Kai MacDonald, MD

Kai MacDonaldKai MacDonald, MD, graduated from the University of Minnesota medical school and now practices in San Diego. His practice life has reflected his broad, eclectic interests, and in the past has included being board-certified in family practice, and acting as a teaching physician on consult-liaison (inpatient hospital psychiatry), emergency room and inpatient psychiatric units. Residents have voted him as a top teacher in years past. Based on his interest in addiction, Dr. MacDonald is medical director for a local outpatient substance abuse program, and has actively worked with patients in recovery for years. Additionally, in collaboration with several colleagues, Dr. MacDonald designed and teaches a quarterly remediation course for practicing physicians referred due to boundary violations; this course has been recognized as a national gold-standard by the medical board. In 2009, he was voted by his peers as one of the top psychiatrists in San Diego. Though he identifies himself primarily as front-line clinician, Dr. MacDonald has participated as a clinical investigator in dozens of pharmaceutical trials in schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, ADHD, anxiety, depression and agitation. More recently, a pointed interest in social neuroscience and attachment led to authoring several ongoing studies on the activity of oxytocin, a uniquely social neuropeptide. Dr. MacDonald has published peer-reviewed articles on a variety of topics, including dissociation and dissociative amnesia, ADHD, interoception, agitation, eye contact, bipolar disorder, and oxytocin. Over the last decade, Dr. MacDonald has worked to hone his skills as a psychotherapist, participating in training in EMDR, ISTDP (intensive short-term dynamic therapy) and AEDP (accelerated experiential dynamic psychotherapy). His long-term professional interests include understanding the functional neurobiology of emotion, attention and attachment, mastering and teaching techniques of rapid psychotherapeutic change, and translating neurobiological insights into practical models for clinicians. In terms of his relationship with AEDP, this is what Dr. MacDonald writes: “I am attracted to AEDP’s focus on bondedness and genuine warmth in therapy, as well as its grounding in both evidence-based short-term therapy techniques and state-of-the-art neuroscience. This attraction–paired with my conviction that a new consilience between biology, phenomenology and shared humanity is upon us–spurred my involvement in the inception of Transformance: The AEDP Journal, and an ongoing role as its neuroscience consultant.”