Integrative Mental Health
Integrative mental health treatment is a transformative approach to mental health care focusing on root causes of mental health and chronic pain symptoms.
At Cannectd, integrative mental health emphasizes the power of blending protocols from traditional therapy with innovative practices like plant medicine (botanical), psychedelic-assisted therapy (ketamine), pain reprocessing, nutrition, fitness, music, movement, breath work, meditation/mindfulness, acupuncture, EMDR, CBT, ego state work and IFS (internal family systems approach) and more.
Using a personalized combination of these methods, we support our patients in releasing stored trauma, mending broken attachments, and fostering deeper connections within themselves as well as their relationships with others.
Our approach to mental health and pain management offers promising holistic and compassionate evidence based treatment modalities that support our patients in decreasing pain and anxiety while elevating their quality of life and well-being.
Shari B. Kaplan, LCSW, and founder of Cannectd Wellness, advocates for the strengths perspective in social work, which emphasizes client self-determination, inner wisdom, resilience, and capabilities to help overcome deficits and negative beliefs.
Kaplan co-authored "Resiliency Enhancement," demonstrating how social workers can build on client strengths to enhance resilience. She also co-authored an article on utilizing the strengths perspective with culturally diverse clients in brief treatment.
Through her writing, Kaplan translates the strengths perspective from theory into clinical practice. She challenges dominant narratives of pathology by empowering clients and focusing on their intrinsic strengths and motivations to thrive.
The Strengths Perspective in Breif Treatment with Culturally Diverse Clients
Resiliency Enhancement - Putting the Strength Perspective Into Social Work Practice
Nutrition & Mental Health
Research shows a strong link between gut health and mental health. The gut microbiome - the microorganisms in the digestive tract - connects bidirectionally with the brain through the vagus nerve, hormones, and neurotransmitters. This means the foods you eat directly impact mood, memory, focus, and more.
Stress disrupts the gut microbiome balance and can cause over production of acid (destroying gut microorganisms and nutrients) and inflammation. An unhealthy gut environment contributes to anxiety, depression, and brain fog. The gut gets inflamed from a poor diet, chemicals, and the body's chronic stress response. Supporting gut health through an anti-inflammatory nutritious diet, feeding the gut microbiome with prebiotics, probiotics, plant medicine, and supplements, benefits mental health.
Key gut-healthy foods are fermented foods, high fiber foods, and foods with omega-3s and antioxidants. Limiting sugar, artificial ingredients, and saturated fats also helps. Lifestyle factors like managing stress, exercise, and sleep influence the gut-brain link. (An individuals specific gut microbiome will determine what foods are best for that individual).
For trauma survivors, gut-directed therapies may aid processing and recovery through approaches like probiotics, specialized meditation, breath work and vagus nerve stimulation exercises. Optimizing nutrition supports both digestive and mental health, a key part of integrated trauma care. The gut is our "second brain." Nurturing it helps heal body and mind.
Nutrition significantly impacts mental and physical health. Many leading causes of death like heart disease and cancer can be prevented through proper diet and lifestyle.
Personalized nutrition plans are essential, based on individual needs identified through assessments like NutrEval and micronutrient testing.
High quality supplements may be necessary even with a nutritious diet, as medications, aging, and processing deplete nutrients. Reputable brands like Xymogen and Pure Encapsulations are recommended.
Bioidentical hormone therapy utilizes plant-based hormones identical to those naturally occurring in the body. Treatment is customized through medical history, exams, body composition analysis, lab testing, etc. We recommend Dr. Genester Wilson-King at victoryrejuvenationcenter.com.
The goal is peak performance and wellness. An effective doctor-patient relationship develops individualized programs using optimized nutrition, exercise, and hormone balance to achieve the patient's health goals.
In summary, personalized plans for nutrition, supplements, exercise, and bioidentical hormones can help prevent disease, slow aging, and enable peak mental and physical wellbeing. Assessments and open communication facilitate customization to each patient's needs. For consultation appointments and assessments, please call our office or fill out the form to get in touch.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is EMDR?
EMDR is a modality of psychotherapy developed to treat trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other mental health symptoms. During EMDR sessions, the therapist leads the client in targeting negative beliefs through a multi-sensory and somatice process. Using bi-lateral eye movements, sound and touch, the therapist helps to release negative beliefs and create new pathways of empowering beliefs. This process helps to re-process traumatic memories, releasing the fight, flight/freeze respones, reducing their negative impact mentally and physically. The goal is to desensitize clients to past trauma and reprocess these disturbing memories into more adaptive mental representations.
