Integrative psychology is taking a holistic view of mental health. Biochemical medicine, also known as the Pfeiffer protocol, is practiced by specially Bio-balance trained doctors under the supervision of William (Bill) Walsh from the Walsh Institute. There are only a handful of Pfeiffer trained doctors in Sydney and even less psychologists who understand the power Pfeiffer Protocol as a piece in the puzzle of mental imbalance.
Clarissa Mosley is Sydney Psychologist who is familiar with the Pfeiffer Protocol and the key nutrient or biochemical imbalances that can significantly influence mental health and behaviour. Pyrrole disorder, over or under-methylation, high copper, low zinc are all conditions Clarissa is familiar with. She understands how these imbalances, disorders or overloads can often manifest as a mental disorder or long standing issue with depression, anxiety or mood swings.
Clarissa does not, however, diagnose, prescribe or otherwise advise on nutritional or biochemical disorders. She is simply 'aware' of this information. This means if you have seen an integrative practitioner and received an analysis of a bio-chemical imbalance this will be understood and taken into consideration in your presentation. It doesn't change your psychological management in any way, it is just lays grounding for a common understanding.
Having bio-chemistry analysed and taking supplements may not be a magic bullet for your condition. Humans are incredibly complex and everyone has a unique biochemical blueprint. However, Some people find they feel much better as their bio-chemisty is corrected, others have had a much rougher time prior to diagnosis and symptoms remain resistant.
Many times biochemical imbalances have been present in some degree since childhood, therefore they play a role in shaping the personality. "Trait Anxiety" or "Persistent Depressive Disorder" are terms used to describe conditions individuals endure throughout their lifetime (to varying degrees). However, biochemically these individuals may be effected by over or under methylation (for example) which have been demonstrated to play into depressive symptoms via the use of certain nutrients in the expression or suppression of key neurotransmitter transporters.
People with Pyrrole Disorder may have gained a label of the erratic or 'moody' one, or in extreme cases may have received a diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder, Rapid-cycling Bi-polar Disorder or Intermittent-Explosive Disorder. Carl Pfeiffer and Bill Walsh have even found through researching 1000's of patients that many with Schizophrenia, Autism, ADHD and Conduct Disorder have severe biochemical imbalances exacerbating their symptoms.
It is virtually impossible to separate personal history and individual biochemistry. As with anything it is a matter of degree whether anyone will need further treatment. For example; Someone with chronic yet mild depression may perk up after treatment for methylation issues, whereas the same chemistry may be present in someone who also has a history of abuse or neglect. The latter will benefit from treatment of the methyl cycle and a reasonable amount of concurrent counselling. In other words, fixing their methylation may not help their depression if it relates back to unprocessed trauma.
As with all psychological / mental illness, the best outcomes are achieved with a combination of medication and counselling or treatment and therapy. (This is demonstrated in research where a combination of counselling and anti-depressant medication achieved the best outcomes). This is because even when a neurotransmitter imbalance such as a serotonin deficiency is addressed with a drug like prozac the behaviours can remain. In approaching an issue from all angles recovery is more likely, stable and lasting. Biochemical imbalances work in the same way, fixing the chemistry is a huge relief and makes space for more balanced behaviour, but we don't know what structures, habits or other issues are maintaing the behaviour. Unfortunately, entrenched behavioural patterns often won't just 'disappear'.
You will always get the most benefit from a dual approach. Just like diet and exercise are the most effective way to loose weight, counselling therapy and treating the chemical imbalance (be it with medication OR bio-chemical nutrient therapy) will be the best way to help you loose your angst and regain your ideal mood balance.
Working with a psychologist who is familiar with symptoms of biochemical imbalances who is also a psychotherapist versed in counselling and personal growth is an option worth considering for optimal wellbeing outcomes.
Children can have bio-chemical issues affecting their behaviour
In children unbalanced bio-chemistry significantly effects behaviour and emotional regulation.
