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 @ gmail.com