Emotional or mental health issues cannot be adequately understood along one dimension alone. There are multiple variables at play, and in order to truly treat an issue, all relevant aspects of the issue have to be considered: Biological (brain), Psychological (mind), and Physical (body). In addition, sociological, cultural, relational, existential and spiritual issues have to also be explored.
Consider all the treatments, practices and interventions that are known to improve mental health : Exercise, Yoga & Body work, Nutrition & Supplementation, Meditation, various schools of Psychotherapy, Pharmacotherapy (medicines), and other biological treatments How does one use these methods in a synergistic way, appropriate to the individual’s case? That is the art and science of Holistic Psychiatry.
Integral Self Therapy
Developed by Dr Shyam Bhat, Integral Self Therapy (IST) is best defined as a transpersonal, nondual, psychotherapeutic method.
It is a form of transpersonal psychotherapy since practitioners of IST incorporate a spiritual understanding of the nature of the self into the therapeutic practice. IST has its theoretical foundations in the eastern paradigm of self-concept.
There is now plenty of research that proves that conditions that were thought of as physical illnesses are more accurately described as conditions that affect both mind and body. This include some of the biggest medical challenges of our time: heart disease, diabetes, and hypertension. Psychological factors and emotions play a significant role in the causation and perpetuation of these conditions and ideally treatment should integrate approaches that look at mind and body, rather than only the specific organ system.
Integrative Medicine is an approach where all relevant aspects of a medical condition are considered – mind, and body, lifestyle, cultural context and so on. In addition, mainstream and scientifically validated “alternative” treatments are integrated in a rational manner.