Integrative Mental Health
“Life is difficult. This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths… Once we truly know that life is difficult – once we truly understand and accept it – then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters.”
~ M. Scott Peck, The Road Less Traveled
Mental Health Realities
Life can be tough. Maybe that is what brought you here. Sometimes we get overwhelmed, sometimes the stress is too much, or sometimes there is a mental health crisis that causes us to fall apart.
One of the things that causes people or families to fall apart is significant mental illness. By this we mean major mental health disorders like schizophrenia or obsessive-compulsive disorder or bipolar disorder. These serious conditions typically require psychiatric management and are beyond the scope of most primary care clinics, including ours.
But there are other, more common issues that also challenge our mental health. In addition to emotional issues like depression or anxiety, there are also really hard life events like losing a loved one or divorce. More complex issues like autism, PTSD, eating disorders, and ADHD are also issues that many families are struggling with.
Conventional medicine sometimes looks at these problems like a malfunctioning hot tub. A lot of the focus seems to be on getting all the chemicals right and in balance. On the other hand, traditional psychotherapy can feel like a coffee house. Lots and lots of conversation and social interaction. Sometimes these approaches work, and sometimes they don’t.
The Integrative Option
In comparison, integrative mental health looks at each individual as a garden – a complex web of eco-systems that we colloquially call mind, body, and spirit. While you can drain a hot tub, nurturing a successful garden requires a different approach. Care, patience, intelligent observation, careful intervention, and thoughtful planning must all be applied in the correct proportion. A decision you make today can take weeks or months to see. Done correctly, the positive results you see will be rewarding and sustainable. This approach is at the core of integrative mental health.
Integrative mental health is an approach that is part of a wider perspective known has integrative medicine: a medical model that perceives wellness as being influenced by a variety of interrelated factors. These factors could include as life choices, genetics, spiritual/religious orientation, environmental influences, family legacies, and unique biochemical physiology.
Therefore, integrative mental health is an evolving, whole-person approach to mental health. It is informed by medical evidence and that makes use of a diverse range of appropriate therapeutic approaches to achieve optimal health and quality of life. It considers that symptoms are associated with multiples causes and that multiple approaches to assessment and treatment may be necessary.
For example, research has have shown that the bacteria in the intestines (also called the microbiome) are involved in the regulation of anxiety, pain, cognition and mood. This “gut/brain” connection requires a great deal of study and review of the current research, careful examination of best practices, and an array of appropriate tools for patient management. And this is just one connection among many that must be made in order to enhance an individual’s mental health.
If this kind of approach interests you, please make an appointment to come in and talk to us. We can help!
Integrative Mental Health Solutions
Below are some examples of the mental health areas we address. Please note that we are NOT limited to just these examples because we do not just treat the disease – we treat you.
- Anxiety counseling
- Mild to moderate depression counseling
- Stress Management
- Lifestyle modification
- Eating Disorders management
- PTSD counseling
- Autism spectrum
Mental Health Procedures:
Below are some examples of the procedures we use. Click the “+” button for more information on each procedure.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a form of psychotherapy that helps you know yourself better so that you can resolve problems faster, feel better, and have more enjoyment in your life. It does this by taking you on a tour of your thoughts, then showing you how they link to your feelings, and then finally allowing you to see how your thoughts and emotions influence your actions. That puts you in charge and allows you to make better choices and decisions.
CBT is not long and drawn out like some types of therapy. It is short-term, problem focused, and very pragmatic. Its goal is to empower you to change your patterns of thinking or behavior that are behind your difficulties, which can change your life for the better.
One of the reasons CBT is so well-known and widely used is because it has been studied so extensively. This means that it has a lot of scientific research behind it and is an area that continues to be studied by medical researchers. Dr. Piscopo has been working with CBT for several years. He is very knowledgeable about tailoring this form of therapy to your unique situation so that you can experience a successful outcome that will work specifically for you.
If you are having problems with depression, anxiety, PTSD, chronic pain, panic attacks, eating problems, sleep issues, anger problems, or just generally unhappy, please call and set up an appointment with Dr. Piscopo to begin the process of feeling better.
The Journey is an effective psycho-emotional process created by Brandon Bays, which many have found to be a transformational experience. The experience takes on average about 1 1/2 hours and is facilitated by Dr. Piscopo. Most people only require one or two sessions to complete the process, which takes you on a healing journey through your emotional landscape. Long standing family issues, trauma, abuse, and other psycho-emotional issues respond very well to this gentle but effective approach.
Please go here for more information about The Journey.
As defined by the HeartMath Institute, HeartMath is a unique system of validated techniques and advanced technologies that assist with optimizing emotional, mental and physical health. The approach is based on scientific research centered around Heart Rate Variability (HRV) and its relationship with the body, especially with the heart and the autonomic nervous system. HeartMath is internationally recognized for practical solutions that can transform your relationship with the stress of change and uncertainty, bringing about greater ease and coherence in your life.
Please go here for more information about HeartMath.
Marriage and Family Therapy
Kathleen A. Hill, LMFT, is a marriage and family therapist and educator specializing in Emotionally Focused Therapy. Kathleen has many years of experience helping individuals, couples, and families successfully navigate the choppy waters of relationships.
For more information about Kathleen, please see: Taproot Holistic Counseling