Children do not want to be naughty all the time. Contrary to what some people believe they don't enjoy getting in trouble or attracting negative attention. Sure, some kids will 'push the boundaries' more than others, but why would a child deliberately and continually play up, act out, get told off and punished, loose friends and risk being labelled 'bad'? Behaviour is an outward expression of an inward state. Until their executive functions and frontal lobes are fully developed (and this happens gradually and is not complete until adulthood) children have poor control over their behaviour to varying degrees. Also, children don't have a great capacity to reflect back on their behaviour or to know that how they are could be any other way, so they just act, or react, to what they feel inside. If they are acting bad, chances are, inside they are feeling bad too.
Clarissa wants to help you in understanding and addressing the root causes of child behaviour issues so your child can achieve their full potential and you can have a rewarding relationship with them. There is no disputing that a child who cannot control their behaviour to a reasonable degree will have relationship problems with parents, carers, relatives, teachers and other children. Using a similar approach to treating adult mental health issues from an integrative approach, children cannot report on their experience as well so the behaviour needs to be understood in terms of what the child might be trying to express.
Some children misbehave because they are expressing some sort of trauma or distress. The classic psychodynamic and family systems model will rightfully look for the source of family conflict, past trauma or abuse that has lead a child to 'act out' as a plea for resolution. In the absence of any known reason for misbehaviour many children have simply been labelled 'bad' and blamed for their disruptiveness and lack of self control. Children who do not act out behaviourally often internalise their distress and develop a mood disorder (anxiety, depression etc). Again a source of pain should be looked for, e.g. perhaps the child is being bullied at school. Children who are suffering deserve to be helped. What Clarissa has also witnessed repeatedly is a group of children who do not have any obvious source of pain, trauma, abuse or family conflict, but they still act out, get anxious or end up depressed and moody. In both groups of children (those experiencing challenges in their lives, and those who are only challenged by behavioural issues) there are often additional factors that contribute to the child's issue that remain undiscovered. Discovering these factors can be tricky and complicated, but once identified and diagnosed and addressed the improvement in the child's behaviour can be remarkable.
Behaviour is affected by bio-chemisty.
Clarissa has a Professional Certificate in Nutritional Science and a depth of knowledge regarding how nutrient imbalances affect bio-chemistry and can contribute to the emergence of mental health issues. While it is out of the scope of her practice to diagnose, prescribe or advise she can work in concert with specifically trained doctors who are able to recognise and treat children.
Bio-chemical or functional medicine is the science of how micro-nutrients effect the nervous system - all of our sensory organs including our brain. So while foods can and do effect some peoples nervous system in the form of irritation (often as an allergy) some people have genetic disorders in how much micro-nutrients they need or can process.
In the same way that splitting a tiny atom can cause a nuclear explosion, imbalanced micro-nutrients can have a huge impact on mood and behaviour.
If an individuals biochemical needs can be identified and addressed the need for medication can be prevented or at least reduced. More importantly early behavioural problems can often be redirected from a path toward mental illness or out of control behaviour toward a more healthy developmental trajectory.
Screening for bio-chemical imbalances and addressing them can greatly facilitate therapy which can then be directed toward more effective behavioural management and improved parent-child relationship dynamics
A good relationship between parent and child is protective against many teen issues. This relationship needs to be fostered all through the child's development. Behavioural problems can disrupt an amiable bond between parent and child, setting up a dynamic that undermines the protective elements of the relationship. By taking a broad view of the situation and working on the child's behaviour from many levels: diet/bio-chemistry, unidentified challenges, relationship patterns, lack of behavioural control, it is possible to hone in on the areas where change is needed most.
Clarissa has knowledge of the many different therapies and treatments that are available to facilitate discovery of your child unique needs. A thorough assessment can help by identifying what is due to the child's temperament, what is due to stress in the environment and what could be caused by other factors. A treatment protocol can then be developed which may include referral to or from a specifically trained doctor and if Clarissa cannot help you with all aspects she may be able to connect you more immediately with the appropriate treatment, therapist, doctor or other modality.