Dr Eli Kotler

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My approach to Mental Health

Dr. Eli Kotler

I am a psychiatrist who sees things a little differently. I work primarily with people who suffer with addictions, however I have an interest in all mental health difficulties. Whilst current mental health paradigms (such as DSM and ICD) have helped us in certain ways, the categorical diagnostic approach also comes with significant limitations. Furthermore, when paired with a reductionistic biological model of mental illness, can lead to an approaches that treat diagnoses rather than people. I don’t connect with the narrow categorical and biological approaches, and I have made this website to share some of my ideas about mental health and integration. Whilst not as popular as the mainstream approaches, they are soundly based in contemporary neuroscience and over 100 years of depth psychology. This neuropsychoanalytic approach attempts to bridge the gap between how we understand the brain, and how we connect with the mind. Being a spiritual person myself, I also bring ideas from my own spiritual tradition, which is the Kabbalah.

I am the Medical Director of Malvern Private Hospital and a consultant psychiatrist. From a clinical perspective, I focus on the emotional underpinnings of our thoughts and behaviours. I encourage self-awareness and an understanding of connection/disconnection as tools for integration and mental health. The human mind become internally split when faced with overwhelming experiences and trauma, and these splits play havoc within the personality to create patterns of pathology and suffering. Addiction is one manifestation of these underlying splits.

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Rather than focusing solely on the reductive diagnostic and biological approaches, I understand addictions and other mental illnesses as manifestations of deeper issues, and I attempt to help people heal through working themselves out, by connecting their head and heart. I try and help the person, rather than treat a diagnosis. My sense is that, whilst the diagnostic approach has helped many, it leaves others ‘treatment-resistant’ as the diagnosis may miss more than it covers.

Over recent years I have become interested in, and am advocating for the use of psychedelic-assisted therapy for long-suffering, treatment-resistant people. As the research continues to flood in, it may become the new standard for mental-health treatment. I have been involved in research for many years, and was the principle investigator in several novel therapeutic trials for neuro-degenerative diseases. I am currently the lead investigator in a trial of MDMA-assisted therapy for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, sponsored by Emyria.

My appointment with Monash University and Alfred Hospital gives me the opportunity to oversee the clinical addiction rotation for medical students. I challenge the students to approach psychiatry from a humanistic perspective, focusing on depth psychology using neuropsychoanalytic principles. I am also a regular speaker on mental health, trauma, addiction and psychedelics. I have had the opportunity to speak with varied audiences, including elite sports people, other medical and health professionals, at conferences both national and international, and the media.

I hope you find the information on this website useful in some way, and feel free to contact me.



Summary of Professional Career


  • Research; Extensive research experience as Principal and Co-Investigator (Alfred Health) with novel neuropsychiatric therapeutics, currently lead investigator in novel trauma therapeutics.
  • Clinical; Medical Director Malvern Private Hospital. Consultant psychiatrist, specialising in trauma, addictions and personality disorders. Founding member Melbourne Neuropsychoanalytic Group. IME for Medical Panels, Victoria and Worksafe Victoria. Completed Impairment Assessment Training, Psychiatry GEPIC.
  • Education and teaching; Adjunct lecturer at Monash Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre. Regular speaker at trauma and addiction conferences. Advisory committee for annual national addiction conference. Director at Mind Medicine Australia. Completed Certificate in Psychedelic-Assisted Therapies (CPAT). Teaching faculty on current CPAT course. 
  • Teaching Faculty – Mind Medicine Australia, Certificate in Psychedelic-Assisted Therapie
  • Webinar – The only way out is in – psychedelics in addiction. Alcohol, Tobacco and other Drugs Council Tasmania (ATDC) July 2021
  • Podcast – HealthEd – Psychedelics: A new paradigm for Mental-Health Care, June 2021, with Dr David Lim, GP
  • Psychedelics for Psychiatrists: At the forefront of a mental health revolution, May 2021
  • Albert Road Clinic Grand Round – Psychedelics in Mental Health, May 2021
  • Royal North Shore Hospital Grand Round – Psychedelics in Mental Health, May 2021
  • Mind Medicine Australia – The anarchic brain: A revolutionary understanding of how psychedelics alter your mind. With Professor Karl Friston, (pending June 2021)
  • Mind Medicine Australia – The Psychology of Addictions, Parts 1 and 2, with Dr Patrycja Slawuta, August 2020
  • 4th International Childhood Trauma Conference, 2020 – The Mind’s Answer to Trauma – a neuropsychoanalytic journey into the heart of trauma (postponed due to coronavirus)
  • Australia and New Zealand Addiction Conference 2020 – Addiction – the mind’s answer to trauma
  • Psychedelic-Assisted Psychotherapy – Delmont Private Hospital (2020)
  • Spectrum (Personality Disorder Service for Victoria) – Family Connections presentation on Personality Disorder and Addiction (2018 – 2020)
  • Gambling Harm 2018: Taking Action for Change (National Biennial Conference) – Humanistic Understanding of Behavioural Addiction
  • Australian and New Zealand Addiction Conference 2018 – Psychodynamics of Addiction
  • International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy – 2017 international conference – Contemporary Psychoanalytic understandings of Addiction
  • Monash University Medical Student teaching, addiction-medicine rotation, (2016 – )


