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What is a Holistic Approach?

Mental health treatments are important, but they are far from consistently successful. Many individuals with psychiatric or other mental health conditions have difficulty sticking with treatment plans, or they find that prescribed treatment plans don’t alleviate their symptoms or lead them to long-term beneficial results.

This is often due to those treatments focusing on one element of mental health, like medication or therapy, to the exclusion of others. There’s another option: the holistic approach.

Holistic Approach

Holistic Approach

What Does a Holistic Approach Entail? 

A holistic approach is encompassing, comprehensive, and a much better choice for many mental health patients. Read on to learn more about what the holistic approach in mental health treatment is, how it may benefit you or a loved one, and why it’s a better choice compared to overfocused treatment plans.

What Factors Impact Mental Health?

In a nutshell, a holistic approach means taking the entire person into account when forming a treatment plan and practicing treatment strategies. Mental health is affected by several important factors, including:

  • Mental well-being itself
  • Physical and spiritual health
  • Environmental factors
  • Genetics and overall health

What Does Health and Wellness Entail?

Why Do Mental Health Professionals Practice a Holistic Approach?

When mental health professionals practice a holistic approach to treating their patients, they can sometimes see much better results than if they focus on one element to the exclusion of all others.

For example, one mental health treatment professional may prescribe an antidepressant medication to a patient they see from time to time. While the antidepressant medication could have some beneficial effects, it may not treat the root cause of the patient’s symptoms, nor will it fully alleviate their mental health problems.

In contrast, a holistic approach takes all of the patient’s symptoms into account. It allows the doctor to analyze a lot of the patient’s information, offer multiple treatment paths and types, and help their patients feel better mentally, physically, and spiritually. A holistic treatment approach is the modern way to treat mental health conditions or to improve patients' mental health for long-lasting, effective results.

Types of Holistic Treatments

Holistic Approach

Holistic Approach

Individual treatment plans are up to mental health care providers. However, there are three broad types of holistic treatments that you may encounter when you seek out mental health treatment.

Patient Education on Lifestyle Changes and Self-Care

Firstly, a mental health care provider may provide you with extensive education and resources on positive lifestyle changes and self-care techniques you can practice at home.

Certain lifestyles or activities can be harmful to mental and physical health. For example, not getting enough sleep by staying out with friends for too long each night can take a toll on your mental and physical health in the long term. For some, practicing this lifestyle consistently can lead to negative side effects, including mental fatigue.

Self-Care Techniques and Recommendations

A mental health care provider can help you identify the negative elements of your lifestyle that you can change for the better. Self-care strategies are techniques you can practice at home or in your daily life to improve your wellness and make yourself feel better over time. Some popular self-care techniques include: 1
  • Carving out a little time to enjoy recreation if you have a busy lifestyle with a lot of stress at work or school
  • Taking a walk in nature once per day
  • Learning how to say “no” to requests if you are already swamped with obligations

Self-Care and a Holistic Mental Health Journey

Understanding positive lifestyle changes and how to practice self-care are both important steps to reaching a positive mental health state.

Western Medications

Additionally, many mental healthcare providers will provide holistic treatment by recommending or prescribing different Western medications. This is especially important if you have a diagnosable mental health condition such as anxiety, ADHD, or depression, which are often conditions that cannot be fully and holistically treated without Western medication.

Holistic medicines can help to rebalance hormone levels in the brain or perform other chemical feats that may improve your outlook or help your self-care strategies be more effective. However, the holistic approach operates from the assumption that Western medication is not the end-all-be-all to mental health care treatment – it's merely a piece of the puzzle.

Alternative Therapies

Alternative therapies ranging from yoga to hypnotherapy to meditation and more may provide important benefits to mental health care patients.

Even better, these alternative therapies can be beneficial and effective for patients who have found traditional Western mental health care approaches to be ineffective in the past. Everyone’s mind is different, and different treatments are more or less effective depending on the individual and their past experiences.

Your healthcare provider may try multiple alternative therapy options to see what works best for you. You can then combine these therapy options with self-care practices and Western medication for the best effects.

