What does a healthy life look like? Do you have a healthy life? This month’s theme is “Health” and with all the current concerns about epidemics, international conflicts, the economy and just the daily stressors of home and family maintaining a “healthy life” can be a challenge. My definition of a “healthy life” may be different from yours. I look at having a healthy life as having a healthy body, mind and spirit. I further believe that to achieve a healthy life, you need a healthy attitude, healthy family, healthy marriage and skills to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
In my practice, as a Marriage and Family Therapist, I have continued to broaden my scope of practice by increasing my base of knowledge. Besides, I love to learn and will always be a lifetime learner. I have studied many areas outside the training I received in graduate school, because I saw particular needs in my clients. I was trained to work with a system theory perspective which fit perfectly into my usual mode of thinking.
I have always felt we are all part of the universe where everything in the environment has a direct effect on everything else in the environment. So when I work with individuals, I often request that they bring in their family members and/or spouse so that I can address what is going on in the whole system. So when I learned about Integrative Mental Health certification I was intrigued. I learned a great deal in my studies and have incorporated it into my practice. I also have continued to study more techniques to facilitate healthy changes in my clients.
Integrative mental health emphasizes treating the mind, body, and spirit. This is a new model of medical care combines scientifically proven alternative and complementary methods with medications and psychotherapy to address the physical, psychological, and spiritual needs of individuals with anxiety disorders, sleep disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and mental conditions associated with aging, depression, chronic pain, and Alzheimer's disease. In addition, this program explores the treatment of bipolar disorders in children and adolescents.
Medications and conventional psychotherapy have their place in the treatment of individuals with mental health disorders. I use psychotherapy, hypnotherapy and life coaching methods as well in my work with clients. However, there is growing evidence of the effectiveness of other treatment approaches such as nutritional supplements, exercise, light therapy, pet therapy, guided imagery, massage and other manual therapies, music and art therapy, dance therapy, stress management techniques, healing touch, biofeedback, sleep hygiene, acupuncture, and spiritual counseling.
If you feel that there are areas in your life that are not as healthy as you would like in some areas, I hope you will think about how those areas are impacting the other areas of your health. Most chronic illness, weight problems and relationship conflicts, addiction, anxiety and depression can be linked back to unhealthy habits, stressors or areas of neglect in the system. In therapy we work on getting you the tools to develop skills you can use to change what is not working and improve your overall health. I take an integrative approach and discover what changes will make the difference for you. If you want to come in for a free assessment, call me today to set up a consultation.