  • Medical Director, Consultant Psychiatrist, Malvern Private Hospital (2018 – )
  • Member of Medical Panels, appointed by Minister for Workplace Safety, Hon Jill Hennessy MP (2019 – )
  • Director, Board Member, Mind Medicine Australia (2020 – )
  • Independent Medical Examiner for the Workcover Authority (2017 – )
  • Adjunct Lecturer, Monash University, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre (2015 – )


  • Consultant Psychiatrist, Private Practice, Delmont Consulting Suites/Delmont Private Hospital/Delmont Private Memory Clinic (2013 – 2020)
  • Consultant Psychiatrist, Malvern Private Hospital 
  • Consultant Psychiatrist, Caulfield Aged Psychiatry Research Centre
  • Consultant Psycho-geriatrician Emmy Monash Home for the Aged
  • 2012
  • Advanced Training in Psycho-geriatrics and General Psychiatry, The Alfred Hospital 
  • Principal Psychiatry Registrar, The Alfred Hospital
  • Senior psycho-geriatric registrar, Caulfield Hospital
  • 2011
  • Advanced Training in General Psychiatry, The Alfred Hospital
  • Senior psycho-geriatric registrar, Caulfield Hospital
  • Alfred Inpatient Unit, Senior Inpatient Registrar
  • 2005 – 2010 – Internship, Basic Physician Training (1 year), Basic and Advanced Psychiatry Training (3 years), Alfred Health 
  • Adjunct Lecturer, Monash University, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre (2015 – )
  • Cert. Old Age Psych. – RANZCP Advanced Training in Old Age Psychiatry (Psychogeriatrics), completed 2014
  • AFRACMA – Associate Fellowship Royal Australasian College of Medical Administrators, (2015 – )
  • FRANZCP – Fellow of Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatry, (2013 – )
  • MPM – Masters of Psychiatry (Melbourne University), completed 2011
  • MBBS – Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (Monash University), completed 2004
  • Royal Australasian College of Medical Administrators, Associate Fellow (2015 – )
  • Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatry, Fellow (2008 – )
  • RANZCP Faculty of Psychiatry of Old Age, Member (2012 – )
  • The International Neuropsychoanalysis Society, Member (2017 – )
  • Australian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs, Member (2019 – )
  • Australian Association of Group Psychotherapists, Associate Member (2020 – )
  • Mind Medicine Australia, Advisory Panel (2020 – 2020)
  • Mind Medicine Australia, Director (Board Member) (2020 – )
  • Melbourne Neuropsychoanalytic Group, founding member (2020 – )
  • 2017 Alfred Health Award for Best Medical Student Educator in Psychiatry
  • 2014 The Faculty of Psychiatry of Old Age Psychiatric Trainee Prize for Scholarly Project “Major Depressive Episode – Neurodegenerative Type”
  • 2011 RANZCP Committee Research Trainee Presentation Award “Psychiatry and Philosophy of Mind”

Principal Investigator (Emyria)

  • A Phase 2a open label study to investigate the tolerance and effect of manualised MDMA-assisted psychotherapy on symptoms of severe posttraumatic stress disorder in patients suffering from severe posttraumatic stress disorder

Principal Investigator (Alfred Health) 

