Why Integrative Approaches to Wellness ?
“Integrative medicine is the treatment of patients through spiritual, emotional, mental, and environmental in addition to the physical means. The general principle is that all aspects of the patient are considered in treating illness, which include natural and less invasive alternatives when possible. The patient and health care provider form a partnership that allows for a holistic approach that includes beliefs, overall wellness, and community to the healing of the mind and body. Specific techniques can include acupuncture, nutritional advisement, mind-body therapies . . . but may involve any effective natural treatment outside of conventional methodology. However, the treatments are still rooted in scientific discovery and inquiry.” - Gannotta, R., Malik, S, et. al. Integrative Medicine as a Vital Component of Patient Care
“The profession of psychiatry is a very unhappy profession today. . . Almost all of what it does is give people biochemicals in an effort to change disordered thought processes and disordered mood. If you believed the pharmaceutical advertising; anxiety and depression would be things of the past. The combination of lack of efficacy and the stifling of creativity is the reason for widespread unhappiness. The time is right for a paradigm shift from the biomedical model in the treatment of mood disorders.” - Andrew Weil, MD (2016)
What Is Integrative Mental Healthcare (I.M.H.)?
Is person-centered, considers the needs and the unique circumstances of each client.
Alongside symptom reduction, personal growth and beneficial shifts in conscious awareness is pursued.
Supports optimal health, treatment is not only about symptoms or disorders.
Values both standard care approaches like psychotherapy or medications and alternative or natural therapies - whatever works best and safely.
Recognizes that healing requires a commitment on the part of those choosing to heal and those supporting the healing process.
Integrative mental healthcare is a rapidly growing discipline as more Americans seek to include alternative and complementary therapies, like nutrition, acupuncture or yoga, into their self-care and healing practices. Reducing or limiting the adverse side-effects caused by psychotropic medications may occur when holistic interventions are combined effectively. However, few mental health providers – from psychiatrists to counselors – have the necessary education, training and experience required. A survey of pediatric resident physicians at Baylor University in Texas showed that while over 80% of patients asked about integrative medicine options, nearly 90% of the doctors admitted their knowledge of integrative medicine was too limited (Ziodeen KA, Misra SM: Complementary and integrative medicine attitudes and perceived knowledge in a large pediatric residency program. Complement Ther Med. 2018, 37:133-135).
Pacific Psychological Care
At Pacific Psychological Care our primary mission is to advance mental health treatments using an integrative, holistic, mind-body-spirit approach. Dr. Bruno the clinical director has nearly 35 years committed himself to ongoing education, training and practice of integrative, complementary, and alternative therapies for mental health care. Complementary & alternative methods are combined with traditional mental health care like psychotherapy or psychiatric medications. By focusing on a client's unique psychological, family, biochemical, and nutritional status, a customized holistic treatment is created to support their wellness goals.
In addition to conventional psychotherapies, we might recommend nutritional therapies, psycho-sensory healing techniques or biofeedback technologies. Functional lab tests may be needed to identify underlying biological issues; like nutritional imbalances, inflammation, food sensitivities or allergies, gut ‘microbiome’ status, environmental toxins, blood sugar or hormonal imbalances. Seldom are these vital functional labs used by conventional psychiatrists or primary physicians, when patients present with mental health symptoms. Too often psychiatric drugs are the first and only prescribed treatment; when healthier, safer and natural alternative are available.
Our clinic staff strives to offer safe and effective mental & behavioral health treatments to provide clients with: a). prolonged relief or resolution of their symptoms; b). tools, understanding and motivation for sustained self-care; and c). help identifying the underlying factors, which contributed to their mental & behavioral health challenges. Ever accumulating scientific research illustrates the role of nutrition has in the onset, severity, and duration of mental illness. Moreover, when nutrient levels are appropriately replenished, symptoms and treatment outcomes are greatly improved. Most mental health providers are familiar with a few nutrients (e.g., melatonin or SAMe), but lack the expertise to truly design individualized nutrient programs.
Dr. Bruno has decades of experience with nutritional therapies for the brain, including targeting mental-emotional health goals. He has studied and trained from leading experts in Orthomolecular Psychiatry and Functional Medicine, such as Dr. Bill Walsh, Dr. Jeffrey Bland, Dr. Abram Hoffer, Dr. Bernard Jenson, Dr. Natalie Sattler and Julia Ross, M.A. Over five years, Dr. Bruno trained with Body Electronics pioneer and naturopathic healer, Dr. John Ray.
During the 1990s, Dr. Bruno started the “Center for Nutritional Psychology,” which offered classes and conducted several research studies on the impact of nutrition on children’s mood, behavior and performance. Dr. Bruno is a popular speaker at conferences on the topics of diet, integrative therapies and mental health. He is author of (2014) “Eat Light & Feel Bright: Microalgae Solutions for Individual and Planetary Health.”
Dr. Bruno has a whole new slant on nutrition! . . . He is a popular speaker for our school's health education program and surprises the students and teaches alike with amazing facts on our nation's eating habits. His use of nutritional research to shed light on common misconceptions encourages his audience to re-think the way we view nutrition. You will never look at food the same way again!
- Kathy Biddle, R.N., Cabrillo School Health Education Committee, Pacifica, CA
Alternative therapies means these approaches are either based on time-honored traditions or are considered experimental, non-scientific, or not the current standard of care. Yet often some therapies that once were considered alternative or fringe, like acupuncture or nutritional therapies, eventually become standards of care.
At our clinic, alternative therapies are often integrated with standard psychotherapy care or with these therapies can be experienced as stand-alone treatments, which do not require an ongoing relationship with a psychotherapist.