Skip to main content

What Is Holistic Psychiatry?

Holistic refers to the “whole person” approach in health care interventions. It is considered a simultaneous focus on a person’s body and mind for complete and total healing. There are various treatment centers that view holistic approaches such as holistic psychiatry as more of an opportunity for patients to have their physical and psychological needs better met. 

The main holistic approaches such as meditation, massage therapy, acupuncture, and yoga help patients to see the major improvements not only in their rehabilitation but in various other aspects of their daily lives too. There has been an ongoing healthcare trend in the last few decades that has been incorporating alternative, holistic, and complementary treatment approaches into more standard therapies for an extensive range of ailments. It’s important to note that substance abuse addiction treatment isn’t an exception to this. 

There is a great variety of holistic techniques that are thoroughly utilized in rehab centers around the US today. Today’s blog will discuss holistic treatment programs, the benefits of holistic psychiatry for addiction treatment, and different types of holistic psychiatry. 

What Is a Holistic Treatment Program?

Generally, rehab programs that are able to incorporate holistic approaches carefully consider an integrated mental, spiritual, and physical approach in order to properly build out an all-inclusive treatment regimen for a variety of substance abuse disorders. There are numerous procedures that are also categorized as complementary and alternative treatments. 

Some treatments are more based on applications that can derive from various cultural traditions such as:

  • Reiki, along with other forms of energy work 
  • Neurofeedback and biofeedback 
  • Acupressure and acupuncture 
  • Meditation and yoga
  • Nutritional therapy
  • Herbal medicines 
  • Massage 

According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, around 4 out of 10 adults in the United States utilize a form of complementary and alternative medicine, also known as (CAM). As time continues, the trend seems to be ongoing. A fundamental characteristic that is present throughout numerous of these techniques is simply that they are intended, at the root, to improve overall well-being and treat the whole person. 

Instead of targeting one single element of a person’s behaviors or symptoms. By keeping this in mind, a holistic approach to addiction treatment ideally should aim not only to reduce isolated and addictive behaviors but to sufficiently address a wide range of elements that greatly play a role in addiction development. 

What Are the Benefits of Holistic Psychiatry for Addiction Treatment? 

There are various benefits of holistic psychiatry for addiction treatment. In a few scenarios, holistic approaches are utilized to supplement particular features of more standard recovery efforts. 

By implementing these efforts, the overall approaches assist with the following:

  • Stress and other emotional matters that might have supported the full development of compulsive substance use patterns.
  • Unhealthy eating habits that can result in malnutrition together with chronic substance use.
  • Particular withdrawal symptoms such as pains, muscle aches, and massages. 
  • A lack of spiritual grounding.

Some holistic techniques, such as Reiki, seek to correct an imbalance that is energetic and theoretical through body energy manipulation. Supporters of CAM methods advocate that they can overall improve the chances of long-lasting recovery from various substance use disorders. However, it is normally recommended that holistic therapies be used in combination with various standard treatment efforts, and not as a form of a replacement for more evidence-based and traditional approaches. 

How Effective Are Holistic Techniques in Rehab?

Due to the lack of research that has been accumulated on how effective holistic techniques are in rehab, it is still largely unknown and often fiercely argued. The inconclusive research found on the efficacy of holistic psychiatry is not only challenging to locate but not promising to read. In a few cases, holistic treatments have the ability to attract the following individuals.

  • People who otherwise might not be interested in traditional treatments
  • Individuals who are more willing to try other research-based treatments that provide a stronger likelihood of long-lasting recovery
  • Individuals who are more comfortable with attending treatment 

Additionally, the use of these specific therapies can assist individuals in feeling the following:

  • Be more productive in their treatment response
  • Be better able to cope with rehab and detox challenges
  • Become more at ease

What Researchers Say About the Effectiveness of Holistic Techniques

The majority of experts agree that research-based, conventional detox and addiction treatment, specifically provided through a residential program, are most likely to support a person in maintaining recovery. Matter of fact, the holistic label might indicate an extensive range of alternative or complementary treatment offerings. Upon considering various rehabilitation centers, individuals might need to engage in adequate research to determine particular locations that offer holistic psychiatry.

