What is Integrative Psychiatry?
Integrative psychiatry is the application of the principles of Integrative Medicine to the brain and mind. Rather than focus solely on the brain, integrative psychiatry recognizes the interactions of the brain with the rest of the body systems, and takes a systemic approach to treatment of mental diseases. An integrative approach to psychiatry embraces an intelligent combination of conventional treatments, such as psychotropic medications and psychotherapy, and complementary treatments. This includes comprehensive diagnostic evaluations and appropriate treatment planning.
Integrative Psychiatry in Practice
Integrative psychiatry appreciates the benefits and contributions of Western medicine and is also aware of its limitations for many patients, especially for those with chronic diseases. For some patients, depression, anxiety, OCD, or chronic fatigue can be treated with the right medications alone. However, many patients may need to address these issues in other ways. As each patient is unique, so too is the mixture of approaches that is most effective.
When we work with patients using an integrative approach to mental health, we may recommend examining thought patterns through psychotherapy, mind-body interventions such as mindfulness, yoga, breathing, meditation, detoxification, nutritional changes, supplements or herbs, exercise, an examination of environmental factors, or other treatments. We may also recommend specialized testing to identify any nutritional, immune, hormonal, infectious, genetic or other issues that may affect health.
With integrative psychiatry, just like integrative medicine in general, we aim to incorporate the best of all available approaches, both conventional and non-conventional, in order to establish and maintain optimal health while respecting the complexity and individuality of each person. Serving Brooklyn, Dr. Beata Lewis, MD and the clinicians of Mind Body Seven specialize in integrative psychiatry and psychopharmacology.