Root Cause Psychiatry™

“In the twenty-first century… we are constructing a new epidemiology of self: we are beginning to describe illness, identity, affinity, temperament, preferences – and, ultimately, fate and choice – in terms of genes and genomes. The influence of genes on our lives and beings is richer, deeper, and more unnerving than we had imagined.”

Siddhartha Mukherjee, M.D., 2016 AD


“If there's one thing to know about the human body; it's this: the human body has a ringmaster. This ringmaster controls your digestion, your immunity, your brain, your weight, your health and even your happiness. This ringmaster is the gut.”

Nancy S. Mure, Ph.D.

“Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.”

Hippocrates, “The Father of Medicine,”

4th Century BC


Learn More About Our Services Today

Please call (301) 984-9791 during business hours, or complete the form below, and we will contact you. We look forward to listening to your concerns, and sharing information about how our doctors would address them.


When you complete the form, we’ll aim to contact you by telephone within one business day to speak with you about our services and how we can help you or your loved one.

Wherever possible we will arrange to schedule your initial appointment within one business day of our first telephone call with you.

Can you relate to any of the following?

  • I want a personalized, precise approach to help me feel better
  • I have not fully recovered and want to feel better as soon as possible
  • My current treatment is not working as well as I had hoped
  • I am not responding that well to medication, supplements, or nutritional and lifestyle changes
  • I feel like giving up

Imagine you could…

  • Be provided a precise treatment roadmap based upon cutting-edge science
  • Partner with a psychiatrist and a nutritionist who will do whatever it takes to help you achieve a full recovery
  • Avoid a “trial and error” approach to restoring your health
  • Optimize your current treatment to achieve better results
  • Be prescribed medication based upon the latest genetic testing
  • Be recommended supplements, nutrients, and lifestyle modifications tailored to your personal genetic, cellular, molecular, and microbiome-related makeup
  • Feel hopeful that your dedicated team of practitioners can and will provide answers and solutions

Thanks to cutting-edge science, you don’t have to imagine it. Discover Root Cause Psychiatry and begin a healing journey with us that is evidence-based and uniquely yours.


What is Root Cause Psychiatry?

Despite a significant movement to end the shame and stigma surrounding it, emotional illness is all too often equated with personal failure. Individuals suffering from symptoms of depression, anxiety, cognitive difficulties, and the challenges of meeting the demands of daily life still ask themselves, “What is wrong with me?” These feelings are frequently deepened when one has responded poorly to prior treatment. At Potomac Psychiatry, our mission is to shift our patient’s point of view from one of disappointment or hopelessness to one of great potential—and Root Cause Psychiatry is our roadmap for getting you there.

Root causes do not originate in our personalities alone—far from it. Rather, they lie in a multiplicity of biological and environmental factors, from our DNA to our gut health, from the air we breathe to the food we eat, from the childhood we survived to the people with whom we surround ourselves. These root causes are constantly creating and re-creating our experience of the world and our place in it—and thanks to incredible new scientific discoveries, your clinical team has the tools to discern these causes, assess the impacts they have on your mental health, and create a personalized roadmap to recovery—a treatment plan completely unique to you. The following infographic illustrates these principles.

Root Cause Psychiatry Infographic

What Clinical and Scientific Resources Would Support My Treatment?

Your Root Cause Psychiatry clinical team will be comprised of psychiatrist Bruce Alan Kehr, MD or René Stokes, MD and functional nutritionist Julie Wendt, MS, LN, CNS.

Dr. Kehr is a national award-winning psychiatrist, best-selling author, #2 ranked psychiatric blogger in the U.S., and is the Founder and President of Potomac Psychiatry, awarded “Best Comprehensive Psychiatric Care Provider, Northeast United States” by Global Health & Pharma. Dr. Kehr will guide adult patients through Potomac’s Root Cause program.

Dr. Stokes is board-certified in both Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Adult Psychiatry. Dr. Stokes has provided compassionate care to children and adolescents, as well as their families, for over a decade, and was designated a Washingtonian Top Doctor in both 2019 and 2020. Dr. Stokes will guide children and adolescent patients through Potomac’s Root Cause program.

Julie is a highly accomplished functional nutritionist who is certified by the Institute for Functional Medicine as a Recode (reverse cognitive decline) practitioner; certified as a Brain Longevity Teacher Trainer; has authored or co-authored numerous articles and book chapters related to brain and gut health; and has actively blogged in the field of integrative nutrition and gut health.

Throughout your program participation, Dr. Kehr or Dr. Stokes and Julie will be actively collaborating to enhance your recovery.

In addition, throughout your journey, you will be supported by Dana Schwartz, our Director of Programs and Services.

Dr. Kehr or Dr. Stokes and Julie will also collaborate with other practitioners depending upon your clinical needs such as internists, endocrinologists, and other specialists.

You will be recommended to read certain blogs and will have searchable access within our deep and expanding blog library that will help you better understand each of your root causes and how they impact your mental health—information that will make you a more informed partner in your recovery.

Every two weeks, Potomac Psychiatry’s “Brain Science Breakthroughs” in-service educational program continuously updates our entire staff on the latest information regarding mental health science. This ensures our practice, and your treatment, remains on the cutting edge of scientific advancements in our field.