Alternative Holistic Approach Therapy Options

Holistic Approach

Holistic Approach

When undergoing a holistic mental health treatment plan, a healthcare provider may recommend different therapy options. Here are a few different options they might recommend. 

Yoga Therapy

Yoga therapy is a popular alternative holistic healing therapy option because it calms the mind while exercising the body. Yoga sessions involve moving the body through a series of stretches or light exercises while breathing in slow, practiced patterns.

By focusing on your breathing in your body, you may see benefits to your mental and physical health while alleviating stress at the same time. Yoga therapy can be beneficial either by yourself or in a class with other yoga practitioners.

Mindfulness Meditation

With mindfulness meditation, patients utilize the breathing exercises commonly found in yoga sessions to learn how to be mindful and focus on one element of their being at a time.

This is a very useful tool when navigating stressful situations or when alleviating stress. Mindfulness meditation can also lead to long-term improvements in happiness or life satisfaction.

Art Therapy

Art therapy involves expressing oneself through artistic endeavors, such as painting, drawing, or composing music. The point of art therapy isn’t to create “good” art, but instead a safe environment where patients can express themselves without worrying about judgement. Some may also learn valuable skills they can use to hone this hobby in the future.

Music Therapy

Music therapy is similar to art therapy, and it includes listening to music, singing, playing instruments, or composing original music as well.
Music touches something deep in our minds and provides beneficial therapeutic effects. Certain types of music are better for this than others. Regardless, music therapy can be great when the goal of mental health treatment is to reduce stress or improve other elements of mental health well-being.

Equine Therapy

Equine therapy involves grooming, feeding, and bonding with horses. Horses are emotionally intelligent animals, and they can serve as useful emotional proxies when healing mental health issues or recovering from trauma.
Depending on patient comfort levels, some equine therapy sessions involve riding horses. The focus, however, is always on facilitating and enjoying an emotionally comfortable bond with the animals.

What Does Equine Therapy Entail?

Hypnotherapy

During hypnotherapy, a patient is brought under controlled hypnosis by a skilled psychiatrist or psychologist. Hypnotherapy sometimes allows patients to access forgotten or buried memories, resolve trauma, or open themselves up to therapy in a deeper way than otherwise.
However, hypnotherapy is not effective for everyone. Thus, it is best used as an ancillary tool rather than a core focus of mental health treatment. 2

Symptoms of Mental Health Holistic Approach Treatment

Mental health holistic approach treatments are effective and beneficial for most patients because they engage with all important mental health care symptoms. Some of these include: 

  • Psychiatric symptoms: For example, if you have depressive symptoms, a holistic approach to your mental health treatment could help alleviate these symptoms by focusing on self-care practices, helping you recognize your self-worth, and more.
  • Medical symptoms: If you have a medical condition, like ADHD, a mental health holistic approach can still be beneficial. Certain medications combined with alternative therapies may help you manage your symptoms significantly better than before.
  • Social symptoms: Many individuals struggling with mental health have strained social nets or relationships. As your mental health improves, so could your relationships with people you love.
  • Spiritual symptoms: Mental health treatments following a holistic approach could help you rediscover your spirituality and feel more spiritually healthy than before.
  • Lifestyle symptoms: Many mental health conditions or symptoms are exacerbated by negative lifestyle decisions. As your mental health improves, you may make better lifestyle decisions and experience a decrease in things like excessive fatigue or inability to manage your time.
  • Behavioral symptoms: Mental health can certainly have a large impact on one's behavior. Through holistic approach treatments, behavioral symptoms like irritability, angry outbursts, or difficulty managing one's emotions could be alleviated
Ultimately, a holistic approach treatment for mental health targets all of the above symptoms, so you may see improvements in each of them given enough time.

Choosing a Holistic Approach: Some Tips to Keep in Mind

Although a holistic approach to mental health can be very beneficial, you should choose your healthcare provider or treatment plan very carefully. Keep the below tips in mind to ensure you make the right choice and avoid starting a treatment plan that won’t work for your unique needs.

