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Altern Ther Health Med. 2007 Nov-Dec;13(6):50-6.

Integrative mental health care: from theory to practice, part 1.

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1
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University Hospital, California, USA.

Abstract

Integrative approaches will lead to more accurate and different understandings of mental illness. Beneficial responses to complementary and alternative therapies provide important clues about the phenomenal nature of the human body in space-time and disparate biological, informational, and energetic factors associated with normal and abnormal psychological functioning. The conceptual framework of contemporary Western psychiatry includes multiple theoretical viewpoints, and there is no single best explanatory model of mental illness. Future theories of mental illness causation will not depend exclusively on empirical verification of strictly biological processes but will take into account both classically described biological processes and non-classical models, including complexity theory, resulting in more complete explanations of the characteristics and causes of symptoms and mechanisms of action that result in beneficial responses to treatments. Part 1 of this article examines the limitations of the theory and contemporary clinical methods employed in Western psychiatry and discusses implications of emerging paradigms in physics and the biological sciences for the future of psychiatry. In part 2, a practical methodology for planning integrative assessment and treatment strategies in mental health care is proposed. Using this methodology the integrative management of moderate and severe psychiatric symptoms is reviewed in detail. As the conceptual framework of Western medicine evolves toward an increasingly integrative perspective, novel understandings of complex relationships between biological, informational, and energetic processes associated with normal psychological functioning and mental illness will lead to more effective integrative assessment and treatment strategies addressing the causes or meanings of symptoms at multiple hierarchic levels of body-brain-mind.

PMID:
17985811
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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