Finally, we have extensive contacts among experts in the field of psychiatric genomics, nutrigenomics, functional neurology, and other fields who we may call upon to brainstorm how best to help you.


How Does Root Cause Analysis Create a Precise Treatment Roadmap?

Step One: Build a Blueprint

Rapidly advancing knowledge emerging from the fields of genetics, microbiome science, nutrition, and computational biology suggest there is a series of root causes that can be specified and built upon to form an entirely new architecture of the mind and the Self. Root Cause Psychiatry—Your Blueprint to Build Mental Health—will endow you with the knowledge, information, and power to become the architect of your mental health destiny. Together, let’s begin this amazing journey.

Step Two: Assess Root Causes of Your Suffering Self, Beginning with DNA

Where does your “Self” reside, and how is it created and maintained? What about your “Identity?” Do these originate in your brain? Your heart? Your gut? Do they emanate from your 130 trillion human and microbial cells? From your 100 billion neurons and their 10,000 trillion synaptic connections? Inside our bodies, at the molecular, atomic, and subatomic levels, everything is constantly changing at unbelievably fast speeds. With constant change comes a continuous opportunity to stabilize or destabilize these events—to improve or worsen the underlying health of our cellular and mental processes. Life is a highly organized process that within each of us unfolds over months and years—and DNA is its driving factor. It is for this reason that DNA is also a fundamental key to understanding Root Cause Psychiatry—and at Potomac Psychiatry, we use it to help you build better mental health.

Step Three: Restore Your Health by Addressing Damaged DNA, Anomalous Atoms, and Molecular Mistakes

Perhaps a Self you once recognized and deeply identified with now feels dead and gone. Now you experience unremitting suffering, deep in your heart, permeating your Soul. What happened? A suffering Self, a Soul in searing pain, has been traumatized in one way or another. These may be “macrotraumas” such as surviving physical or sexual abuse, or “microtraumas” that affect the very fabric of your biological being, including a variety of environmental, atomic, and sub-atomic influences that impact your DNA, the molecules within your cells, and the very cells themselves. Thankfully, damaged DNA and traumatized cells can be restored to health. Once we have assessed your DNA; gut health; cellular, molecular, and nutrient status; and blood screening studies, we can pinpoint specific areas in need of restoration and create targeted treatments to heal your body and your mind from the inside out.


Our Twelve-Month Core Root Cause Psychiatry Program

Prerequisite Phase ($1,235)

Your personalized roadmap to recovery begins with a 60-minute Zoom consultation with Dr. Kehr or Dr. Stokes and a separate 75-minute Zoom consultation with Julie Wendt. During these initial consults, we will conduct an initial evaluation to get a baseline of where we want to head and how we can get there. The psychiatric evaluation includes an assessment of your chief mental health concerns, family history, past and current medications including responses and side-effects, and a variety of mental-health assessment tools such as the Beck Depression and Anxiety Inventories, the Mood Disorder Questionnaire, the ADHD Screening Instrument, the Cognitive and Physical Functioning Scale, and more. The nutritional consultation includes standardized questionnaires as well to determine your nutritional and lifestyle baseline.

At the end of your consultation visits, you will receive a preliminary treatment plan from Dr. Kehr or Dr. Stokes and a nutrition care plan from Julie Wendt. Once you have explored with them their initial findings and recommendations, you can decide if you would like to move forward and enroll in the Root Cause Psychiatry Program.

Discovery and Initial Treatment Phase (approximately 3-5 months)

Step One: Create Initial Root Cause Analysis Treatment Plan ($5,760)

If you decide to enroll in our program, we will dig deeper by implementing state-of-the-art diagnostic tests to determine your brain, cellular, and gut microbiome health, including the following core assessments:

Mandatory Core Diagnostic Tests

The following tests provide your Root Cause Analysis team with a core biological baseline from which we can begin to build your desired mental health outcomes. Each provides critical information your team will need to move forward—and thus we require them of each of our Root Cause Psychiatry patients:

  • Genomind’s Professional PGx genetic test
  • Genova’s GI Effects stool test or Vibrant Wellness' Gut Zoomer test
  • Genova’s NutrEval FMV or Metabolomix nutrient test
  • Personalized, comprehensive blood testing through LabCorp or Quest
  • Your health insurance may cover a significant portion of the cost of each of these tests, and we can help you determine your total out-of-pocket cost. For patients with Medicare or Tricare, these tests are all free of charge to you. For patients with other commercial insurance, the patient copays for the PGx, GI Effects, and NutrEval combined range from $350- $750. The out-of-pocket cost without insurance for these three tests is $2,800. (Note: these diagnostic testing costs are not included in the $5,760 fee listed above). 

Optional Core Diagnostic Tests

The following tests can provide your Root Cause Analysis team with additional insights. IntellxxDNA illuminates genetic vulnerabilities that can be addressed through the targeted use of supplements; and KBMO identifies dietary sources of systemic and brain inflammation that promote chronic emotional distress. Because these tests are not covered by insurance, they are optional add-ons (again, these diagnostic testing costs are not included in the $5,760 fee):

While these tests are self-pay, they may be paid for under many Healthcare Savings Accounts (HSAs).

