Dr. Peter Berndt, M.D.
I was a family physician for 18 years before becoming a psychiatrist. Over the years I began to see more clearly how stress affected people and their health. I had an associate, another physician, who dragged me to a workshop given by the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis in Chicago. At first, I was very skeptical, but became immediately impressed by what I saw being done to relieve physical illness through psychological means. Doing so seemed much more interesting than giving medication only.
I began using hypnosis for conditioning for weight loss, childbirth, migraine headaches, asthma, and pain syndromes, and I was astonished with the results. I got more and more referrals so that eventually all I did was psychotherapy and hypnosis. I then decided to do post-graduate work in psychiatry and psychology by completing a psychiatric residency at the medical school in San Antonio.
I have long experience working with the use of psychiatric medications. Over the past 6 years I conducted the medication review team meetings at fifteen long term care facilities. In these meetings we reviewed all psychiatric regimens for the depressed or aggressive elderly patients in order to give them the most benefits with the least risk.
Medication is, and can be, very helpful, especially if it is combined with psychotherapy. In the treatment of depression and anxiety, the aim for therapy is to help patients develop new coping skills so that they may be able to get off of medication and be more immune to stressful events in the future.
I think working in psychiatry is the most interesting field in medicine. To re-educate patients in more healthy behaviors and thinking patterns and try to liberate the healthy person within every patient is extremely gratifying. The trust my patients give me is the greatest gift anyone could receive.
I have a B.S. degree from the University of Ottawa with a major in biology and chemistry. I completed my medical studies from the University of Toronto and my internship at the St. Joseph’s Medical center in Toronto. I completed my residency in psychiatry at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center in San Antonio.