Meet Way of life Psychiatrist Dr Charlotte Marriott – Weblog


As a part of Psychological Well being Consciousness week,  GP, way of life drugs doctor, yoga instructor and superb pal of Yogamatters, Dr Chang chats with Dr Charlotte Marriott, a Advisor NHS Psychiatrist and a Licensed Way of life Medication Doctor. 

Charlotte can be a retired yoga instructor however continues to take pleasure in her private apply and yoga’s advantages for thoughts, physique, soul and spirit. She likes to encourage and empower her sufferers (and everybody else!) to make small adjustments to their life to enhance their bodily and psychological well being and well-being.

Charlotte and Dr Chang graduated in the identical yr from UCL medical college nearly twenty years in the past, so it was an additional particular pleasure for her to meet up with her and speak about her work and yoga.

Inform us about how you bought into Psychiatry…

I at all times had an inkling that Psychiatry could be the place I might be heading. At medical college, I discovered Neuroscience fascinating – studying about emotion and behavior, studying and reminiscence and the way the mind works.

And other people’s tales have at all times me. In Psychiatry, you may have time to search out out about sufferers, their life tales, and the inside workings of their minds and experiences; it’s a really holistic speciality. We assist individuals with a complete vary of issues they want of their life; we work in a really multidisciplinary means.

You’re often called The Way of life Psychiatrist. What made you progress on this route?

I’ve at all times had an curiosity in well being and sustaining well being.  In medical coaching, there’s such a give attention to sickness and illness however not essentially on serving to individuals enhance their well being.  I typically felt like we’d do a ‘sticking plaster methodology’ – patch individuals up and ship them on however not likely assist with the entire vary of no matter else was occurring for them.  I got here throughout Way of life Medication in 2018, and it simply made a lot sense to me – lowering the burden of persistent illness, morbidity and comorbidity, polypharmacy, serving to individuals lead more healthy lives, and even reversing persistent ailments like Diabetes by means of way of life.

Way of life Psychiatry is a rising speciality – it’s a time period coined by Douglas Noordsy – he introduced collectively all of the proof about how way of life can enhance psychological well being. The pillars of Way of life Medication are diet, bodily exercise, sleep, substance discount, optimistic psychology and stress discount.  The analysis is huge and ever-growing.  Significantly with researchers like Brendon Stubbs and Simon Rosenbaum, who do a whole lot of analysis into bodily exercise, and in Australia with Prof Felice Jacka and her work on the SMILES trial dietary Psychiatry.  I needed to include this into my NHS work, prepare and educate different clinicians, and have conversations with our sufferers about what they eat, how they sleep, what motion they do, and take an much more holistic view for psychological well being.

What’s the reception like from colleagues and different psychiatrists to the Way of life Psychiatry method?

I’ve had good suggestions and reception from colleagues.  Persons are fascinated – in the event you current the proof, individuals are , and you may’t argue with the science.

A number of the scepticism I’ve had is round the concept everyone knows we have to eat higher and transfer extra, so what’s the massive information right here?  However the level is that okaynowing it isn’t sufficient, you must really do it.  Understanding behaviour change, evaluating somebody’s confidence to vary, their motivation to vary and so on., to assist them determine what is feasible for them is an integral a part of serving to a affected person make these adjustments.

How in regards to the reception from sufferers?

I form of weave it into our common consultations. A part of why I’m so eager on it in what I do in early intervention psychosis is as a result of my sufferers with Schizophrenia, for instance, have a decreased life expectancy – they die 15-20 years youthful than the final inhabitants. Quite a lot of that’s to do with cardiometabolic syndrome, after which we contribute to that danger with the medicines we prescribe, and so to mitigate that way of life drugs has a task to play.

Inform us about your yoga journey and what your apply seems like now…

I went to my first yoga class on the College scholar union on a Monday lunchtime.  I couldn’t do any of it (!), however the feeling I had after the category was superb. I felt so relaxed, and so I saved going again.

Over time, my apply has waxed and waned; there’ve been occasions once I’ve been very devoted and occasions when life will get in the best way. After I had my second child, I picked it up once more in earnest.  I received robust once more, fitter than I’d ever been earlier than but additionally calm, extra capable of handle the day-to-day stressors of being a working mum, and extra capable of be current for my household.  I additionally actually loved the meditative side and stillness of apply, discovering that peace and readability of thoughts, and that’s what I actually cherished about it.

I taught for just a few years however stopped simply earlier than the pandemic. I used to be exhausted doing too many issues.  One of many drawbacks of instructing a bunch class was that the religious factor was lacking for me – it felt extra like a bunch train class.  I loved one to 1 extra.  However I used to be doing too many issues and knew one thing needed to give.

What does your apply appear like now?

I’m practising in a a lot much less inflexible means.  I’m much less connected to it, how properly I do poses, whether or not I can do a pose or not.  I’m rather more interested by the advantages it has for me mentally and emotionally than how my apply seems.  I believe it helped not having a instructor throughout Covid as a result of nobody was my apply, so it was a lot much less about making an attempt to realize and extra about the way it made me really feel.  It’s rather more free kind nowadays; yesterday, I did Main Collection standing postures after which Savasana.  I nonetheless just like the Ashtanga methodology; the sequence is sensible to me. Doing that sequence, I’m in a short time in a meditative state.  I’ll do a little bit of yin and restorative, and generally I’ll simply do baby’s pose for ten minutes.

Do you advocate yoga to sufferers? What’s been your expertise with that?

