so lousy.” It almost always comes back to they stopped taking care of their nervous system. It is often a matter of going back in.
I had a young man that had exactly that. Some breathwork and some vitamins made a dramatic change. He got a different job, he went on and came back two months later. He is in the pits again. When I started questioning him, the two things he quit were the vitamins and the breathwork.
It is always the first to go. Often, it is just reminding them, “Remember those worked before. Let’s start this again.” There is almost always at least some effect from those simple things. In terms of the trauma itself, I do a combination of EMDR, EFT and somatic. It is constantly coming back to the body. I blend them together in whatever is coming up in a conversation. People are telling me a story and they are getting triggered. I can see they are getting triggered. They are starting to get more emotional, their breaths are starting to get shallow, and their shoulders are starting to go up to their ears. You can see the tension building.
They can keep telling the story. I have them start tapping. It is a basic EMDR idea. As they are telling it, they start to notice, “What is happening in the body? What are the thoughts that are coming up? How are those affecting my body?” They are being aware while trying to integrate it at the same time so that the right side of the brain can integrate that information that often gets stuck when there is trauma. They often get stuck on that right side, which does not have a way to communicate. It is the other side of the brain that has the ability to have language and create a narrative. In order to integrate those two sides, tapping can be helpful.
The other thing you mentioned is the idea that if I am a child and I am faced with an adverse event, I create a story that makes it the most tolerable, whatever that would take. Whether it is blaming myself or someone else, what comes to me so often is how much this Western culture that we live in is focused on blame. Let’s figure it out. Let’s fix the blame. It is so difficult for a child to formulate a story that makes sense and will leave them feeling safe if they blame the adult or the perpetrator of this adversity that they are experiencing.
They create and integrate a story about how they are to blame. One of the things that are so liberating for the people I work with is that we create an explanation that is not blaming anybody. That is saying, “You had parents that did not do such a good job at parenting because they had parents that did not do such a good job of parenting.”
That is intergenerational traumas.
They were doing the best they could at the moment with whatever resources they had. You did the best you could in each moment with whatever resources you had, and this is the result. How do we shift the result in your body chemistry?
Yoga is a great way to get in touch with the body and to feel it in a safe way to let things move and unlock.
As an adult, that is our responsibility and to do it with kindness towards ourselves.
Diederik Wolsak has some work he does, the Choose Again Method. The core of that is that he recognizes that we are going to go back and change the events that happen in my history, but it is not the events that happen in my history that are creating the havoc in my life right now. It is the meaning that I gave them and downloaded.
Every time those memories get activated and those meanings come back up, that is what is creating my response, “This means I am in danger and I have to get tense. This means I have to run.” If I can change the meaning that I attributed to those past events when those memories get resonated, I have a different response.
That is another way that EMDR can be powerful. When you go back, you can see that younger you in that scenario, and see how small and powerless they may have been in that moment, and soothe that younger part and see it more clearly. Often, what comes around is you start to see and even have some compassion for the other person. I trained with Laurel Parnell and she brings in a lot of resources, which I love. It’s bringing at that moment. Although we cannot change the event, we can change how we hold it in our nervous system.
Although no one may have been there to help us then, with the resourcing, you can imagine someone else there with you, human, animal or spirit. You are not alone in it. You do have support. Fundamentally, that is not true. That is not what happened. The truth is that our nervous system does not necessarily know the difference between reality and what we imagine, so much of this trauma is what we are telling ourselves. It is a story that we have been telling and that we are holding on to. As you shift that story, it is held differently in the body. In a way, you are changing.
The nervous system does not know the difference between ten years ago and now. If it is getting activated now, the nervous system is responding to what is happening now. I was working with somebody and they were adamant about it, “This did happen to me. I had this very traumatic birth.” The person working with them says, “That did happen. You are not being born right now.” It is that bizarre truth that my nervous system does not keep track of time.
If it gets the signal somehow from the body, the mind or the combination of the two in a feedback loop that I need to tighten, intense, and be ready for an attack, it thinks right now, I am being attacked. I am sitting in the comfort of my office and I have an empathic therapist with me that is trained with all kinds of tools. If I cannot access that awareness and I am being driven by what is being activated from my memory and the meanings I attributed to it way back when the trauma got downloaded, that is what drives the system. That is what drives my response.
