The term “holistic” deals with every aspect of a particular whole. Thus, holistic psychiatry is mental healthcare that seeks to cover all the aspects of mental health. Holistic or “whole-person” care has long been a goal of psychiatry as a profession. Unfortunately, achieving this goal is often easier said than done.

There have been approaches to holistic psychiatry in conventional medicine, but these approaches have not really considered the whole person. For psychiatry to achieve this goal of holistic treatment, it needs to go beyond typical therapy but not deny the scientific truths we have already uncovered. Holistic treatment is a combination of conventional, nutritional, and functional medicine, along with a healthy dose of mind-body medicine thrown in.

A Brief Overview of Holistic Psychiatry

Holistic psychiatry aims to find the root cause of problems and help patients by dealing with that root cause. A patient’s labs are drawn and examined, and a psychiatrist then looks at the environmental factors that could play a part in the person’s issues. Lifestyle examination continues, and thought patterns are dissected in search of the patient’s symptoms and the underlying problems that lead to them. Because it’s a system that focuses on the individual, no generic cure can be used here. Instead, patients require individualized attention for their problems since each person is unique. Medications may also play a part in helping a patient recover alongside other holistic means.

At its heart, holistic psychiatry is an additive therapy. It doesn’t stand on its own, nor does it pretend to do things that it cannot. Instead, it provides patients with a way to overcome their condition entirely over the long term and give them back their love for life.

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What Are the Goals Of A Holistic Psychiatrist?

In a nutshell, a holistic psychiatrist aims to ensure that their patient has optimal wellness. Okay, so what is optimal wellness? Many approaches to mental health only seek to fix a specific problem. Unfortunately, because of how complex the human mind is, fixing a single problem usually doesn’t help the individual actually become well. Many times, a particular problem is simply the manifestation of a larger problem – one whose sources and causes are not immediately apparent. When that single illness is fixed, is the patient well? If one defines well as the absence of sickness, then yes, the patient is well. However, holistic psychiatry sees wellness and wholeness as the same thing. A patient isn’t well until they are whole, which requires more than just stopgap measures to fix individual problems.

Holistic psychiatry doesn’t just seek to fix a person’s mental illness. It aims to give them a well-balanced mental state. In a well-balanced mental state, a patient is fulfilled and happy. They look forward to new experiences and grasp every day to its fullest. Like other forms of preventative medicine, holistic psychiatry recognizes that prevention is better than a cure. Thus to prevent negative mindsets from setting in, they teach therapeutic methods that give patients the tools to maintain a healthy, positive attitude. Through holistic psychiatry, a person doesn’t just overcome their mental illness and re-enter society. They find a purpose and a goal to fulfill. This approach is far more likely to result in a person’s outlook on life-changing.

Who Should Consider Holistic Mental Health Treatment

Who Should Consider Holistic Mental Health Treatment?

Anyone who is dealing with a mental illness should consider holistic treatment. Overcoming a mental illness will take a lot of dedication and effort, but it’s worth it. Holistic psychiatry embraces the understood wisdom from regular psychiatry but goes one step further. Instead of focusing on just the idea of mental illness, it focuses on mental wellness and complete recovery. Holistic mental health means finding one’s fulfillment in one’s life. This fulfillment generates happiness and helps overcome the darkness and internal struggle of psychiatric illness. It is important to note that holistic psychiatry also encompasses treatment such as nutritional and functional medicine, focusing on overall wellness for its patients.

Other individuals who may benefit from holistic psychiatry are undergoing treatment for substance use disorder. One of the most complex parts of recovering from an addictive substance is finding the will to live and the happiness in life that one had before the addiction. Holistic psychiatry helps people see that spark of joy in their lives and the fulfillment that generates that happiness. This approach also uses the traditional psychiatric methods of talk therapy to guide recovering individuals to where they can deal with the psychological longing for the substance. Not only can they avoid the substance through these tools, but they have a new lease on life thanks to holistic psychiatry.

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Differences From Conventional Psychiatry

It might be easy to write off holistic psychiatry as alternative medicine, but it’s not. Many psychiatrists believe that this integrative treatment can offer more concrete results when used alongside conventional psychiatry. There are some differences between traditional therapy and holistic psychiatry, such as:

  • Medication vs. Nutrition: Conventional psychiatry understands how medication can work to moderate the internal chemicals of the brain. However, holistic psychiatry looks at nutrition as the natural way to do this. While medication is still a valid treatment therapy, there are many unexpected side effects when it comes to medication. On many occasions, doctors have had to adjust the medication dosage or change medication altogether because of side effects. Holistic psychiatry doesn’t attempt to change brain chemistry through medication but offers nutrition as a more holistic approach.
  • Talk therapy vs. Journaling: Talk therapy is a valuable method for coming to terms with a mental condition and learning how to cope with it. Through talk therapy, a patient can figure out triggers that may cause behaviors and learn how to manage those triggers in a natural way. Holistic psychiatry encourages individuals to begin journaling, where they put down their thoughts in a written format. Journals allow patients to arrange their thinking and figure out how to best approach a situation. They can also become self-aware of the thoughts and the actions behind them.
  • Peer Support vs. Mind/Body Retreat: Peer support groups form the core of helping an individual reconnect to society and rebuild their relationships. Sometimes, having someone else there to understand one’s struggle can make a difference. Peer support groups help keep individuals accountable after they leave regular therapy and give them the chance to reforge bonds with their community. Mind/body retreats are solo affairs where patients go on a sabbatical to understand themselves better. These journeys allow a person a certain level of mindfulness and connection that they can’t get with a group.