I do advocate it to sufferers.  About ten years in the past, a affected person was admitted to a psychiatric ward I used to be engaged on with an nervousness dysfunction.  He was on a whole lot of treatment and he was nonetheless tremendous anxious and needed extra treatment. I observed he was hyperventilating so much. I began to speak about how he might study to breathe to assist his nervousness and to start with, he was so offended with me about this suggestion.  I defined the physiology of respiratory, and he finally tried it. Inside a few weeks, he was lowering his treatment. That gave me the boldness to proceed to speak to individuals about this stuff.

And some years in the past, one other affected person  talked about that he had began going to a meditation group, which he discovered useful for his nervousness.  So I stated, ‘properly in the event you like meditation, have you ever ever tried yoga?’ So I instructed some inexperienced persons movies on-line; three months later, he returned and stated, ‘doc, that yoga that you just beneficial? I really feel unbelievable; I’ve stopped all my treatment and wish to be discharged; I really feel nice.’  So I’ve had a few actual success tales.

You talked about respiratory for nervousness. May you converse of the mechanisms by which yoga helps – what do you suppose it’s?

I believe it’s multi-faceted; a part of it’s simply pausing throughout your day. It provides us a window of alternative to have a little bit of stillness within the thoughts.  Stillness, quiet, respiratory, and to cease considering a lot. To study that we’re separate from our ideas and they aren’t us, we don’t at all times want to concentrate to them. This may be notably useful for individuals with nervousness problems, the place individuals get so caught up of their ideas. Consider yogas-citta-vrtti-nirodaha, discovering that quieting of your thoughts. I believe it takes apply to get to that time.

I believe respiratory is key to yoga apply. There’s a lot analysis about the advantages of deep, gradual respiratory on our mind waves, our default mode community, how our mind is working, and our parasympathetic nervous system.

Is there anybody that yoga wouldn’t be appropriate for?

We have now to be aware of trauma. I do know that many yoga practices will not be useful for individuals who have skilled trauma. For instance, some individuals don’t like to shut their eyes; they discover concentrating on their breath or turning their consideration to their physique will be triggering.  So we have to be aware of these issues. I do know some yoga is intentionally therapeutic, utilizing very gradual, cautious methods of getting individuals to get into their our bodies once more.

I don’t inform all my sufferers that they need to go and do yoga.  I get a way of when it might be useful for them or what features may benefit them.  The respiratory aspect of issues is key for individuals with nervousness dysfunction, so I have a tendency to show that to everybody with nervousness. However I don’t at all times name it yoga.

A giant query, however what do you suppose are essentially the most vital challenges for the psychological well being of the nation as a complete?

One huge factor is disconnection. I believe we’re all not related to one another or the pure world round us. We’re not even related to ourselves more often than not.  I believe that’s a large drawback with how we reside within the twenty first century. All people lives individually, going about their particular person lives and being too busy.

I believe know-how has a whole lot of execs and cons and has so much to reply for too. It’s really easy to make use of know-how as escapism – play video video games, watch TV, social media.  All of that’s disconnecting you additional out of your life and different individuals and I don’t suppose that’s very useful.

I believe there are huge social points – poverty, racism, sexism, drug abuse, trauma, hostile childhood experiences are a large drawback and have a huge effect on grownup psychological well being.  points with schooling funding, poor high quality housing and meals the place our organic wants are unmet.  We aren’t dwelling in tune with our biology as human beings; we’ve gone thus far down the route of progress that we are actually not in contact with our animal nature.

I see so many younger people who find themselves struggling, they’re type of misplaced of their lives – struggling to search out that means, function, simply disaffected. Not essentially depressed however struggling nonetheless.  And Covid has had a huge effect on the nation’s psychological well being.  Analysis reveals that persistent loneliness is as dangerous for you as smoking fifteen cigarettes a day.  We have now come out of lockdowns and the ramifications are hitting dwelling.  Persons are struggling in so some ways which is able to clearly impression on psychological well being.

Do you flip to something in your wellbeing aside from yoga?

Being outdoors in nature is key for my well being and wellbeing, and the analysis proof says it’s for all of us. We’d like nature for our survival and it’s a organic necessity for us to be in nature.

One of many different issues I discovered useful is a gratitude journal which I began as a type of experiment for every week. However I began and was by no means capable of cease – it makes you keep in mind the stunning issues that occurred, even on a tough day.  You possibly can nonetheless select just a few good issues, and they’re at all times the straightforward issues, just like the solar was shining or I had a very nice espresso. Small small issues that carry you pleasure on daily basis. And it lets you discover them – the extra you do it the extra you look out for the little moments of pleasure.


Dr Charlotte’s Suggestions:


  • One Easy Factor, Eddie Stern
  • Breath, The New Science of a Misplaced Artwork, James Nestor
  • The Infected Thoughts, Edward Bullmore
  • Mind Changer, Felice Jacka
  • The Psychobiotic Revolution, Anderson, Cryan and Dinan
  • The Physique Retains the Rating, Bessel van Der Kolk
  • Shedding Eden, Why Our Minds Want the Wild, Lucy Jones



  • Really feel Higher Dwell Extra
  • Huberman Lab
  • The Ashtanga Dispatch

Discover Charlotte:

Instagram: @thelifestylepsychiatrist

Web site:

Dr Chang Park
Chang is a GP, way of life drugs doctor and yoga instructor. Her journeys in each drugs and yoga inform the opposite, believing we nurture well being by means of devoted consideration to our many layers – bodily, psychological, emotional, social and religious. She loves animals, the ocean and laughing out loud. Discover her at