All of that can be changed and that is the beautiful thing about it. It does not have to be a death sentence. It can be transformative. I feel like a lot of the people that have experienced these things that worked through them have such wisdom and compassion for others. They have so much to offer because of the experience and what they have learned, and because they have survived it and know how hard it can be.
You mentioned the somatic aspect of therapy. There is another aspect that a lot of people integrate into this kind of work, which is movement. Is there any aspect or a specific aspect of that, that you bring into your work with your patients?
Movement has its part. Some people cannot yet sit still and breathe. One of my favorite things to do is so simple. It is the most ancient form of meditation. It is facilitative meditation. There are pictures on cave walls going back 10,000 years, but it is just to stand and shake. When you look at the National Geographic videos of a hyena running away from a tiger, and assuming the hyena escapes, the hyena will then shake their body and release all that cortisol that has been flooded into the system, all that adrenaline. They then can go back to eating the grass and drinking water and being okay.
For us, especially when it is an experience where we are powerless to move or do anything and we are stuck, everything floods our system and it gets stuck there. It has no release. Shaking is an amazing way to start to release both what is happening right here, right now. I use shaking regularly myself to release stuff. We do not even know it’s holding on, which allows the system to move. Wherever energy is stuck, it gets to free itself.
Peter Levine talks about that in his work with several events that he has had. He encountered the first responders, EMTs that would try to stop the shaking and strap people down. He understood the benefit of letting the shaking, the vibrating, and getting the energy out. Let that happen and then you do not lock it in the system.
We train not strapping people down but even kids. A temper tantrum is a way of shaking and releasing all this frustration that does not have an outlet. Many kids are punished for that or shamed for that, but it is a healthy way. At some point, it needs to be channeled, so it is not taken out on others. It is a primitive way of letting all that go. I love shaking. I will do that often with my patients. We get up and start shaking when they are distracted and stuck. The other thing I have been doing a lot of is yoga. It is tremendous.
I recommend yoga to a lot of people. It is a great way to get in touch with the body and to feel it in a different way and a safe way, to let things move, and to let things unlock. I have been teaching qigong to a lot of my patients since I have been doing my training. I use the sounds, which are useful for letting go of all of the emotional residue. Patients seem to like that. For me, it has been tremendously helpful. Many cultures use voice and tone to release that different energy in a different way. Some gentle movements can be a powerful way.
If we move and exercise during the day, it’s easier to fall asleep at night.
Some people do not like the shaking. Most people do, but especially for older people, it can be a little hard on the body. You can do it gently and almost anyone can do it, even if just seated. Qigong is nice, slow and gentle but it is still movement. If you add the sounds in, that can be powerful. In whatever form it is, whether it is walking every day outside in nature, movement is essential or else everything gets stuck. We cannot move it.
I am surprised by how many people do not even know about the lymph system in the body and how it only gets activated if you are moving. It does not have a heart pumping. It’s the movement that gets it.
That is the only way that gets it moving. In our sedentary world, it is not surprising that we get sick more often. On top of that is, if you are not sleeping well. We clear out the lymphatic fluids in the brain as we are sleeping. If that is not happening, then we can build up all those toxins.
All the metabolic wastes from our day’s activities do not get flushed out if we do not get a good rhythmic deep sleep cycle several times. It changes the entire flow of the cerebral spinal fluid through the brain to do the cleansing that needs to happen. That is another thing that many people do not even ask about. It is sleep and sleep deprivation.
Many symptoms that people take into their psychologist or psychiatrist are part of the checklist of sleep deprivation. It is a reason that every brainwashing and torture technique and every device has sleep deprivation incorporated into it. It screws up the system and our ability to perceive accurately and tolerate stress, remember and focus.
You should see me one day without sleep. I am snappier and if you do that over time, you are going to react to everything. There is no way to control it. Sleep is a tough one though. They are linked, so there are more traumas. Insomnia is a piece of that. It is a big vicious circle. That can be a tricky one, but all the same, things are useful. The breathing and the movement, if we move and exercise during the day, it is easier to fall asleep at night. I often tell people to shake right before they go to bed to release all this stuff from the day. It is easier to fall asleep.
