Gretchen Kahre, Jeanne Christensen, Earle Shugerman and Jeffrey Fortuna

Dear Friends,

In this podcast, we return to the conversation between Dr. Earle Shugerman and Windhorse senior clinicians Jeffrey Fortuna, Gretchen Kahre, and myself. Chuck Knapp hosts and facilitates the discussion.

In Part One, Dr. Shugerman reflected on what it is like for him to work with Windhorse teams and what makes the Windhorse approach unique in the field of mental health treatment. We also heard from members of Windhorse teams about their experiences in partnering together with clients and Dr. Shugerman.

There were several ideas mentioned which contribute to a mutually-valued collaboration. Among these are the Windhorse emphasis on kindness and being nonjudgmental, the team’s high level of training, and the clinician’s ability to read what’s needed and respond to situations and concerns.

Here in Part Two, we delve a little deeper into collaborating specifically around the medications. Dr. Shugerman discusses how he approaches getting the most benefit out of medications while avoiding unwanted or harmful side effects. He also talks about dosing, the gradual reduction of medications, and the value of the Windhorse therapeutic environment in reducing the stress of the individual. He explains that with decreased stress, the job the medications have to do is reduced.

We also discuss the benefits of attending to sleep, exercise, nutrition and employment/activities. Working with the client in collaboration is recognizing his or her basic humanity and individuality. Dr. Shugerman states the need to provide education with respect, to look at medications as a set of options, and to have open dialogue around the various options. We end the discussion by touching on the emerging field of Integrative Psychiatry. As time goes on, it seems, our collaborative community explores greater ways to address the whole person in recovery.

Once again, we thank Dr. Shugerman for his contributions to our discussion and our work together.

Thanks for listening, and enjoy.

Jeanne Christensen