Dr. Jennifer Bahr: Treating the Whole Person


This week on MIA Radio, we interview Dr. Jennifer Bahr. Dr. Bahr is a passionate advocate for naturopathic approaches to health and wellbeing. She is the founder of Resilience Naturopathic, which was founded with a mission to not only to provide an alternative to those who struggle with mental health conditions but to improve the way mental and behavioural healthcare is delivered in America.

Dr. Bahr received her Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine from Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Tempe, AZ. Prior to that she was an Arabic Translator for the US Government and served 6 years in the US Navy. She received her Bachelor of Science in Physiology and Neurobiology from the University of Maryland.


She is the President of the California Naturopathic Doctors Association, the founding Vice President of the Psychiatric Association of Naturopathic Physicians, and a member of the House of Delegates for the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians.

She previously taught at Bastyr University and is a contributing writer for Homeopathy Today, Naturopathic Doctor News and Review, Mad In America, and The Wise Mom.

In the episode we discuss:

  • How Dr. Bahr came to be involved with the psychiatric system and prescribed psychiatric drugs.
  • That receiving a diagnosis of bipolar disorder led to fears such as loss of employment and that the condition was permanent, feeling like a life sentence.
  • How the psychiatric drugs, including Lithium, affected Dr. Bahr’s academic performance.
  • How those experiences led to Dr. Bahr’s interest and study into non-medication based and naturally oriented approaches to supporting mental health and wellbeing.
  • Why naturopathic medicine might be a good approach for mental health issues.
  • That it is important to choose naturopathic approaches as a first step to avoid potential harm from medications prescribed through the mainstream system.
  • The inherent problems with clinical trials of psychiatric drugs, such as placebo washout.
  • How supporting the whole person is the aim of naturopathic approaches and how this contrasts with the mainstream psychiatric approach of relying heavily on trying to alter brain chemistry.
  • That we should focus heavily on what is happening in our environment to help address the alarming increase in both physical and mental health problems.
  • That people can find out more about Dr. Bahr and her work by visiting https://resiliencenaturopathic.com.

Relevant links:

Resilience Naturopathic

Rx Resilience: Cultivating the Ability to Bounce Back 

American Association for Naturopathic Physicians

Institute for Natural Medicine

To get in touch with us email: [email protected]

© Mad in America 2018


  1. What this sounds like is the rise of the Fix My Kid Autism doctors, promoting the untrue idea that there is something known as austism, and getting parents to send their kids to being lab rats.

    Neurotribes, a book with much wrong, but still some right, by Steve Silberman.

    So instead of treating the whole person, HOW ABOUT STAYING AWAY FROM PEOPLE AND LEAVING THEM ALONE.

    If you folks were doing these sorts of things without a license, then I’d just dial 911 and have you arrested.

    The license is the problem. We must not continue to allow our government to issue such licenses.

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  2. Naturopathy is quackery is it not? This piece reads like one of those profiles in a “natural health” magazine that’s full of ads for vitamin and mineral supplements, new age gurus and magic crystals.

    It would be a shame if a hurting person who didn’t know the facts about quackopathy read this article here and then spent their cash buying a bunch of fake cures and potions. It’s sad that a site like MIA is reduced to running stories like this. They wouldn’t run ads or print articles promoting Paxil or Seroquel so why is this stuff okay?

    Reliance on advertising is crapifying the internet. Everybody with a website pretty much has to let the Alphabet boys crawl their sites with bots and spiders that harvest information from visitors just to stay afloat. They also have to rely on ads and clickbait to attract eyeballs and run advertising disguised as content. Because they need so many “click throughs” to stay afloat it’s only a matter of time before they run content designed primarily to attract clicks and eyeballs.

    This influence corrupts all it touches. The internet is useful, sure, but we are paying a heavy price for it. So far it’s cliaimed many people’s ability to focus and read more than a few paragraphs at at time, it’s damaged or destroyed critical thinking skills and it isolates people from one another.

    The other damage it causes won’t be known for years and by that time it could be too late.

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  3. I need to say more here….I do understand anger at all the abuse that is going on…but I don’t want to bash everything that is out there….I personally have been helped during my depressed times by several persons…I have been helped by a doctor/a psychiatrist/a psychologist/a minister/a friend.. with my depression and anxiety…and now I will look for help also from the persons that are studying nutrition and metabolism and neuroscience…I will continue looking anywhere for HELP not hurt…I am not in favor of bashing everything..i understand the anger but we only have to FIGHT the persons that are hurting us…

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  4. tirelessfighter3–yes the abusers and society are there and the major problem…but my problem was not that…MY PROBLEM was psychological and after many years I still don’t KNOW what caused my breakdowns…and I don’t think we know very much about the causes of mental health problems…so I will search everywhere for things that will HELP ME…maybe NUTRITION…

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    • Glutamate = accelerator of car. It is the major excitatory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system.

      γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) = break of car. It is the major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system.

      Here the important stuff. They are not separate, GABA is synthesized by glutamate decarboxylase which is an enzyme. This enzyme needs to be supported to do its job. Now this enzyme is controlled by the GAD1 gene and this will determine the phenotyope or strength of the enzyme to do its job. I really hate to say this, but that means it is totally possible for the glutamate/gaba system to have a natural imbalance outside of one created by alcohol or benzos/hypnotics.

      Check out what inhibits Glutamate Decarboxylase:


      That is just the very beginning of a very complex system, not just the neurotransmitters but the receptors as well, which have profoundly important functions, reliant upon specific ions, movement, mobility and tiny electrical impulse.

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      • Sounds like you may be searching for a justification for a “chemical imbalance” hypothesis of misery. Every psycho-emotional state has a biochemical correlation, as we are material beings (or, if you prefer, spiritual beings in a material framework). The question is why you are searching for an “imbalance” detached from a social/political context, as though finding such would negate the fraudulent claims of psychiatry. But maybe I’m putting words in your mouth. I’m not a biochemist or nutritionist but nutrition is important, I don’t think that’s subject to dispute.

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        • The biology was corrupted by drug companies, who lie to make money with drugs which will not work and will never work, because the body will not accept any interference outside of evolutionary correct nutrients. This does not mean the biology is wrong.

          The effect of society upon the individual to create these abuse conditions has a documented correlation in biology. When a person suffers sustained stress by what ever means ( yes that would include politics, certainly neoliberal globalism, vast financial corruption creating terrible poverty ) they loose magnesium. (this is the really important part) Mg plays a vital role in the brain. The NMDA receptor is a glutamate receptor. As said, glutamate is the major excitatory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system. The NMDA receptor is blocked or gated by magnesium ions in a voltage dependent way, that means the Mg is only knocked out of the way by a voltage of a certain amplitude, generated by the AMPA receptor, which is also a glutamate receptor. What this means is that Mg and the correct function of the AMPA receptor controls the transmission of the major excitatory neurotransmitter.

          Hopefully I’ve correlated stress, abuse, politics with human biology in so called ‘mental health’ or at least begun to.

          Why is the glutamate/gaba system vital in these ‘MH’ problems ?

          Well we know in a very stark way that alcohol and benzo/hypnotic drugs cause these conditions including: anxiety, insomnia, aggression/violence, toxic psychosis, seizures and death. And we know that alcohol and benzo/hypnotic drugs directly affect the glutamate/gaba system.

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    • LittleTurtle, no you do not have any psychological problem. You have just lived in a very manipulative world. That you have been convinced that you have a ~~~psychological problem~~~ is but one of the more extreme manifestations of this.

      Finding what caused these breakdowns may take time and it will be hard, but you have to do it.

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