Have some rituals that can be used for that, like putting your legs up the wall or some oils can be helpful. Sleep is a tricky one. I have a hard time at times helping people to sleep. People are so desperate and they want meds, but the meds make it so much harder. I have a hard time explaining that to people. Because of the way it is advertised, everyone thinks that if you take a pill, you are going to fall asleep.
What all the research shows is that pills like Ambien or Benzo are about fifteen minutes of extra sleep, but the cost is it disrupts your sleep pattern. It is a bigger problem down the road. It is this constant battle of people who keep wanting to go back to them. It is a matter of retraining the system and calming the nervous system so that it knows that it is safe to sleep. If you have had trauma, it may not have been safe to sleep.
Years ago, when I was checking this out, every medication that I ever ran across for sleep had one of its long-term side effects, which is insomnia. They are only meant to be taken to try and break a cycle. If you take them long term, they cause the problem that you are trying to get rid of.
It is the same for almost any medication you can think of. If you take a medication for the gut, it does the same thing. Anything that is taken long term disrupts our systems, unfortunately. We do like those simple answers. They cause depression. They cause major links with cognitive. Everyone I know who comes to me on that has cognitive issues. If we want to deal with the cognitive issues, we are going to have to deal with these meds.
For the sleep thing, there are people who specialize in helping people get to sleep without the meds. Some of the most useful things are to have that ritual before bed. The ritual lets my whole physiological system know, “I am going to go into a different mode of operating.”
Primarily, sleep is regulated by the brainstem, which is largely a habit. It is no different from my dog. He knows that at 9:00 PM, it is time to go to bed.
I have people that benefit a lot from doing the EFT tapping to get sleep, breathwork, canceling their goals, reviewing the day quickly and letting their minds know, “All of this is going on. I try to get this and this done, but it is time to go to bed. I am going to cancel any goals. I am going to quit worrying about this. I ask to be shown how to have a restful night’s sleep and then see how it works.” For some people, that goal canceling, EFT tapping and breathwork work wonders.
For some, it does. The biggest problem with sleep for all of us is when you wake up and then there is this frustration. We get so frustrated that we cannot sleep. That is where the tapping can be useful. That relationship to not being able to sleep is the biggest challenge. The meaning of it needs to shift because it keeps us awake longer and longer.
Find people you can reach out to, to have support.
If I wake up in the middle of the night, I wake up 4 hours or 3 hours before my alarm is supposed to go off and I have to get up. I go, “This is horrible. I need to sleep. Now I am not going to get back to sleep.” I create all of that tension that makes it more difficult to get back to sleep. If I wake up and there are three hours before the alarm goes off and I say, “I got another three hours.” If I soften and breathe into that, I create an entirely different response. The other thing is a lot of people had trauma around going to sleep, whether it was safe to be asleep, things would happen to them, and they would be awakened from sleep.
Those kinds of things need to be addressed, specifically acknowledging that I am carrying energy inside of me in some part of my memory or physiological system that needs to be released. The trauma energy needs to be resolved. Otherwise, I can take all the pills anybody ever wants to throw at me. I can breathe and tap until my fingers have calluses on them, and it will not change.
Unless you are using the tapping to work through those particular traumas that led to those fears.
We acknowledged that some of the best things that we find work for people, every once in a while, we find somebody that nothing works for them. In which case, I want to start looking at other areas, and trauma is one of them. Release trauma around sleeping or whether it was safe to be asleep. If I have an event that reminds me of someone or something traumatic in the past, it might get activated so that I cannot sleep well through tonight. That is where you need to put on your detective cap and try and ask enough questions to get some clues.
With the EMDR, tuning into the reactivity at that moment and allowing that to bridge back to whatever it was in the past that is bringing that on.
What is something that relates to ACEs and trauma that we have not even talked about yet or you want to go back to and highlight?
We did not talk about the Polyvagal Theory. In terms of that third branch, most of us do not recognize that fight, flight, freeze. We have all experienced that, especially the fight and flight. The freeze, some people may not have experienced as much. That is when we would become immobilized when it is so overwhelming.
