Holistic Approach in Mental Health Treatment
What Is a Holistic Approach?
Holistic treatment is a whole-person approach to medical and mental health treatment. The idea behind holistic medicine is that one can achieve optimal health by balancing all aspects of their life—physical, spiritual, social, and emotional—rather than their specific diagnosis.
When treatment providers use a holistic approach in mental health, they develop their therapy plans based on the unique treatment needs of the person. Holistic therapy plans focus on healing the individual’s physical, emotional, and spiritual health instead of only addressing one aspect of their needs.
Research has indicated this method’s success in improving many adverse health symptoms and life situations, such as psychological distress, pain, physical health, medication adherence, and family outcomes.1
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Types of Holistic Treatments
Holistic mental health treatment providers use different tools and techniques to help those wanting to put mental and physical health challenges in the past.
Depending on the practice and the providers training, examples include:
- Education on using self-care and lifestyle changes to promote health and wellness. These may include exercise, dietary changes, counseling, and other self-care tools.
- Western medicine tools, surgical procedures, and pharmaceutical interventions.
- Alternative and complementary therapies, such as massage, naturopathy, acupuncture, and others.
What Symptoms Are Engaged in Mental Health Holistic Approach Treatment?
Mental health holistic approaches to treatment can address many different illness symptoms. Therapy with a holistic care approach considers all aspects of one’s treatment needs and goals as part of the care planning process.
This is because it addresses a wide variety of symptoms, such as:
Psychiatric (mental health) symptoms
Medical symptoms, such as chronic pain
Social difficulties, such as social anxiety disorder
Alternative Holistic Approach Therapy Options
The list of holistic healing therapies is long. There is a wide range of treatment approaches, and each holistic medicine option can address many treatment needs.
It is important to remember that holistic (alternative) medicine, as part of a mental health treatment program, is not a substitute for evidence-based care. The most effective treatment programs combine evidence-based therapy models with holistic therapies to provide a whole-person approach to healing.
Yoga therapy involves using physical and spiritual practices to increase self-awareness. Examples include sound, visualization, breathing exercises, meditation, and posture work.
Breathing exercises, specifically diaphragmatic breathing, are empirically supported, with research indicating that diaphragmatic breathing can improve attention, reduce stress, and promote mental function.2
Mindfulness meditation is a specific meditation tool. It is designed to help calm the mind and refocus on the present without judgment. Mindfulness meditation is a holistic approach in mental health that aims to improve one’s ability to cope with thoughts and feelings and foster a sense of self-awareness. One study found that mindfulness and meditation practice can complement other treatments as well as reduce anxiety for a wide variety of patients.3
Art and Music Therapies
Art and music therapies encourage using creative expression to improve communication, self-expression, and healing. Various creative therapies include painting, drawing, dancing, role-playing, playing musical instruments, writing, and listening to music.
Various studies conducted in hospitals found that patients who engaged in art therapy had better vitals and improved sleep quality.4
Equine therapy uses horses as part of the therapy process. Individuals engage with the horses by feeding, leading, and grooming them. These activities help improve self-confidence, emotional regulation, and responsibility.
Similar holistic treatment approaches, also called animal-assisted therapies, involve using other animals in the therapeutic process, such as dogs, birds, goats, and cats.
Choosing a Holistic Approach: Some Tips to Keep in Mind
Choose the Service Provider Carefully
When choosing a provider for holistic therapy, it is also important to inquire about the treatment options available to you. As noted above, there are many types of mental health holistic care, but not all options are ideal for everyone or all situations.
Do Your Homework
Before choosing a treatment location, research their services, treatment options, therapy models, certifications, and licensing. You will also want to know more about how treatment services with a provider work.
How are your needs, goals, and feelings about therapy incorporated into treatment planning?
What are treatment sessions like?
What time of day and how often are appointments available?
Is someone available around the clock if you need support?
Do they provide individualized treatment planning?
Benefits of Holistic Approach in Mental Health
Diet and Physical Activity Improvement
Helping the Mind Become a Healing Tool
Other Benefits of Holistic Activities
Other benefits of holistic activities include healthy lifestyle improvements, reduced substance use and self-medication, and increased well-being.
Holistic Approach in Mental Health Treatment at Ripple Ranch Recovery
Ripple Ranch Recovery offers support and care using clinically proven, evidence-based treatment tools and a holistic approach in mental health. Our qualified and experienced team follows a patient-centered approach that includes mindfulness practices and a variety of holistic therapy options to help you focus on healing and achieving lasting recovery.
Our treatment plans are designed around your specific needs to help you begin taking steps forward toward achieving your emotional health goals. We are always ready and willing to provide you with information and answers to any questions you may have regarding admissions, treatment, and everything in between.
Contact us at Ripple Ranch Recovery today to get started.
- 2 https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00874/full
- 4 https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1877042811022312?via%3Dihub
- 5 https://www.pennmedicine.org/updates/blogs/health-and-wellness/2019/january/hypnosis