THE FULL SPECTRUM APPRACH TO PSYCHOLOGICAL HEALTH
Integrative Somatic Pyschotherapy
We are so much more than a brain with legs and arms. An effective approach to psychological health must take into account our whole body. Through our choices in life, each of us becomes a unique combination of the effects of our nutrition, exercise, family, intimate relationships, and community. Each person brings unique knowledge of themselves, their situation, and their own solutions to their problems. My role as a clinical psychologist is to help each person discover and develop their innate skills to heal themselves; in my approach, this includes many considerations beyond the traditional focus on the brain and its chemicals.
What Does “Integrative” Really Mean and Why is It Important to your Health?
In my experience, without emphasizing the importance of exploring the way we function as a whole person as an individual, as a member of our society, and as a member of our species among other species sharing our environment, healthcare professionals often cause more harm than they heal. Although “integrative” has lately become a popular way to market non-traditional healthcare services, I find that these services are often as questionable as any conventional mainstream services. “Integrative” often seems to be interchangeable with “eclectic,”“blended,” or simply”non-traditional”and often involves a disjointed collection of alternative approaches such as life coaching, bodywork, spiritual counseling, and other self-help psychology or addictions counseling approaches. Just as with medical treatments, interactions between methods, like medications, cannot be adequately monitored, and this is a dangerous situation for the person seeking help. It is as potentially dangerous to your health as traditional approaches involving medications, electroshock and hospitalization. Delivering integrative services in a safe and effective way requires expert experience.
In my experience as a somatic therapist, I have found that a truly integrated approach to healthcare results in the most effective, longest-lasting health benefits. It also avoids the costly and often dangerous mistakes in treatments which traditional healthcare and especially traditional psychological healthcare make through their insistence on treating you as a broken machine with separate parts, each with separate issues, commonly seen as needing separate professionals to treat each one. As a result, important connections between physical and psychological dimensions of the whole person are ignored in favor of treatments which address only part of the person and therefore only part of the problem. For example, the explosion of the use of psychiatric medications is the result of focusing only on the human brain as the source of psychological problems. instead of taking into consideration their impact on the rest of the body and a person’s whole quality of life.
Integrative somatic psychotherapy is a different approach towards addressing general healthcare issues, providing psychotherapy/counseling services, and viewing the role of a therapist in a person’s life. It involves approaching each person seeking healthcare services in a different, more inclusive way. This “whole person” approach often combines several different ways of supporting physical and psychological health in order to address your specific life. In contrast to many approaches describing themselves as integrative, I am always very careful to emphasize your freedom of choice. In this way, we can work together to develop specific and unique ways to reach your personal health goals more quickly and more lastingly.
Medications are never the healthies of the most effective treatment for psychological distress
Medications seem necessary now to most professionals and those in distress. This is due to a lack of acceptance of research and information concerning their dangers and ineffectiveness. It is also due to resistance in the media and the mental health field towards considering a different approach towards psychological distress.
it is clear t me that medications interfere with the process of recovery from psychological distress. While they may seem to relieve distress, they only relieve superficial symptoms, locking our distressing thoughts and emotions along with our power to address them into an almost unreachable chemical prison. Continual suppression results in a growing emotional abscess. This abscess festers, causing even more internal damage. Its pressure builds, usually requiring higher and higher doses of medication. Even then, our distress can burst into unhealthy thoughts and behavior, causing deeper distress. eventually, unchecked emotional distress can manifest in physical symptoms, pain, and eventually medical disease.
In addition to causing emotional and psychological damage to our innate abilities to heal ourselves, psychotropic medications are toxic and cause physical damage themselves. Unfortunately, most physicians, nurses, and psychological professionals are taught to push the prescription of these toxic substances without first taking the time to fully explore healthier alternatives. In my training as a psychologist, I was taught to treat myself and my clients as objects, as machines needing mechanical repair. The medical model of mental illness was generated by research methods used in physical science for centuries. The same research tools used to study a rock, an ocean, or a bus are used to describe the characteristics of human experiences such as anger, joy, depression, or schizophrenia. When research subjects are treated like objects, it is no wonder that the mental health education built on such research creates professionals who objectify and dehumanize their clients. In my clinical practice and research using a method which treats humans as as people, I have found that with proper support and a willingness to engage in the difficult work necessary for recovery, psychotropic medications and the serious health risks associated with their use are unnecessary.
Dr. Wilhelm Reich was a physician, researcher, and pioneer in the field of mental and physical health. He was one of Sigmund Freud’s last and most favorite students. Dr. Reich was expected to succeed Freud after his death. Unfortunately, due to an unresolvable difference in opinion concerning the future direction of psychoanalysis, Freud and Reich parted ways. Reich continued to emphasize the importance of working with the body, biological/sexual processes, and the whole person in treating psychological distress. Freud abandoned the body, promoting verbal psychotherapy and intellectual interpretation.
Reich continued his clinical and research work, discovering biological, sexual, and energetic processes in body which, when blocked by traumatic life experiences, can cause both psychological as well as physical ailments. Reich discovered that depression, anxiety, addiction, and schizophrenia have the same underlying cause as muscular pain, liver disease, and even cancer. Developing physical and psychoanalytic techniques which have become commonplace in today’s world of alternative therapies such as breathwork, sensory awareness, and therapeutic touch, Wilhelm Reich proved that it is possible to treat and cure many health issues which are still considered genetic, incurable, and fatal today.
Somatic psychology is a term applied those systems of healing psychological distress which believe that only by addressing both emotional and physical issues. Most all of these systems can trace their origin to the work of Wilhelm Reich. The Full Spectrum Approach is my specific application of principles of Reichian orgonomy as taught to me by my mentor Dr. Harry Lewis, whose mentor Victor Sobie was trained by Wilhem Reich himself. I am honored to be considered as carrying on his tradition.
My office is in Manhattan, NY. However, I am available for phone consultation House Calls for crisis and in-home therapy, and carefully planned interventions anywhere and anytime on this planet, schedule permitting. Contact me for information and availability at firstname.lastname@example.org or (347) 480-7895.