Tuesday, January 27, 2015

A Holistic View on Psychopharmacological Interventions

Not all practitioners who consider themselves holistically oriented share the same beliefs about the applicability of psychotropic medication as this relates to health and wellness concerns.

For example, while integrative psychiatrists generally view psych meds as a form of treatment which may be used in combination with alternative/complementary strategies, traditional naturopathic doctors tend to shun the use of pharmaceutical drugs in accordance with a philosophy which underscores restoring balance within the body by locating *root* causes and addressing them; so the body can facilitate its own natural healing process *without* the use of surgery, drugs or any other type of medically invasive procedures.

Due to the overwhelming amount of things that are known and unknown about the potentially harmful (side) effects of psychotropic medications, it is my personal and professional belief that practitioners are obligated to unabashedly explore the issue of medications with their clients. While I have zero desire to judge anyone for choosing to take psychotropic medications, within the scope of my practice I am invariably interested in working with people to ensure that their choices are as informed as possible. 

This may include encouraging people to engage in their own consumer medication information research; consulting with folks surrounding the most important questions to ask prescribers prior to a psychiatric evaluation and/or advocating on behalf of my clients on request. I am most in my element acting as a guide for people who desire to learn about an array of natural health approaches in conjunction with reducing and/or graduating completely from psychotropic medications.

How do you embrace change in your life? How can we be more open to necessary changes?

Within the therapeutic setting, one thing that many people seem to have in common with regard to a personal ‘quest for truth’ is an awareness that they are in the midst of some sort of life transition.

One of the things I often try to convey to folks through my work is that in order to embrace necessary change in our lives, it is fundamental that we are first able to recognize and understand that our lives are never-ending cycles of (self) transformation, the pace and process of which is not able to be measured from person to person, or situation to situation.  If the essence of life hinges on transformation, then, it makes sense for us to invest in learning about change as a phenomenon.

The Universe is a vast, expansive and infinite space, brimming with possibility and potential! It is fully invested in our personal growth and healing (processes which are facilitated, in part, by our loving, spirit guides), and ever keen for us to take advantage of the potential truths and freedoms inherent in change. The great news is that all of us have spirit guides belonging to us, who are kindly focused on leading us to the highest transformative possibilities. The vast majority of us do not receive news of such possibilities from patron saints yielding banners decrypted with who, what, where and when, as they relate to our individual change opportunities! More often than not, the winds of change are breathed to us through chronic feelings of emptiness and unhappiness; growing awareness of stuck negative behavior patterns; strong gut feelings (positive or negative); repeated sightings of certain animals; balanced advice from caring and trusted friends/partners; vivid or precognitive dreams; déjà vu experiences and/or weirdly synchronistic events.

Paying attention to the preceding signs is important: it behooves us to listen to our intuition, and confirmations of such, so that the necessary changes to our personal/life development can be entered into with as much ease and control as possible.  Changing our attitude towards the dissonance, boredom, anxiety and despair so often felt in certain situations, from one of “this must just be my fate”, to one that recognizes stagnant and unhealthy situations as invitations to move forward, is paramount when it comes to exercising our ability to “take the bull by the horns”, so to speak, and take the steps necessary to create and embrace change in our lives.

While the Universe is patient, and supports and encourages us to take charge of our own destiny, when we continue to ignore our intuition we run the risk of giving up our agency with regard to change: rather than embracing our opportunities to navigate life changes with comfort, curiosity and excitement, we wait to be bolstered into change amidst circumstances that may be filled with grief, suffering, danger and/or trauma.

In short, remembering, and striving to pay attention to the many signals we are given is a wonderful way to ensure gentle alignment with our true path(s).