An integrative approach to therapy means the therapist sees the person in their entirety; the body, mind, spirit, environment, past and present. An integrative approach considers all variables in order to reach a clients unique goals in therapy.
When clients seek therapy for depression anything can be a clue
With an integrative approach to therapy a clinician is addressing more than just the emotional world of a client. Integrating the use of evidence-based complementary interventions provides additional options for patients seeking non-drug approaches or for whom conventional forms of treatment do not work or are not wanted.
The therapist you choose may work in a clinic with other professionals that will act as a support team, or the support team may be spread over multiple health providers at different locations or practices. Most often it will be the latter.
For example, if you come to Greenway Therapy seeking help with your depression, we will get a history and assess all aspects of your life. We will then decide what variables in your life may be culprits in perpetuating your symptoms and provide referrals to the needed professionals that will join the integrative team.
St. Louis Therapists Recommend Diet and Exercise to Curb Depression
The goal here is not to turn you into a runway model, but rather to get the chemicals in your system to work for you rather than against you, getting in shape would be a happy side effect. It is possible that some clients would require the support of a dietitian and trainer getting started. My philosophy on diet and exercise is that they are two variables you have direct control over that also directly impact your hormones and thus your mood. Why not give it a go, and it is backed by research!
Another fantastic integration into therapy is energy work
Acupuncture and Reiki are both big ballers in the energy world. At Greenway Therapy we love trying different modalities out before suggesting them, and we have discovered both have done wonders for quick relief of depressive symptoms. There is a secondary gain that results from quick relief, and that is quick relief sends a message to your brain signaling that it is possible to feel better. Sort of a frame of reference for the brain to remind it of what it is like to feel good again. Acupuncture also has a hormonal effect depending on needle placement. If you don’t know already, hormones hugely impact your mood!
Consider Integrative Approaches If Traditional Ones Fail
Usually, you will be offered medications, although, current evidence shows that non-drug approaches like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), EMDR, ART and Brain Spotting work just as well with fewer side effects. If the conventional approaches work and are satisfactory for you, then nothing further may be needed. If they are only partially effective, produce side effects that are unacceptable, or if you prefer a deeper, more comprehensive self-care approach to depression, consider integrative approaches. Many complementary and integrative approaches are safe and effective.
When it comes to treating depression, most people turn to traditional medicine. However, the modern integrative approach is equally effective as it considers a person in their entirety, including body and soul. Hopefully, learning about how we are using this approach to heal patients will help you better understand it.