  • Study Evaluating Intepirdine (RVT-101) in Subjects With Mild to Moderate Alzheimer’s Disease on Donepezil (MINDSET) (2015-2016)
  • Lu AE58054 in Patients With Mild to Moderate Alzheimer’s Disease Treated With an Acetylcholinesterase Inhibitor (STARBRIGHT) (2013-2015)
  • Doses of EVP-6124 in Subjects With Alzheimer’s Disease Who Complete Study EVP-6124-024 or EVP-6124-025 (2014-2015)
  • Study of the Safety and Effectiveness of Two Doses of Investigational Study Drug EVP-6124 in Subjects With Alzheimer’s Disease (2013-2014)
  • Efficacy and safety of 3 doses of S 38093 (2, 5 and 20 mg/day) versus placebo, in co-administration with donepezil (10 mg/day) in patients with moderate Alzheimer’s 
  • Disease.

Co-investigator under Associate Professor Victoria Manning (Turning Point)

  • A pilot randomised controlled trial (RCT) of personalised approach bias modification for patients undergoing residential treatment for methamphetamine use disorder (MAAT)

Co-investigator under Associate Professor Stephen Macfarlane (Monash University/Alfred Health)

  • A Study of Crenezumab Versus Placebo to Evaluate the Efficacy and Safety in Participants With Prodromal to Mild Alzheimer’s Disease (CREAD Study) (2016-)
  • A Long-term, Safety and Efficacy Study of Intranasal Esketamine in Treatment-resistant Depression (SUSTAIN-2) (2015-)
  • Effect of Passive Immunization on the Progression of Mild Alzheimer’s Disease: Solanezumab (LY2062430) Versus Placebo (Eli Lilly and Company, 2013 – 2016)
  • Effect of passive immunisation on the progression of Alzheimer’s disease: Solanezumab (LY2062430) versus placebo. Protocol: H8A-MC-LZAN. (Eli Lilly and Company, 2009 – 2011)
  • Continued efficacy and safety monitoring of Solanezumab, an anti-amyloid β antibody in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Protocol: H8A-MC-LZAO. (Eli Lilly and Company, 2011-2016 )
  • Efficacy, safety and tolerability of two dose levels of PBT2 in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease. Protocol: PBT2-202. (Prana Biotechnology, 2011-2013)
  • Safety, Tolerability and the Biological and Cognitive Effects of VEL015 (Sodium Selenate) in Patients with Mild to Moderate Alzheimer’s Disease – a Pilot Study. Protocol: Velacor 002. (Velacor Therapeutics, 2011-2013)
  • Open label extension study to evaluate the safety, tolerability and cognitive effects of VEL015 (sodium selenate) in patients with Alzheimer’s Disease (Velacor Therapeutics, 2012-2013)
  • Medical Forum (online): Clinical Update Article: Psychedelic-assisted therapies – potentials for mental illness, June 20 2021
  • Healing A Troubled Mind: A Personal Perspective On Victoria’s Stagnant Mental Health System, Mind Medicine Australia, March 29th 2021 (online)
  • Doctors and the difficulty of admitting to issues of mental health, newsGP (RACGP), interview, 7th September 2020
  • Missed diagnosis: The emerging crisis of Borderline Personality Disorder in older people. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry 2016 Dec;50(12).
  • Check (Australian College of General Practice journal) March 2014 edition; Fronto-temporal Dementia
  • Check (Australian College of General Practice journal) March 2014 edition; Delirium
  • Implantable Defibrillators for Primary Prevention: Validation of Randomised Clinical Trials. Heart, Lung and Circulation 2008;17S:S1–S209
  • Ejection Fraction and Non-Sustained VT Predicts Appropriate Defibrillator Therapy in the Primary Prevention Population. Heart, Lung and Circulation 2008;17S:S1–S209
  • Certificate in Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy – Mind Medicine Australia (2021)
  • Addictive States of Mind – Australian Psychoanalytical Society (2020)
  • Medication Assisted Treatment for Opioid Dependence – Module 1 & 2, RACGP (2018)
  • American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry, Addictions and Their Treatment Course (2018)
  • Training in Psychodynamic Group Psychotherapy – American Group Psychotherapy Association (2016)
  • Supervision in Psychotherapies, focusing on Psychodynamic Psychotherapy – Dr. Tania Stavovy (2012 – 2018)