Once your test results are back, your psychiatrist and nutritionist will spend 90 minutes together collaborating on a detailed review and analysis of all the root causes these tests have uncovered. They will blueprint these causes in a proprietary software framework created by Potomac Psychiatry’s experts, and document how they will address each and every one of the root causes of your emotional distress by creating a comprehensive treatment roadmap. 

Once we have that roadmap in place—typically by the end of the first month if you promptly perform the core diagnostic tests we ordered—your psychiatrist and nutritionist will meet with you for 90 minutes in a three-way Zoom meeting to explain their findings and recommendations and present you with a detailed Initial Root Cause Analysis Treatment Plan, that will be available for you to download from your Patient Portal. 

Step Two: Initial Execution of Treatment Plan ($3,465)

To closely monitor your progress, you will meet with Dr. Kehr or Dr. Stokes for a total of 120 minutes. You will meet with Julie Wendt for a total of 60 minutes. These visits will enable your psychiatrist and nutritionist to closely monitor your progress during this initial phase, and actively collaborate behind the scenes to further optimize the results of your treatment based on your initial response.

Step Three: Refine Initial Treatment Plan ($6,090)

During this phase of treatment, the initial treatment plan will be refined based upon your responses and unique needs. You will meet with Dr. Kehr or Dr. Stokes for an additional 120 minutes, and with Julie Wendt for an additional 60 minutes. All refinements will be entered in real-time into your Root Cause Treatment Plan, with updated versions available to you in your Patient Portal.

At the end of the Discovery Phase, your psychiatrist and nutritionist will meet with one another for a 60-minute call to review what approaches are working and what aren’t, and determine which symptoms are resolving and which aren’t. After they’ve revised your treatment plan as needed, you will join them for a 30-minute Zoom meeting to discuss your progress and the direction you revised plan will take. Once again, this updated plan will be available to you in your Patient Portal. Depending upon your response and newly emerging science, we may also recommend additional diagnostic tests at this time. 

Maintenance Phase (approximately 9-12 months; costs vary)

Step Four: Maintenance of Treatment Plan ($1,750 per month)

As your treatment advances, Dr. Kehr or Dr. Stokes and Julie will continue their collaboration on your behalf, and will schedule formal meetings with you each month to review your progress and further refine your treatment regimen. At each of these 60-minute visits, the first 30 minutes will be reserved for Dr. Kehr or Dr. Stokes and Julie to collaborate and update your treatment plan. In the remaining 30 minutes we will check in with you by Zoom and present our recommended modifications to the plan. 

Throughout the course of the program, all initial and revised treatment plans created by Dr. Kehr or Dr. Stokes and Julie will be available to you for download and printing through your Patient Portal. 

The mandatory NutrEval/Metabolomix and GI Effects tests will be repeated at months six and twelve, the costs for which are not included in the monthly fee listed above. That said, many of your appointments may be covered by out-of-network benefits, and we can provide you the CPT procedure codes used to help you determine your insurance coverage.

Why Twelve Months?

Your mental health is dependent upon a highly complex, interrelated ecosystem of genetic, epigenetic, cellular, and microbiome-related influences. Not uncommonly, patients who enter our Root Cause Psychiatry Program suffer from undiagnosed problems involving each of these systems. As declining mental health typically takes place over months or years, it cannot be reversed overnight. Our goal is to enable you to feel somewhat better at the end of three months, substantially better at the end of six to nine months, and strive toward a complete recovery by the end of twelve months.

What Do We Need from You to Optimize the Results?

We recognize that committing to a journey like this, at a time when you are not feeling well, may feel quite daunting. Added to that is the expense of this kind of comprehensive approach. We will strive to be your supportive, healing companions throughout this journey, and work incredibly hard to help you achieve a full recovery. What we ask from you is that you not lose hope and give us the time we need. Work alongside us as an active partner to faithfully implement our treatment recommendations. Be candid with us about how you are feeling and functioning. Learn about your personal root causes of emotional distress that we uncover from the diagnostic tests by reading from our extensive, searchable blog library. Have determination and grit, and don’t give up. We promise we won’t give up on you!

Healing Your Complex Mental Health Ecosystem

At Potomac Psychiatry, we will do whatever it takes to identify and treat the root causes of your emotional distress to help you feel better, recover your health, improve your love relationships, and determine your destiny.

You deserve a more joyful existence, to feel your very best, and to actualize all of the potential inside you in order to live the fullest life possible. We can help you create a blueprint of the building blocks of life inside your body and brain: atoms, molecules, genes, and more, all working together harmoniously to produce good mental health as opposed to creating a “noisy environment” that brings about mental illness, including symptoms of depression and anxiety. 

To learn more about our Root Cause Psychiatry Program, we offer a no-cost 15-minute consultation with Dr. Kehr or Dr. Stokes and our functional nutritionist, so please give us a call at 301-984-9791, or fill in the form on this page and we will promptly reach out to schedule a time for you to speak with them.