The key to a holistic approach to mental health recovery is to work with a healthcare practitioner who will treat the body as a whole and address any underlying health conditions
Achieving a Holistic Approach to Mental Health Recovery and Incorporating an Holistic Assessment
A healthcare practitioner will listen to the person’s life story and put together a timeline of the person’s whole body (physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional) in order to assess imbalances in their physical and mental health. After ruling out any possible physical health concerns that could affect one’s mental health disorder, it is time to develop a treatment program to teach a lifestyle that supports wellness long term, which will assist in a successful recovery. A practitioner who is well-versed in holistic treatments will focus on these six lifestyle components of health to support wellness long term: nutrition; fitness; sleep hygiene; reduce environmental toxins; mindfulness (reducing stress); and supportive community (both formal and informal). In addition to these lifestyle components, other treatment options may include: medication or other types of medical management; psychological support such as therapy or trauma work; and alternative healing options such as Rieke or acupuncture.
Why holistic approach is important in mental health?
Studies have shown that individuals living with mental illness have a lower quality of life, poor health outcomes, and higher rates of death, with an average of 10 YEARS of life lost! The holistic approach to mental health is creating a wellness treatment plan for the person’s whole being. This approach considers the connections between the person’s body and mind, as well as all parts of the person such as social, psychological, environmental, physical, and emotional. A holistic approach is NOT a replacement for traditional healthcare, but rather an extension. Holistic treatment plans are person-centered and include interventions such as exercise and nutrition.
What is holistic health in mental health?
Holistic health…what is it you ask? Holistic health is a form of alternative health therapy that is practiced outside of modern therapy such as a traditional physician who looks at a specific problem then treats it. In holistic health, the provider is spending time with the individual to determine their health challenges, by focusing on the person’s overall health (physical and mental) and fitness to determine treatment options to fit the person’s holistic lifestyle.
The holistic approach to mental health has gained traction as an evidence-based intervention as it takes into account the individual’s mental and social factors and addresses the roots of the disorder. For example, the Multisystemic Therapy (MST) approach addresses mental health issues, substance abuse, individual’s ecosystem to avoid barriers related to mental health treatment.
What is a holistic approach to counseling?
Before explaining what a holistic approach to counseling is, it is important to understand the difference between holistic counseling and psychotherapy. According to Mind Body Well Therapy, “The terms are really used interchangeably by both licensed professionals and the public. They both mean the same thing unless you’re in this field of work and like getting into the nitty-gritty of things. Technically, if you want to be by-the-book-about-definitions, counseling refers to the professional assistance you get from a professional who is licensed and trained while psychotherapy refers to the services or tools a counselor uses to provide the counseling therapy.” With that being said, a holistic approach to counseling simply describes the relationship the individual has with their “wholeness” of body, mind, heart, and spirit (a connection to something greater than the individual) and the individual gets to identify their own strengths, whereas the counselor helps to point out imbalances/disconnections related “wholeness” to improve their mental health and well-being.
What are the disadvantages of holistic assessment?
In 4th century B.C., Socrates said “the part can never be well unless the whole is well.” This is the basic premise of the holistic approach, which has been practiced for thousands of years in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Ayurveda. Since the 1970s, holistic health began invading modern medicine and it is still common for someone meet with their primary doctor while incorporating herbs, acupuncture, and oils into their treatment plans. Even though the holistic approach has been practiced for over thousands of years, there are disadvantages to this approach: western society is skeptical of holistic care; holistic therapies are not typically supported by western medical doctors (not evidence-based research).
Mental health recovery is about taking the first step…
Sometimes traditional forms of therapy are not effective to meet your recovery needs. By offering an alternative intervention such as guided outdoor walks while talking and laughing, we give adolescents and adults the opportunity to create more ease in their life that is both thoughtful and fun. This is helpful when life just feels hard and out of control.