The integrative approach is wholistic and multi-leveled. Nothing can really be seen in isolation, we are all interconnected to others, our environment and within. What this means is that when a person presents with a problem, rather than treating the symptoms in isolation, all the possible causes are considered. It also means that the person is treated from different levels for the most effective outcome.
Psychological problems are sometimes the result of past unresolved trauma or unfinished business, but they can also arise from neurotransmitter imbalances as a result of an internal imbalance that could be the result of toxins from the diet or an undiagnosed bio-chemical imbalance, poor diet, stress and unhealthy relationships.
An integrative approach might consider
- Current life stress/ lifestyle issues e.g imbalance, need for relaxation.
- Relationship patterns (including work, friends, family and partner relationships).
- Spiritual issues (lack of purpose, inner longings).
- Broader environmental factors including pollutants, natural disasters, local events.
- Past trauma often forgotten and lodged in the body rekindled by present experience.
- Psychodynamic issues, past issues yearning for resolution in the present.
- Poor diet, toxins, inflammation, illness (lots can be going on in the body wreaking havoc in the mind)
Integrating Mental Health with Physical Health
Many doctors now recognise the need to address the nutritional aspects of disease, and many psychologists have long recognised the need to address the spiritual and emotional aspects of a person's life. The environment in which we live has a huge impact on our well being. The human genome project, for example, brought to light the mutable impact of stress and lifestyle on long term health.
In other words, it may not be "all in you mind", it could be your diet, a genetic biochemical imbalance, a toxic environment or a toxic relationship, something in your past needing to be resolved, something in your future wanting fulfilment or a combination of any or all of these.
Overall, your problem has a greater chance of full resolution if all contributing factors are considered. You deserve full health and total well being. Symptoms that might warrant further investigation will be referred to other practitioners or integrative doctors where necessary. Clarissa does not diagnose, prescribe or advise on nutrition.
READ MORE ABOUT NEURAL NUTRITION AND BIOCHEMICAL IMBALANCES HERE
Once all the psycho-physical contributions have been identified, Integration on a personal level is the aim. We all have our issues to varying degrees because most of us grew up and continue to live in an environment that can not possibly meet all of our needs. The extent of the stressors we face and how we deal with them are reflected in problems in our relationships with our self and others.
Our 'self' is invariably fragmented to degrees relative to the many influences occurring throughout our lives. Some of us have many parts of our self that are stuck or blocked, possibly due to past trauma, unmet needs and or other unresolved issues. To be a functioning human capable of fulfilling our potential and leading a meaningful life we need to access the energy that is tied up in literally 'holding ourselves together'. For some of us even this act of trying to hold things together can be daunting and make everything else seem overwhelming. This feeling of overwhelm is a common feature of depression.
Depression and anxiety can also be aggravated by the disintegration within us. Many are familiar with that cruel voice in our head, telling us what awful people we are and all the bad things that can happen. To grow beyond these things we need to become aware of what they are, and to develop more effective strategies. This is the work of healing our psychological issues and moving towards greater integration and personal growth. And this work can be greatly facilitated by concurrent treatment of biochemistry (if an imbalance is discovered).
Clarissa is familiar with many of the commonly used alternatives to anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications. She does not, however, diagnose, prescribe or advise on the use of nutrients for psychological issues, if this is an area you choose to explore you will be referred on to the appriopriately trained specialist. Never cease any medications without medical guidance, there is a very clear place and need for medications in many instances and they should never be stopped without a doctors consultation or supervision.