Integrative Mental Health
Creative, holistic approaches to restoring balance.
The physical body affects the mind.
Our medical culture of 7-minute-visit-let’s-fix-you-with-pills does us a huge disservice when it comes to mental health. (Among other things!) All too often there are very real, very objective, and very measurable causes to mood imbalances. These can include nutritional deficiencies, hormonal issues, microbial imbalances, allergic responses, and inflammatory reactions.
Screening for food intolerances, stealth infections, and heavy metals and other environmental exposures is further indicated in some cases.
Digestive conditions can also predispose individuals to nutritional malabsorption and neuroinflammation – all of which can have devastating effects on mood, sleep, attention, behavior, and mental health in both children and adults.
Thankfully, many of these conditions can be detected and corrected if we listen carefully to the body. Once these underlying dysfunctions are addressed, the mind can heal and sustainable happiness can be re-established.
When the drugs don’t work
Most people think that depression is caused by low levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin. What few realize, however, is that the monoamine theory of depression is just a theory – and that about 30% of people do not feel better when they take serotonin-supporting medications.
Although psychiatric drugs work great for some, they are likely to work best when used as a part of a comprehensive treatment plan and not as a standalone therapy. So whether or not you’re on medications, it may still be helpful for us to connect and talk about your health.
Once “physical” causes of mood imbalances are identified and addressed, it becomes important to dial in sleep, healthy eating, mindfulness meditation practices, exercise, psychotherapy, time in nature, and meaningful social connections – cornerstones in both the prevention and treatment of mood disorders.
Some people also require nutritional supplements, herbal therapies, and/or pharmaceutical psychiatric drugs, and yet others do well with Shamanic and entheogenic healing.
Counseling to reclaim your inner wisdom
When our Spirits are unhappy, we are unwell. Even if we appear to be “winners” on the outside – physically attractive, well-paying job, nice car, beautiful spouse, perfect home, etc. etc. – if the deepest parts of us are unfulfilled, or if we are living out of sync with our values, we will invariably struggle mentally and emotionally.
It can be terrifying to turn and face our own shadows. That’s why I’m here, to be your witness and your support person through the very important work of rediscovering and reclaiming your right to a satisfying life.
One way I do this is through a form of counseling based on my own holistic philosophy, diverse trainings, and varied life experiences. Sessions are 60-90 minutes long, during which time I ask a series of both open-ended and directive questions to help unveil the patterns and negative messages swirling around in your subconscious. This allows your conscious mind to connect the dots between your mind, spirit, and physical body. During these sessions you will get the opportunity to share the hidden struggles, fears, weaknesses, and issues you’ve carried your whole life. Sometimes, however, we are not ready to dive deep and “talk about it.” That’s where techniques like body-based approaches, homeopathy, and emotional freedom technique (EFT) can come in handy.
Most people come out of sessions feeling they have a better sense of themselves, and often their physical ailments “miraculously” improve slowly in the weeks and months that follow. Sometimes one session is all that’s needed, but more commonly people need a few to get to the various layers. We can space the sessions out to whatever timing feels right for the unfolding of the healthier, truer version of you.
Techniques I use
My approach to counseling is tailored to the unique needs of the client. Some of my inspirations (and heroes) include:
- Negative core belief work
- Polyvagal theory
- Window of tolerance
- Holistic counseling / Vis Dialogue
- ManKind Project & Woman Within clearing model and process work
- Trauma release movement
- Emotional freedom technique
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- Naturopathic medical philosophy
- Homeopathic and Vitalist philosophies
- Mystical experience integration
- Entheogenic healing paradigms
- Exercises from The Artist’s Way
There are times in life where the straight-and-narrow approach is just what the doctor ordered. But at other times we find ourselves seeking opportunities to heal that go beyond the pale of what conventional medicine has to offer. If you’re considering healing with psychedelic medicine, it can be incredibly helpful to connect with a practitioner before, during, and after your ceremony to help you make the experience as meaningful as possible. Learn more about entheogenic support services.
It’s not all in your head.
There are very real causes behind your mood imbalances.
Let’s nourish those parts of you.