Conventional psychiatry has many scientifically proven ways to help individuals overcome their mental illnesses. However, it lacks a lot of a broader scope of holistic psychiatry. Instead of focusing on the patient as an individual, it sees them as a collection of symptoms that need to be solved.

Using All Approaches for The Best Mental Health Outcomes

Knowing how to deal with mental health issues requires understanding that conventional and holistic methods are not mutually exclusive. Holistic psychiatry looks to traditional medicine to deal with part of the problem. However, the approaches that holistic psychiatry makes to the situation look at solving the issue as a whole, not in pieces. There’s no focus on the problem that the person is suffering, but rather a focus on the person themselves. The solutions are not developed through a hands-off approach of seeing what doesn’t work and adjusting accordingly. Instead, it looks at what works and gives the patient a way to discover things that would make them happy and fulfilled.

However, holistic psychiatry doesn’t offer tools to overcome the most acute issues that mental health will bring. It is an integrative methodology because it needs conventional psychiatry to set the stage for recovery. Holistic psychiatry can take up the baton after the person has gotten over the acute stages of their illness and is just trying to figure out their meaning and purpose. As with most mental illnesses, a person’s love for life is replaced by fear of action and consequence. Holistic psychiatry helps patients rediscover their zest for life through its whole-person approach. By giving the patient new direction, they help achieve the goals of conventional psychiatry by removing the focus from the mental illness. It’s a team effort, with each psychiatric discipline pulling its own weight.

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Does Insurance Cover Holistic Psychiatry Treatment?

When it comes to holistic care, many insurance companies have their own policies for paying costs. Holistic psychiatry isn’t a stand-alone treatment, unlike other holistic medicines. It forms part of a complete treatment system which usually includes conventional psychiatric means. Insurance coverage will cover mental health treatment, and if holistic psychiatry is part of that treatment, the chances are good that the insurer will cover the cost of treatment. However, coverage may also depend on the insurance plan. Some insurance plans only cover part of the cost, leaving the rest for the patient to deal with. Usually, insurance plans that offer complete coverage services tend to cost more, but they cover up to 90% of the cost of treatment. Other treatment plans might only cover the bare minimum for mental health treatment and may not be open to dealing with out-of-network providers. Contacting the facility offering care will better inform you of what you can expect from your insurance provider.

Holistic Psychiatry as A Component Of Residential Treatment

Holistic Psychiatry as A Component Of Residential Treatment

Holistic psychiatry can be an integral part of inpatient treatment for mental illness. Treatments for mental illness may include medication and conventional talk therapy. Still, these methods only deal with the symptoms of the issue and not the root causes of a person being unwell. Holistic psychiatry offers a different approach to dealing with this type of illness. The goal of holistic psychiatry, as mentioned before, is to give a patient fulfillment and happiness. This can feel like an uphill battle for many dealing with mental illness. Yet, with the techniques of holistic psychiatry in play, a patient can quickly learn what fulfills them and how to be happy through simple, positive means.

The three tenets that holistic psychiatry uses a holistic spirit and body to achieve this. These three elements all come together to make a person’s mentality and physical well-being. A person can be physically sound yet lacking mental wholeness. The opposite is also true. Holistic psychiatry seeks to help a patient bring all these three facets of their being together into a harmonious whole. By doing so, a patient benefits from having physical well-being, mental acuity, and spiritual balance. All of these play a significant part in a person’s life, and ignoring one of those aspects in favor of another doesn’t lead to holistic healing. The patient may always feel as though something is missing from their life.

Find Lasting Results with Holistic Mental Healthcare

Holistic mental care offers an excellent place for people who want to overcome their mental illness over the long term to start. Mental healthcare needs to be a comprehensive approach that doesn’t neglect other parts of a person. Mental care needs to also incorporate physical and spiritual care if a person wants to retain that level of wholeness. It’s not uncommon to see patients revisiting their mental health conditions because of relapse. It’s simply because there was never any attempt to help them more holistically. Seeking holistic care can make a world of difference in helping someone out of a long-term mental illness.

Find A Holistic Psychiatrist in Scottsdale At Emerald Isle

Emerald Isle offers professional psychiatrists and psychologists that have dedicated their lives to finding the most effective ways of dealing with mental illness. They have learned how crucial integrative methods like holistic psychiatry can be when combined with conventional healing methodologies through their efforts. If you’re looking for a long-term solution that won’t leave you feeling empty inside, combination holistic therapy might be what you’re looking for. Contact us today to learn more about what we offer at Emerald Isle. We’ll be more than glad to see you and get you started on your journey to holistic health.