Tuesday, June 17, 2014


Cleveland Clinic has a Center for Integrative Medicine with an aim of increasing the wellness of its patients by doing more than attacking the illness.  They offer something they call holistic psychotherapy.

Holistic psychotherapy services include traditional talk psychotherapy and non-traditional therapies including hypnosis, heart-centered hypnotherapy/regression therapy, breath therapy, rebirthing breath and guided imagery. Holistic psychotherapy is only delivered by a clinician with a license in clinical social work, clinical counseling, or psychology and certification in advanced clinical hypnotherapy.”  (From Cleveland Clinic’s website)

Wake Forest Baptist Health also has a Center for Integrative Medicine. It describes it this way on its website.

Integrative Medicine is evidence-based, relationship-centered care, promoting optimal health. It is a system of comprehensive care that emphasizes wellness and healing of the whole person, with special emphasis on patient and family participation, and attention to mental and spiritual health. The knowledge and use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) is an important aspect of Integrative Medicine. Integrated Medicine uses the best of both conventional and complementary strategies to attain patients' health goals.   

The problem is not that integrative or holistic medicine is not moving into mainstream institutions, but rather what they mean by integrative or holistic.  When I first saw someone other than myself use the word bio-psycho-social-spiritual, I thought we were headed down the right road.  However, I was not smart enough to think about all the definitions that could be used for all four parts of the word. 

Ask yourself why Cleveland Clinic started its Center for Integrative Medicine.  Was it because the corporation had some giant philosophical awakening or was it to stop the loss of patients to alternative medical businesses? Holistic psychotherapy?  When on earth were they not supposed to be looking at the whole person?

When I say I what to see holy in holistic, I simply mean I want to see the medical community and psychiatry, which I am not sure belongs in the medical community, start to recognize the possibility that a person’s faith may go further than a simple placebo effect because the person is connected by faith to a real spiritual force we call God.

People having an eternal soul is not what most of this emerging trend in integrative medicine is about. Until they put that real piece in, they are just building another fad on sand and the ocean will wash their sand castle away when the next tide comes in.  

© Ed Cooper, June 17, 2014, Stoney Creek, Tennessee    
    All rights reserved    

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