Living in Southern California gives Dr. Williamson the opportunity to escape to the natural world of its beaches and wilderness areas while staying close first-class artistic and cultural institutions. He loves the California sun, gorgeous weather, and beautiful landscapes. He also enjoys having close access to top-notch stage productions at our many community theaters. As an avid reader, he reads a lot of psychiatric journals to keep up with the rapidly growing body of knowledge in psychiatry.
Benjamin Williamson, MD
Dr. Williamson is a Board-Certified Psychiatrist whose areas of focus include the medical treatment of severe depression and anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder, social anxiety disorder, and bipolar disorder.
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More about Benjamin Williamson, MD
In his work with patients, Dr. Williamson takes a special interest in the mind-body connection and emphasizes the importance of physical health for mental well-being. He is vigilant in investigating potential co-morbid medical problems that could exacerbate psychiatric symptoms. For example, depression, poor concentration, anxiousness, poor sleep, fatigue, and low energy are non-specific symptoms that may be associated with a major depressive disorder and obstructive sleep apnea. He believes that it is of paramount importance to screen for co-morbid physical disease states that can worsen psychiatric symptoms.
Dr. Williamson sees his role as that of expert consultant. He wants his patients to be fully informed about their options for treatment and, especially, what risks are associated with available treatments. Each patient has unique values and goals for treatment, and he wants to put them in a position to make the best decision for them.
Having treated patients with severe and complicated forms of depression, he has seen the limitations of pharmacotherapies. Sometimes patients do not respond well, even to multiple medications at high doses. Medications, even when they do work, can cause troublesome side effects. Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) has proven to be effective for many people and is not associated with the side effects that sometimes limit the use of medications. Moreover, there is promising clinical research for the use of TMS in treating psychiatric conditions other than depression.
Education & Experience
Dr. Williamson received his Bachelor of Arts in German from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI. His minor was in Psychology. After graduation, he began working towards his MA in German Literature from Wayne State University in Detroit, MI. His academic interest was initially tipping towards the arts, though he always had enjoyed science, and, in fact, in high school, he had been interested in the brain, the mind, and human behavior. Following the completion of his MA, he began taking science courses and eventually applied to medical school.
He completed medical school at Wayne State University School of Medicine. When entering medical school, he knew he would pursue psychiatry. He had seen a relative struggle with mental illness and also found it was a good connection between his passion for the arts and his science acumen.
After graduating from medical school, he was commissioned as an Officer in the U.S. Navy and matched into his first-choice residency program at Wayne State University/Detroit Medical Center. He received excellent training in treating a heavy caseload of people with the most severe degree of psychiatric illness. He was recognized with several notable awards, including the Outstanding Graduating Resident Award and the Award for Professionalism in Residency Training.
During his time in the Navy, he had many clinical and administrative roles, treating a variety of mental illnesses and mood disorders. His first job was as an attending physician–Medical Director of the Inpatient Psychiatric Unit at Naval Medical Center Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. He treated U.S. Marines, Navy sailors, their families, and retired military service members. His collateral duties at the Medical Center included work in the Consult-Liaison service and outpatient care of U.S. Marines in a special operations command. His next assignment in the Navy brought him to Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton where he served as the sole psychiatrist for the storied 1st Marine Regiment. Throughout his military contract, he was awarded a variety of medals and ribbons.
After fulfilling his five-year military contract, he left the Navy as a Lieutenant Commander to join Mindful Health Solutions and start the next phase of his career in medicine. He joined Mindful Health Solutions in the Fall of 2020.
Certifications & Memberships
- Member, American Psychiatric Association
- Carlsbad, CA, Master of Psychopharmacology Program from the Neuroscience Education Institute (NEI)
- Board Certified in Adult Psychiatry, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology
- Member, Clinical TMS Society
The Pharmacological Treatment of Tobacco Use Disorder. Grand Rounds Presentation. Wayne State University School of Medicine. Sept 2014.
Implementation of an Evidence-Based Treatment of Tobacco Use Disorder with Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) in an Inpatient Psychiatric Unit. Poster Presentation. Detroit Medical Center Department of Quality and Safety 4th Annual Quality Education and Safe Systems Training Research Day Poster Competition. Detroit, MI. Feb 2015
Implementation of an Ambulatory Alcohol Detoxification Protocol. Poster Presentation. American Psychiatric Association 168th Annual Meeting. Toronto, ON. May 2015.