The old-but-new buzzwords for medical care are “integrative” and “complementary.” We’ve heard these terms over the years and often seek health care from practitioners that are deemed to be “integrative and complementary.” The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has cited that over 25% of Americans seek health and psychological wellness care from integrative and complementary practitioners.
In the mental health setting what do these terms really mean? For me, they require your therapist to push the boundaries of scope of practice! In the days of Sigmund Freud, it was fun to hang out on the couch while Sigmund jotted down notes. Fast forward to today, and it’s unheard of to practice in that manner. Psychotherapists in the 21st century are using a plethora of evidenced-based methods to assist their clients in resolving issues, and these methods are evolving at a fast and furious pace.
So, how should a potential client evaluate if they would like to work with a specific therapist? What are good screening questions to ask? I have some ideas, for ways in which your therapist can stretch the boundaries in scope of practice!
1. Does your therapist work in a network of integrative and complementary care practitioners? That means, is your therapist well-versed in all of the options out there that can assist you in well-being and is willing to refer you to a chiropractor, an acupuncturist, a massage therapist or a complementary practitioner? Are you aware that physical health is a leading factor in maintaining mental health and well-being? In The Medicines Journal (May 2017), research has linked the practice of Tai Chi/Qi Gong with improved immune function and overall well-being in patients undergoing treatment for cancer.
2. Is your therapist a good consumer of current research to push the envelope of scope of practice? Same-old, same-old practices may work for some, but is your therapist aware of the links between traditional Western diseases and issues relating to mental health and well-being, and are they experienced with new innovative therapeutic methods to promote healing? Many studies have been recently published linking stress with arthritis and trauma with heart disease, depression and decreased immune function. A study published in The Psychological Medicine Journal concluded that cumulative exposure to psychological trauma was associated with an increased risk of recurrent cardiovascular diseases. Often times, patients blame themselves for their depression, when in fact there may be a physical condition contributing.
A final note…
As published in the American Journal of Public Health there are common psychotherapeutic techniques derived from traditional Shamans used by psychotherapists. What does this mean? Don’t be alarmed when your therapist takes out the drum!
About the Author:
Carol Goldman’s approach to treatment is eclectic in that it combines Shamanic drumming, movement therapy, meditation and hypnosis, Chinese herbal remedies, Emotional Freedom Technique and good old-fashioned talk therapy. She supports patients in a creative way to meet individual needs for clients recently diagnosed with a medical condition, relationship issues, life stress and life changes. Lean more or schedule an appointment here.