Choose the Right Service Provider

Always choose the right mental health service provider. Different treatment facilities offer varying alternative therapies, have different focuses for their healthcare professionals, and may have different amenities. Perhaps more than any other factor, your service provider can make a huge difference in how effective your therapeutic experience is and what therapy options are available to you.

Be sure to do a lot of research before signing up for a holistic mental health care treatment plan. Anew Treatment Center could be the right choice for you – be sure to contact us today for questions about what we offer and how we can help.

Treatment Options

As touched on above, be sure to investigate what treatment options are available at a given holistic health care treatment provider. For example, if you believe yoga or mindfulness meditation will be beneficial for your mental health, your treatment provider needs to have someone qualified to guide you through these practices.

Your Feelings

Of course, your personal feelings about a holistic treatment provider matter more than anything else. If a treatment facility or service doesn’t feel right to you, listen to your gut. Your instincts may be able to help you choose the right treatment provider specifically for your needs.

Do Your Homework

Do a lot of research about a treatment provider or mental health service facility before signing yourself in or signing up for a holistic program. The more research you do, the better prepared you’ll be for your program, and the easier it will be to stick with your prescribed treatments.

Appointment Time

Some holistic treatment plans require you to show up or meet with your treatment provider at specific times. If you work a job or have family obligations, some appointment times may not be appropriate for your schedule. Therefore, it pays to make sure that a treatment center’s appointment times work with your other commitments.

Does the Treatment Provider Ask Relevant Questions?

If you sign up for an initial interview or meeting with a holistic mental health care provider, consider whether they ask you any relevant questions. If the treatment provider seems concerned about your needs and is most interested in learning how you feel, they may be a good fit.

In contrast, a treatment provider that pushes products or recommends a specific drug above all else may not have your best interests at heart.

Benefits of Holistic Approach to Mental Health

Holistic Approach

Holistic Approach

A holistic approach to mental health may provide you with many noticeable or tangible benefits, especially as you stick with a treatment plan that works for months. 

What Does a Holistic Approach to Mental Health Accomplish?

Benefits may include:

  • Improvements to your diet: It’s easier to eat healthily and feel better as a result when your mental health sees improvements. This forms a positive feedback loop where you feel better, so you eat healthier, which makes you feel even better than before and so on.3
  • Improvements to your physical activity levels: As with the above benefit, you’ll feel more like exercising and getting fit as your mental health improves. 
  • Improvements to your stress management: It’s easy to feel overstressed when your mental health is at a low point. As your mental health improves, you should hopefully feel less stressed in general. This will also help you make positive lifestyle choices in the future.
  • Access to important mind healing tools and skills: As you learn to improve your mental health and as your treatment provider practices a holistic approach, you’ll learn those skills and be able to apply them whenever needed. You’ll become more resistant to stress and fatigue and your mental health will improve over the long-term, not just in the short term.
  • Ancillary benefits: Through practicing holistic activities and a well-rounded treatment plan, you may see major benefits to long-term psychiatric or mental health conditions like ADHD or anxiety. Then you'll see other benefits like improved sociability or more self-confidence. Those benefits can extend into other areas of your life, such as your career, your relationship, and more.4

Holistic Approach in Mental Health Treatment at Anew Treatment Center

Holistic Approach

Holistic Approach

A holistic approach to mental health treatment is one beneficial approach to help ensure you or your loved ones get the attention and dedication needed in a treatment plan perfectly tailored for you. At Anew Treatment Center, we practice holistic approaches to mental health treatments for each of our patients.

Our holistic therapies rely on combinations of alternative therapeutic practices, Western medications, and much more. We take patient preferences into account and work hard to formulate individualized mental health treatment plans perfectly suited for each patient. We are here to help support our patients through every step of the way, and a holistic approach can be more beneficial than many other techniques. If you or a loved one have been thinking of getting mental health help, consider holistic treatments. 

The path to successful mental health treatment starts today. You can contact us for more information or call us to set up a consultation appointment.

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