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Many treatment facilities offer different types of therapies and approaches to caring for each client’s mental and physical health. Everybody requires a different type of treatment plan for their recovery because no two people’s minds and bodies function the same. There is a wide scope of factors that make up a person’s health, which is why a holistic approach is necessary for a successful recovery.

What Is a Holistic Approach to Treatment?

Holistic treatment does not refer to any specific type of treatment. Instead, it is a broad approach to treatment that recognizes how one aspect of a person’s health affects all other aspects of the person’s health. This includes psychological, spiritual, social, and physical aspects of health. Holistic treatment usually involves the practices of both conventional and complementary treatment options to be considerate of all elements that work to establish lasting wellness.

A holistic approach understands the importance of a doctor’s relationship with each client. Every person will require different types of treatment, even if two individuals have the same diagnosis. A doctor must consider a client’s cultural and economic background. On the other hand, traditional treatment usually uses conventional treatment methods and chooses to focus on one aspect of a person’s health at a time.

Conventional Treatment

Treatments accepted as mainstream in the health field are considered conventional treatments. Typically these treatment options originate from Western medical practices. This type of approach usually involves physicians, specialists, medications, and psychotherapy. 

During a person’s recovery journey, they may encounter several different types of conventional therapies, such as:

  1. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) 
  2. Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) 
  3. Medication-assisted treatment (MAT)

#1. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

This is the most common form of talk therapy. It is a combination of cognitive and behavioral approaches to mental health. In a CBT session, a therapist will analyze a client’s behaviors, thoughts, and feelings and how they affect one another. One of the primary goals of CBT is to identify, stop, and eventually change toxic beliefs and behaviors. This type of therapy functions on the belief that human behaviors are learned and, therefore, can be changed.

#2. Dialectical Behavior Therapy

This type of therapy was developed to treat people with borderline personality disorder (BPD). However, it has since been used to treat various mental health disorders, such as substance use disorders (SUDs) and depressive disorders.

DBT is derived from CBT with a focus on emotions, mindfulness, and acceptance-oriented tactics. Unlike CBT, DBT focuses on making clients feel valued through acceptance of themselves, their emotions, thoughts, the world, and others. It still strives to change clients’ negative beliefs and behaviors but balances this by promoting self-acceptance.

#3. Medication-Assisted Treatment

Many treatment facilities provide MAT to ease the detox process by mitigating withdrawal symptoms with various types of medications. These medications are safe medications that have been approved by the FDA for addiction treatment. 

Primarily, MAT is used for opioid and alcohol addictions. Some common forms of MAT include:

  • Buprenorphine Maintenance
  • Naltrexone
  • Suboxone
  • Prescription Drugs
  • Suboxone Maintenance
  • Vivitrol
  • Antabuse

Complementary Treatment

In holistic treatment, complementary practices are used in combination with conventional ones. Complementary treatments are non-Western forms of medicine that have been studied to have positive effects on mental health. As researchers learn more about these types of practices, they continue to become more mainstream in the health field.

Yoga and Breathwork

Breathwork is usually an aspect of yoga, but it can be practiced separately. Different types of deep or rapid breathing exercises can help a person gain control of their breath, relax, and feel better control over their body and mind.

Yoga uses breathwork in combination with movement. This allows a person to focus on both their physical and mental health. Through movement and breathwork, the person will be more in control of their thoughts which will help them relax. There are many different types of yoga. Some types of yoga focus on strength, others on breath and relaxation.

Mindfulness and Meditation

Meditation is often used to practice mindfulness. It uses guided imagery to promote relaxation and awareness. Being mindful means being present. The practice of mindfulness includes being aware of present thoughts, emotions, bodily sensations, and surroundings. It is a life philosophy as much as it is a relaxation technique and can give somebody better control of their thoughts and emotions. Mindfulness can also help people process events with better clarity.

Adventure Therapy

Traditional therapy often takes place in either a therapist’s office or via video chat. In these environments, clients can only give verbal information. With action therapy, clients engage in outdoor activities that allow a mental health professional to analyze body language. This type of therapy also promotes change by putting clients in an unfamiliar environment. Adventure therapy may include activities such as rock climbing, mountain biking, and hiking.

Art and Music Therapy

Creative expression can help people understand their emotions. It can also serve as a great source of communication between clients and mental health professionals. In art therapy, the creation of art can promote healing and exploration of the self. Some art therapy activities may include collage, painting, or photography. Music therapy can be used to uplift a person’s mood and as a tool to find a person’s identity. Some music therapy activities may include writing songs, dancing, and listening to and writing music.

Sound Bath Therapy

Unlike meditation and yoga, sound bath therapy is a relaxation technique that doesn’t involve guidance. The sound of singing bowls or gongs and their vibration provide a sensation that can help people be present and mindful. These sounds provide a sensation to focus on and, in doing so, can prevent an individual’s mind from wandering.

A holistic approach to treatment involves working on the health of your mind, body, and soul. It may take trial and error to find the integrated treatment plan that is right for you. West Coast Recovery Centers believes that complementary treatments can help you heal and better understand your emotions. We offer a variety of complementary services, including sound bath therapy, creative therapies, adventure therapy, and more. Our mental health professionals can work closely with you to find the right combination of conventional and unconventional techniques that will help you have a successful recovery. If you or someone you know is struggling with substance use, call (760) 492-6509 to learn more about our services.

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