What is Ketamine Assisted Therapy?
Ketamine-assisted therapy involves using low doses of ketamine alongside therapy for the treatment of mental health conditions like depression, anxiety, OCD and PTSD, as well as chronic pain. During ketamine-assisted therapy sessions, clients are administered low doses of ketamine intramuscularly, orally, or intravenously while undergoing therapy before and after. Ketamine works quickly to relieve symptoms of depression, anxiety, OCD and chronic pain. The psychedelic effects of ketamine at low doses can lead to lowering self defenses and being more open to allow engagement in therapy with greater emotional, cognitive, and psychological flexibility. In slightly higher doses, ketamine offers an alter state of consciousness allowing opportunities of new perspectives to be intruduced on targeted areas of treatment goals. Ketamine is thought to promote neural plasticity, which enhances the therapy process. The combination of ketamine's pharmacological effects and therapy can lead to long-term changes in thinking, emotions, and behavior. Individuals are thoroughly screened medically and psychologically to evaluated preparedness and fit for Ketamine treatments.
How is Meditation Helpful to my Mental Health?
Meditation enhances mental health in several key ways. It reduces stress and anxiety by lowering cortisol and activating the relaxation response. Meditation builds emotion regulation skills for managing feelings reflectively instead of reflexively. It increases self-awareness and insight through non-judgmental observation of thoughts and emotions. Meditation can lead to beneficial changes in brain function related to focus, memory, empathy, and emotion regulation. Mindfulness meditation promotes present moment awareness, decreasing rumination and worry underlying many mental health issues. Meditation also strengthens feelings of human connection and provides effective, accessible coping skills for mental health struggles. Additionally, meditation improves sleep, which is essential for mental health. In summary, meditation facilitates both immediate calming effects and long-term transformations in thoughts, emotions, behaviors, and physiology that together benefit mental wellbeing. Meditation can be different for each individual. If you haven't been able to meditate in the past, we can help you discover your individual approach.
What is IFS?
Internal Family Systems (IFS) is a therapeutic approach that views the mind as containing multiple subpersonalities called "parts," each with its own perspective and qualities. At the core of every individual is the Self, which is the seat of compassion, confidence, curiosity, and other positive qualities. The Self leads the other parts in a healthy system. However, trauma can cause certain "protective parts" to become extreme in their roles of shielding the individual. There are also "wounded parts" carrying emotional pain. IFS aims to heal these parts by having clients access their core Self, understand their extreme parts, and address the underlying wounds. This allows the parts to relinquish their problematic roles and return to their valuable intentions. As parts become less polarized, the Self is freed to lead with compassion, resulting in greater inner connection and alignment. IFS is an evidence-based therapy shown to help many mental health issues by transforming the inner system. IFS also provides a framework for understanding relationships and living with confidence, calm, courage and other positive qualities stemming from the Self. It is a perspective on how our minds can transform suffering into wisdom and lead to deeper fulfillment. When used together with EMDR transformation can occur rapidly.
What is CBT?
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is an effective psychological treatment for many mental health conditions like depression, anxiety, substance use, and more. It is based on the idea that thoughts, behaviors, and emotions interact and contribute to mental health problems. The main goals of CBT are to identify unhelpful thoughts and behaviors and learn new skills to improve functioning and quality of life. Strategies include recognizing distorted thinking, problem-solving, facing fears, and relaxation techniques. CBT is a collaborative effort between the therapist and client. Through exercises in therapy and homework, clients learn to become their own therapists by changing negative thought patterns, emotions, and behaviors. The focus is on current problems and moving forward, rather than the past. CBT is an underlying modality that flows through all of our psychotheraputic processes.
What is Ego State work?
Ego states are parts of ourselves that become frozen in time, stuck in a particular emotional experience that was overwhelming. Later in life, reminders of the experience can trigger us to act from that childish, adolescent, or emotional ego state rather than our mature adult self. Ego state therapy aims to help people understand their original attachments to family and their impact on the devolpment of the ego states, the different parts of themselves that were wounded and repair and re-establish inner harmony. Banished or unwelcome ego states can interfere with goals, plans, safety and wellbeing. Ego state therapy provides techniques to work with these fragmented parts of ourselves so we can integrate them into our whole self. By addressing unresolved emotions locked in ego states, people can reduce internal tensions and access their inner wisdom and maturity in the present.