During this time of researching what might be ideal for your needs, remember to ask about the therapies offered, the cost of care, and the training of the individuals providing the therapies. Even though CAM treatments typically lack evidence-based programs, when it comes to their overall addiction treatment effectiveness, there is evidence indicating that satisfaction with treatment is related to treatment completion and retention measures. Both can identify with more favorable treatment outcomes. 

It is logical to assume that specific holistic therapies, such as meditation, acupuncture, massage, and yoga are utilized to build up more traditional addiction treatment therapies that can add to treatment satisfaction in a few instances such as the following:

What Are Some Methods Used in Holistic Psychiatry? 

Holistic psychiatry or alternative mental health techniques are being incorporated more and more. There are a variety of methods utilized in holistic psychiatry and many psychiatrists that would suggest that individuals engage in healthier behaviors. Holistic psychiatry utilizes the mind and body methods not just as a complement to traditional methods, but more as a basis for treatment. 

Proper Supplements and Nutrition 

Diet is one of the most fundamental aspects when it comes to an individual’s well-being and overall health. The saying, “You are what you eat” holds huge truth. When an individual consumes food, it not only affects the individual’s weight, functioning of his or her body, and health, but it significantly affects his or her emotions and mind as well. 

Additionally, to the food that an individual eats, natural supplements can assist individuals in ensuring that they are receiving the right nutrients that provide support and balance for overall wellness and health. The use of supplements is increasing as a section of alternative mental health

Daily Meditation 

Meditation is certainly gaining popularity because it has been proven by research that it’s an effective and safe method to calm the body and mind. There are many individuals who are engaging in meditation as it as a vital part of their day. 

One of the most interesting aspects of meditation is it doesn’t matter if you have five minutes or an hour available, meditation can assist in resetting your mood and mind. There are a variety of mental health professionals actively recommending meditation to their patients in numerous treatment options for their mental health conditions. 


Journaling is another healthy method to address emotional and mental well-being. It is a well-known method to assist individuals to cope and further deal with their stress. Matter of fact, studies have indicated that keeping a journal assists in improving mental distress and the levels of overall well-being. 


Massages are considered a great stress reliever, and a way to find relaxation. 

Emotional Freedom Technique or Tapping

The emotional freedom technique (EFT)  or tapping is quickly gaining popularity with various holistic psychiatrists and their patients. It is simple to learn, non-invasive, and can even be used daily or even on the spot as needed. It involves using pressure points on a person’s body in order to help promote a calming and soothing effect. 


One of the most common methods of holistic psychiatry is medication. However, it can be nerve-wracking for numerous patients since medications can come with serious side effects. It is essential that all aspects of medications are thoroughly discussed prior to a final decision being made. 

Talk Therapy

Another common method of holistic psychiatry is talk therapy. The counselors make their patients feel comfortable and they are readily accessible. It can be extremely helpful for individuals to witness a nonjudgemental person that is able to help them see:

  • Behaviors
  • Patterns 

Then from there, form a solid plan for the future in order to alleviate excessive depression, anxiety, stress, and any other mental health issues. 

Peer Support 

Peer support groups are easily accessible often and have proven data to showcase their effectiveness. The examples of peer support groups are the following:

  • Over Eaters Anonymous 
  • Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)
  • Al-Anon
  • Groups for victims of domestic violence 

Peer support groups can be a nice addition to a holistic or conventional mental health plan. 

Recovery Awaits at Harmony Place Today

For the above-mentioned reasons, holistic practices are a positive supplement to more evidence-based methods. It’s evident to see why individuals are moving more towards holistic psychiatry. It’s a wonderful mental health model that honors the mind-body connection. 

An overall healthy lifestyle can greatly impact well-being and mental health. If you or someone you love is interested in learning more about holistic psychiatry and the potential benefits, contact us today to get started. Your journey awaits.