There is another option and we freeze. The one that is not talked about as much is the tend and befriend, the connection. With trauma, so often, there is a lack of trust and a tendency to isolate. It is so important to also consider whether to use EMDR to work through some of the fears and start to find those connections.
That is part of what therapy is, but to find people that you can reach out to, and to have that support, and to activate that part of the nervous system, which allows it to calm and regulate. To have somebody to be able to co-regulate that we can be with to help us regulate. At times, we all need that. That is an essential part of being a social human being.
It is so difficult for people who had a lot of adversity in their childhood because the adversity becomes what is familiar. Being around somebody comfortable in his or her own skin can seem so unusual and unfamiliar as to be triggering that fear response or that discomfort response. People will gravitate back towards what is familiar, even though that is unhealthy and painful. It is retraining their whole nervous system and their ability to identify that this vibration or emotional pattern they are getting from somebody is safe and valuable. I want to learn to move toward that to connect with those people.
Along those same lines, it is so essential because this is something else that is not taught in medical school. If we are not regulated, we cannot help our patients regulate. They then never get to experience that. If they are dysregulating us, we need to have the tools to center and calm. It is not just therapists and psychiatrists that need to be a part of it, but all caretakers in general.
It should be part of what we are teaching people or else that becomes trauma in itself. I cannot even begin to count the number of times I saw when I was in medical school and residency, these interactions with these authority figures who have completely dysregulated themselves. They would further traumatize and then blame the patient for becoming dysregulated and saying they are the problem.
Often, it was the people with them. I would know as a resident when I was going to be called to the floor in the middle of the night, based on what nurses were on call. Some of them were so good, gentle, calming, and able to regulate anybody. Some could not regulate anyone. I would spend the whole night trying to fight to counteract that. It was awful. By that point, the traditional method is you are giving the meds. It is awful and creates this massive amount of trauma. The system is so retraumatizing. It is something that needs to be addressed and thought about.
I am grateful to you for taking the time to talk to us about that, for the book you wrote on Healing Depression without Medication, for your continued work with people to help them wake up to the effects of childhood adversity, and for integrating that into your practice. I am honored to know you. I am glad that you are willing to share with us.
Thank you. It was nice to talk with you again.
Dr. Jodie Skillicorn is board certified in Psychiatry and Neurology and a Diplomat of the American Board of Holistic Integrative Medicine. After graduating Phi Beta Kappa from Skidmore College with a BA in English and working for nearly a decade as a photojournalist, she attended Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine. She completed her Psychiatry Residency at Northeast Ohio Medical University.
Dr. Jodie Skillicorn is the author of the book, Healing Depression Without Medications: A Psychiatrist’s Guide to Balancing Mind, Body and Soul. At her private practice in Stow, Ohio, Dr. Jodie Skillicorn integrates conventional medical training with evidence-based holistic methods that include breathwork, meditation, yoga, Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing known as EMDR, Emotional Freedom Techniques, Mind-Body Medicine, nutrition, exercise, and auricular acupuncture. She believes strongly in the body’s ability to heal itself if given resources and support and the importance of empowering patients to take back their health through simple but effective lifestyle changes.
- Healing Depression without Medication: A Psychiatrist’s Guide to Balancing Mind, Body, and Soul
- Dr. Jodie Skillicorn
- The Deepest Well
- Diederik Wolsak
- Laurel Parnell
- Peter Levine
About Dr. Jodie Skillicorn
Dr. Jodie Skillicorn is board certified in Psychiatry and Neurology, and a Diplomate of American Board of Holistic Integrative Medicine. After graduating Phi Beta Kappa from Skidmore College with a BA in English, and working for nearly a decade as a photojournalist, she attended Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine. She completed her Psychiatry Residency at Northeast Ohio Medical University.
Dr. Jodie Skillicorn is the author of the book, Healing Depression Without Medications: A Psychiatrist’s Guide to Balancing Mind, Body, and Soul. At her private practice in Stow, Ohio, Dr. Jodie Skillicorn integrates conventional medical training with evidence-based holistic methods that include breathwork, meditation, yoga, Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), Mind-Body Medicine, nutrition, exercise, and auricular acupuncture. She believes strongly in the body’s ability to heal itself if given resources and support, and in the importance of empowering patients to take back their health through simple, but effective lifestyle changes.
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