Over the years as a mental health counselor, my interest in holistic care and utilizing a wellness-based approach have been gaining more and more of my interest. Not only has my clinical work evolved over the years, but so has my research exploring wellness and integrated care.
Today, I was presented with two media stories (see below) that reflect why I believe we should treat clients holistically and that having a one model of healthcare is not enough. First let me preface this by saying that I am not anti-medicine. There is always a time and a place for medicine, and oftentimes it can be a courageous decision for someone to choose this route. I see huge improvements for some of my clients when they are being treated with medications. But the gap I come across in the traditional medical model is the continued Cartesian dualism approach–that is that the mind and body are two separate entities. This belief system still exists, despite research having shown this not to be true. Often clients present physical symptoms to their primary care doctors that can be a physical manifestation of a mental health concern. For example, it is not uncommon for me to receive referrals from the health staff for students who present with problems related to headaches, stomach aches, and/or difficulty sleeping. Through my work with these students, we often discover that the underlying cause is anxiety or stress. Together (myself, health staff, and the client), we can create a treatment plan to help the student develop healthy coping skills needed for managing anxiety and everyday stressors, in addition to proper nutrition (college students don’t always eat so well!), sleep hygiene (nor do they get enough sleep!), and fitness.
Image Credit: Psych Central
The two following media stories demonstrate the vastly different ways of understanding mental health, in particular childhood attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. I believe these issues support why we should strive towards holistic care (sometimes referred to as a biopsychosocial approach), as opposed to a one-size fits all approach. One-size does not fit all! It is important for health professionals to identify the unique needs of their clients and create treatment approaches designed to support their clients in developing the best that they can be.
Take a look at the articles and share your thoughts below in the comments.
The most comprehensive report on specific mental disorders in children shows attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is the most commonly diagnosed problem in kids aged 3-17, with close to 7 percent of kids having a diagnosis…
In the United States, at least 9% of school-aged children have been diagnosed with ADHD, and are taking pharmaceutical medications. In France, the percentage of kids diagnosed and medicated for ADHD is less than .5%. How come the epidemic of ADHD—which has become firmly established in the United States—has almost completely passed over children in France?