The Birkmayer Institute

Facilitating Self-Transformation since 2009

Month: February 2015

Interview Florian Birkmayer

Florian Birkmayer MD founded the Birkmayer Institute in 2009 to offer holistic person-centered psychiatric care. The Institute is named after his grandfather Walter Birkmayer MD, the first person to treat Parkinson’s Disease with L-DOPA in 1961 and his father George Birkmayer MD, PhD who has been pioneering the use of NADH for a range of ailments. In addition to providing holistic person-centered care, he envisioned the Institute to serve as a place of learning and exchanging ideas about the wide range of healing traditions.

Connie: Dr. Birkmayer, The Institute has been a project that has been active for sometime but did not have a permanent home. Tell us about the possibilities that could evolve with large and small presentations.

Answer: You are correct that while I had an office in which to see clients, the Institute classes were nomadic, held in many different beautiful spaces. Having the space in-house in our new office for large and small presentations makes planning and organizing much, much easier and offers many synergies and a convenient centrally located venue for individual healing work as well as classes. It’s the old ‘if you build it they will come.’

Connie: You have recently been abroad speaking in the UK on Essential Oils can you tell us where you presented and how this was received by the International community?

Answer: I was very honored to be invited by Gabriel Mojay, a legend in aromatherapy to present on my approach to psychiatric conditions using aromatherapy. We held a full day workshop called “Aromatherapy and the Medicine of the Soul”, which was sold out and there were twice as many people on the waitlist as attended. It was the first international opportunity to share my thoughts about how aromatherapy can both be used for psychiatric conditions in a narrower sense and also to provide a Jungian framework for working with essential oils. The reception was overwhelmingly positive. Also Gabriel introduced me to Jane McGrath who organized a conference on “Shared Decision-Making in Psychiatry” which is a very important topic and I spoke briefly on how I use aromatherapy for PTSD. Many in the audience were very welcoming and open-minded.

Connie: You have several speakers from Canada and from the UK scheduled this year to present at the Institute. Do you envision more speakers for the Institute from abroad as well from around the states in the future?

Answer: A core part of my vision for the Institute is bridge-building between healers of different traditions and from different parts of the globe, so yes I would love to have presenters from around the globe and the US. Albuquerque is where the old Camino Real, the royal road from Mexico City northward intersects with Route 66, the archetypal American road, so it is a very auspicious place for bridge-building and connecting.

Connie: You have talked about having a monthly networking for the professional community. Can you talk more about this and how you see this developing? How would you like it to serve our New Mexico community?

Florian: There are so many amazing healers of so many different traditions in Albuquerque and New Mexico but there really hasn’t been a forum where all are welcome, healers and clients, and all can participate in a deep and respectful exchange of ideas on a regular basis. I’m hoping that regular networking meetings, monthly or bimonthly, where everyone has a chance to introduce themselves and talk briefly about what they do will form new connections and synergies that we can’t even fully imagine yet.

Connie: You have had the workshops on C.G. Jung’s “Red Book” in Santa Fe in the past. Do you see that occurring at the Institute in the near future?

Florian: Definitely. I’ve been asked by Gary Panter MD who organizes the annual “Creativity and Madness” conference to speak at the 2015 conference which will happen in July about Jung’s Red Book and hope to relaunch the Red Book seminars after that. I’m hoping to be able to webstream them live so that in addition to the local participants we can have participants from all over the globe.

Connie: This is an exciting venture. If you had one big wish for this year what would it be?

Florian: My biggest wish is that all of us healers through our very presence continue to hold the space for the entire planet to evolve to a higher level, and to keep faith and hope in these seemingly dark and troublesome times.

Connie: Thank you and we all look forward to an abundant and interesting first year for The Birkmayer Institute. How can folks contact the Institute to rent space or present in the future?

Florian: To rent space or propose a presentation, contact Carol at 505 720 4115 or thebirkmayerinstitute @

Aromatherapy for PTSD March 18

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Aromatherapy for PTSD: A review of the literature and case reports

March 18 6pm

Florian Birkmayer MD

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a disorder with growing prevalence and incidence that causes significant disability and suffering worldwide. While advances have been made in the understanding of PTSD and effective psychotherapeutic treatments have been demonstrated, the pharmacological options for PTSD have been mostly ineffective and contribute to the disease burden by causing side effects and learned helplessness as well as disempowering clients who struggle with PTSD. Aromatherapy is the use of specific plant extracts, called essential oils, for health, wellness and treatment of a wide range of conditions. The human olfactory system is deeply linked to the limbic system, which has been shown to be dysregulated in PTSD. Essential Oils have profound, rapid effects on the limbic system. Essential oils are extremely safe and have shown great promise as a holistic approach to relieving symptoms, restoring balance in and empowering clients with PTSD.

Florian Birkmayer, M.D. founded the Birkmayer Institute in 2009 to offer holistic person-centered psychiatry and addiction medicine as well as seminars and workshops on a wide range of holistic topics to facilitate self-transformation and continued self-development. This approach has been inspired by C.G. Jung’s ideas about Individuation, which is the journey of the limited ego to the Higher Self. His emphasis in holistic psychiatry is on Equine-assisted therapy, person-centered psychotherapy and holistic medication management
including aromatherapy. He views himself as a bridge-builder between different medical worlds and works closely and respectfully with a wide range of healers.

He received his B.A. from Princeton University and his M.D. from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University. He completed his psychiatry residency at the University of New Mexico. He has previously served as the director of the Dual Diagnosis Clinic at University of New Mexico Psychiatric Center and as the director of the Substance Use Disorders program at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Albuquerque, NM. He was invited to be a full member of the Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry. He is board certified in General Adult Psychiatry and certified in addiction medicine by the American Society of Addiction Medicine.


