Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy – the experiences that makes us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.
Life is hard, and at some point everyone experiences difficulties. Yet, so many people find themselves struggling to recover from difficult experiences, or stuck in persistent depression or anxiety without really understanding why. Some eventually lose hope that life can get better.
The feeling of being stuck and unsure of how to move forward more positively in life is often the result of a lack of integration, or disconnection in different areas of life and functioning. Problems with integration can show up in many different ways.
Hard times in life are normal and help is available, but it can be a challenge to find the help that you need.
Mental health care often seems to exist at two extremes. At one extreme, there is an emphasis on treating symptoms with medication or very brief approaches to therapy that never really identify the underlying cause of the symptoms so that they can be cured instead of just managed. This approach means that you keep living with the same problem and just coping with it better, but never really healing at a deeper level in the way that is truly possible.
At the other extreme, therapy can feel like an endless stream of just talking about what feels bad and rehashing a past from which you hope to move on, without ever reducing your symptoms so that you can simply feel better and struggle less.
An integrative approach to therapy seeks to find a balance between these two extremes, recognizing that it is equally important to both relieve symptoms so that life is more enjoyable, and also heal the underlying cause of those symptoms so that life is more hopeful and less of a struggle over time.
Integrative mental health care looks at the whole person, and views wellness as being influenced by many interrelated factors that can all impact mental and emotional health:
A whole-person approach to healing puts all of these puzzle pieces together to formulate individualized treatment plans that alleviate symptoms and heal what is causing those symptoms. Integrative mental health care relies on medical evidence and neuroscience, uses a wide range of therapeutic techniques depending on what is most appropriate for each client’s individual goals, and views symptoms as arising from multiple causes that may require a variety of approaches to assessment and treatment.