Dr. Charles Parker
Dr. Parker is a Neuroscience Consultant, Child and Adult psychiatrist, and psychopharmacologist with a more detailed curriculum at Dr Charles Parker and CorePsych. He specializes in diagnostic and medical services for troubled children, adolescents and adults. His broad range of clinical experience from psychoanalysis to substance abuse, to psychopharmacology and SPECT neuroimaging, – and his experience with systems/functional medicine and biomedical assessments provides a comprehensive foundation for treatment interventions and recommendations.
Dr. Parker’s philosophy starts with a consistent practice of teamwork with everyone from the family in the office to a growing team of national and international providers with whom he regularly consults.
With 40 + years of experience he works with a variety of treatment issues from the challenging to the apparently simple, with patients who have multiple issues and treatment trials, and those uncomfortable with that first psychiatric consultation. Frequently he presents to a variety of national medical and lay audiences on topics from neuroimaging to advances in psychopharmacology, and the growing pervasive problems with the downstream brain effects of neurotoxins.
His CorePsych Blog has won numerous Brain, ADHD, and Parental writing awards since it’s first publication in 2006.
His recent book New ADHD Medication Rules – Brain Science and Common Sense (2010) dramatically details the multiple challenges with ADHD diagnosis and treatment, and details the important improvements required for any evolved ADHD assessment process. The link to this book will take you to the Amazon Kindle edition with interesting reviews, and if you don’t have kindle it’s available in the right hand sidebar here -> by clicking on the New Rules book illustration. See Parker’s: Amazon Author’s Page Link
His book, Deep Recovery (1992), addresses a variety of theoretical and practical difficulties present in any recovery process, and finds repeated application for years as a management training guide. Relationships matter – and balanced relationships work far better. Deep Recovery spells out the differences.
Dr. Parker’s diverse background includes psychoanalysis (completed Adult Psychoanalytic Training with the Philadelphia Association for Psychoanalysis in 1978); training in personal coaching; certification for use of Nuclear Medicine Pharmaceuticals and as a Radiation Safety Officer by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission; and the use of neuroimaging for precise clinical guidelines to choose specific medical interventions with a wide variety of brain conditions.
SPECT Brain Imaging
Is a nuclear medicine procedure that evaluates cerebral blood flow with a radioisotope. It evaluates areas of the brain that work well, areas of the brain that work too hard, and areas of the brain that do not work hard enough. This unique information from the SPECT scans, along with a detailed clinical history, helps clinicians understand the underlying brain patterns associated with patients’ problems, and helps to pinpoint the right treatment to balance brain function.
Dr Parker set up and managed Amen Clinic in DC for four years, and then brought his SPECT experience to Virginia Beach and his practice at CorePsych. For information about SPECT scans and his work at CorePsych, check out his website at CorePsych Blog.
Dr. Parker is a member of the American Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the Medical Society of Virginia, Society for Neuroscience, and the medical staff of Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital.
Dr. Parker’s Autobiography
From a childhood in Missouri and Indiana I learned a work ethic born from picking cotton, bailing hay and shoveling concrete with very interesting people, and sometimes challenging work teams. As a person who loves the outdoors I enjoyed my association with the Boy Scouts during those formative years and earned the Eagle Scout and God and Country awards. Later I was fortunate to attend Culver Military Academy in Indiana. Scouting and Culver kept the focus on values, hard work and my growing appreciation of groups that work successfully together.
After Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, medical school in Philadelphia, and internship in Grand Rapids, Michigan, I revised my childhood dream of following my mother’s footsteps into family practice, and decided to go into psychiatry – and what an interesting tour it has been. With an adult residency at Albert Einstein back in Philadelphia, and a child psych residency at Hahnemann Medical College in Center City, Philadelphia, I had just scratched the surface.
In those days, not so long ago, psychoanalysts were the leaders in the psychiatric world, so I completed psychoanalytic training with the idea of living in Phila. and becoming a training analyst. In one of those moments of clarity we would all love to forget I told my friends “don’t worry about that whole neurotransmitter thing, it won’t happen in our lifetime.”
Just as “that neurotransmitter thing” did begin to happen I realized that all of my excellent psychiatric training did not prepare me for the considerable number of drug and alcohol problems that were walking in our doors in the late 70’s and early 80’s. Psychiatry and medicine are all about pattern recognition. If we can see the pattern we can treat it, if we don’t, we miss the picture standing right there in the room. Like the proverbial blind man with an elephant we’ve been seeing only part of the picture in psychiatry for years. Where better to confront those combined big picture issues than in hospital programs persons suffering with dual diagnosis issues, needing some psychopharmacologic intervention as well as treatment for substance abuse?
During those formative years with hundreds of very difficult clinical and administrative situations I learned much in the school of hard knocks, and with that experience wrote my book, Deep Recovery, published in 1992. Further, those years put transference, “personality disorder,” and dynamic psychiatry in an immediate, often biologic and pharmacologic context. By then I was more devoted than ever to the progress I discovered with biologic psychiatry. That “neurotransmitter thing” became so interesting I began teaching others what I had learned in an effort to take the message out to the public, and to the medical community.
And then a friend gave me Amen’s book: Change Your Brain, Change Your Life. Therein I found a person thinking very similarly regarding the medications, who, as it turned out, had functional SPECT brain scan evidence to support the reasoning regarding why my patterns of medication use were working so effectively. Do you know how MRI’s and CAT scans take pictures of the brain’s anatomy? SPECT (Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography) shows in 3-D pictures how the brain is actually thinking and working. This state-of-the-art SPECT technique, not only interesting but clinically very useful, can put the whole conundrum of clinical/’biological pattern recognition together. Surprisingly, many still don’t get the diagnostic usefulness of SPECT imaging.
Psychiatry is in the midst of a serious, sometimes difficult, pattern recognition paradigm shift. And one essential perspective with this shift is the important recognition that SPECT does not provide the final diagnosis, but can provide a useful part of a diagnostic investigation. We don’t treat scan results – we treat people. SPECT provides information for a marriage of the traditional diagnostic clinical findings with the underlying evidence of brain function. And I can tell you, after working with hundreds of patients at Amen Clinic DC, the evidence is useful, period.
From SPECT imaging we have evolved to the latest in neurotransmitter testing, evaluation of hormone dysregulation, and the use of testing for specific immune dysfunctions. In addition we have added the provocative additional measure of testing for trace minerals and heavy metals through hair testing as a means of providing a greater range of biomedical evidence.
I continue to teach others about psychopharmacology and about the usefulness of SPECT imaging in clinical practice, and I love the teaching process. At CoreBrain.org our team has put together a variety of training and coaching programs from high school to professional levels to continue to help others move forward with brain science applications.
I still see patients regularly, am still learning, and have the privilege of working with the best health delivery team I have ever worked with.
A favorite quote:
It is a very recent disease to mistake the unobserved for the nonexistent; but some are plagued by the worse disease of mistaking the unobserved for the unobservable.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb
- Blaming Amen: Nuclear Psychiatry or Unclear Medicine? (neuroshrink.com)
- The Disorganized Mind (parkerschlichterandassociates.com)