To register

Please call 505 720 4115 or email thebirkmayerinstitute @

Fee: $20

Transformative Environments March 12


Transformative Environments for Presence in PRAXIS: Building for the Future, Remembering the Past

Dr. Henry J. Moller, Toronto, Canada

March 12 5pm-7pm

It is conveniently forgotten by many that modern biomedical approaches to healthcare, while often helpful, have largely emerged over the past 200 years. This is but a moment in time, not only within the history of our planet, but also within the history of our species.

As progress continues to be made in understanding and treating medical and psychiatric conditions, the role of spirituality in healing is all too often neglected. Moreover, we find ourselves at a key point of history with respect to multiple aspects of humanity.

Toronto is one of the most ethnically, racially and linguistically diverse cities in the world, congruent with visionary Canadian media scholar Marshall McLuhan, who in the 1960s prophesized a connected multicultural “global village” where the “medium is the massage”, and technology allowed a melting of barriers posed by Space and Time.

Aside from culture-bound constraints, it is the phenomenon of Leisure, or perceived freedom that is one of the chief limiting factors to Wellbeing noted in the present. This reality is not readily addressed in biomedical approaches, and challenges us to look to both to the past and future to inform our present.

Historical models of healing that have sustained individuals, communities and populations, though surprisingly similar in essence throughout the world, are not readily addressed within conventional biomedical or econometric healthcare schemas. It may be worth re-examining some of these wisdoms, as enlightened clinicians and researchers navigate towards sustainable future-oriented models that allow for the creation of transformative health journeys respectful of our innate human nature.

“Presence” is a psychological construct in which an individual feels a sense of “Being” in a particular environment, whether they are geospatially in this location or not. This involves complex synergies between patient, healer, environment and praxis. This presentation will highlight these synergies, with special attention to Human-Environment interactions and humanized development of transformative Wellbeing Environments.

Dr. Henry Moller. BSc (Hons) MD, MSc, MPP, FRCP (C)

Diplomate, American Board of Integrative Holistic Medicine

Medical director of Rosedale Wellness Centre and PRAXIS Holistic Health, Toronto, Canada

Faculty, University of Toronto


-Knowledge Media Design

-Music and Health Research Collaboratory

Born and raised in Southwestern Germany to a father who was a Protestant Lutheran minister, and a mother who was a haematologist/oncologist, after moving to Canada, Dr. Henry Moller became drawn to a career in medicine incorporating both biomedical and cultural/spiritual approaches.

After completing his undergraduate specialization in Psychology and Human Biology, then studying Medicine at University of Toronto, Dr. Moller completed residency training in7 psychiatry and behavioral neurosciences at McMaster University, followed by an internship in Regulatory Medicine with Health Canada and a fellowship in Sleep Medicine & Neuropsychiatry at University Health Network, Toronto where he researched consciousness and simulator-based immersive environments to measure human performance and neurophysiology.

Further research conducted through University of Toronto School of Public Policy and Governance explored policy design space design in the public realm for health promotion. This was followed by additional qualification in Integrative Holistic Medicine focusing on natural healthcare therapies, both historical and future-oriented. Beyond his medical practice, Dr. Moller is undertaking a PhD at the University of Waterloo, Canada Faculty of Applied Sciences, Dept of Recreation and Leisure Studies, with a deepened focus on novel holistic wellbeing approaches. Recent health design work has focused on development of experiential immersive multimodal wellness environments, minimally invasive therapeutics, cultural aspects of wellbeing and inclusive data capture which has earned the role of Industry Sponsor with the Digital Futures Initiative of OCAD University Toronto.

A leading Canadian and international expert in medical use of cannabis, Dr. Moller also has extensive clinical, research and policy experience with application of marijuana in medical conditions, with a specialized interest in non-pharmaceutical augmentation strategies for marijuana in health and wellness contexts. Research funding has included Canadian Institute of Health Research, World Health Organization and City of Toronto, and various industry collaborations. He has published over 75 articles, book chapters and other original works, and has presented worldwide.

Selected References:

Moller, HJ., Bal, H. Sudan, K., Potwarka, L. (2014) Recreating leisure: How immersive environments promote wellbeing. In: G. Riva, , J. Waterworth, D. Murray (Eds.). Interacting with Presence. (pp 102-122). DeGruyter, Open Access. Available on-line:

Moller, H. J., Bal, H.  (2013) Technology-enhanced multimodal meditation: Clinical results from an observational case series. Proc. 10th International Conference on Virtual Rehabilitation, Philadelphia, PA, USA, 26–29 Aug. 2013,  ISBN 978-1-77136-119-4

Moller H.J.  (2010): “Complete Streets”: Promoting health through active transportation.  Research Report for City of Toronto Transportation Services, Public Realm Division, Toronto, ON.

Moller, H.J., Barbera, J, (2006) : “Media Presence, Dreaming and Consciousness” Chapter 5, pp 97-123. In: Riva G, Anguera MT, Wiederhold BK, Mantovani F (Eds.), From Communication to Presence: the integration of cognition, emotions and culture towards the ultimate communicative experience. IOS Press, Amsterdam,

Available on line:

Call 505 720 4115 or email thebirkmayerinstitute @

The Irish Herbalist Lecture Series March 4

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Basics of Herbal Medicine 1: Introduction to Botanical Medicine

This first class in the series is a thorough introduction for everyone interested in the healing art and uses of Herbal Medicine. It is taught by Irish born and Scottish trained Medical Herbalist and Nutrition Consultant, Carol Davison. Students will learn: The History of Herbal Medicine, The Role of the Herbalist today, The Doctrine of Signatures, Herbal Preparations focusing on Decoctions and Infusions, and The Importance of Herbal Actions.

To register please call 415 845 7863 or email carol @
Space is limited.
Cost $35