Whole Person Healthcare: Tool Kits
2010 APA Convention
Sponsored by Div. 32; co-sponsored by Div. 42, Div. 10
Friday, 8/10, 8-9:50AM, San Diego Convention Center, Rm. 3
The following proposal has been approved for Continuing Education units for Division 32:
Chairs: Ilene Serlin, Past-Pres. Div. 32, and James Bray, Past-Pres. APA
Discussant: Melba J T Vasquez, Pres.-Elect APA
Whole Person Healthcare: Tool Kits
Integrative therapies have become increasingly popular in clinical and psychotherapeutic settings, complementing traditional medical and psychotherapeutic practices. A whole person approach brings psychologists into a collaborative relationship with other health professionals, and can introduce integrative methods from a uniquely psychological perspective. While integrative psychology is a field that is ripe for clinicians, most clinicians are not trained in how to integrate these techniques into their ongoing therapeutic practices.
This workshop, therefore, teaches clinicians basic whole person psychology and integrative Tool Kit practices. It is based on the textbook Whole Person Healthcare's foundation in research and theory. Whole person healthcare integrates the best of medical and psychological practices into a biopsychosocialspiritual model. While traditional psychology has celebrated the Decade of Behavior and the Year of Cognition, it is now time for a psychology of the whole person, which integrates behavior, cognition, and consciousness-body, mind, and spirit. It looks at the impact of life-style on health issues and educates patients to be informed consumers who practice prevention and make changes in their lives toward self-care and health. It relies on experiential as well as theoretical learning and utilizes symbolic and nonverbal as well as linear and verbal modes of expression, data gathering, and verification. It embraces diversity in all its aspects: cultural, interdisciplinary, and methodological. A psychological approach to whole person healthcare begins with the primacy of the human relationship and the therapeutic process. It looks at the meaning of symptoms, and their biological and behavioral causes. It helps people with a broad spectrum of medical conditions, as well as reducing stress and enhancing personal effectiveness through methods such as meditation, imagery, biofeedback, movement and art.
This workshop will teach practitioners how to integrate simple whole person approaches into their ongoing clinical practices through lecture, demonstration, and experiential exercises.
(1) Using Guided Imagery
Guided imagery is a term used to describe a simultaneous information processing mode which underlies the holistic, synthetic, pattern thinking of the unconscious mind. As a mental thought process, guided imagery has sensory elements; guided imagery is something we see, hear, taste, smell, touch or feel. Guided imagery has been shown to affect almost all physiologic control systems of the body including respiration, heart rate, blood pressure, metabolic rates in cells, gastrointestinal mobility and secretion, sexual function, cortisol levels, blood lipids, and even immunity responsiveness. Guided imagery has an ancient lineage for healing that applies across a wide diversity of cultures. The benefits of healing imagery are evident in Ayurvedic, Chinese, Japanese, European, Native American and various indigenous healing cultures. Indeed, what some in the United States call 'alternative medicine' constitutes primary health care for 80% of humans worldwide."
The dramatic consumer increase in and use of complementary and alternative treatments attests to a paradigm shift incorporating a holistic approach to integrated healthcare, prevention and wellness. Guided imagery often ranks high within lists of the most popular and accessible integrative modalities that resonate across different sociocultural ethnicities.
(2) Biofeedback Stress Profile
Profiling the human stress response in a clinical setting provides for both training personal awareness of stress as well as learning about biofeedback principles. For example, visibly displaying a response to a stressful task not only brings insight, but also awareness of HOW MUCH overexertion is occurring in areas such as muscle tension. This part of the workshop explores step-by-step methods for profiling stress. It covers theory, such as why the sequence of tasks matters during a stress profile protocol. It also covers practice, focusing on learning clinical skills such sensor placement as well as on skills for building rapport. Whereas clinical biofeedback usually focuses on treating symptoms, such as increasing circulation for people with cold hands, or increasing muscle strength for people in need of
occupational therapy, biofeedback also assists people with enhancing their performance, such as achieving a deeper state of meditative consciousness using brain-wave training, or improving a variety
of performance characteristics in sports. Whole person health care has a useful tool in biofeedback protocols that complement existing cognitive and behavioral psychotherapies.
(3) Incorporating Creativity into Clinical Practice
This talk presents a way of thinking about the creative process that serves as a guide to incorporating the concept of creativity into clinical practice, teaching and self-development. Inspired by Graham
Wallas's (1926) classic stage model of the creative process in science and mathematics, we update the language and extend that model to increase its applicability to the arts. Wallas's four stages are
Preparation, Incubation, Illumination and Verification, which we modify as Inspiration, Preparation, Incubation, Insight, Execution, and Evaluation. Also, in keeping with not taking stages of
psychological development too literally, we replace "stages" with the term "moments," recognizing that realistically, actual creative activity involves states of mind that are not sequential and always the same, but rather are recursive and dependent on the person, the medium and the context. In further modification of Wallas, these moments are also plastic. That is, they can be applied broadly,
to the "big picture" of a creative endeavor over days, months, or years; they can also be applied more narrowly to a single session in the studio or even to a few minutes of work. In this talk we will define these moments and illustrate them with examples from a variety of perspectives - broad and narrow. We will discuss he utility of naming and defining these moments as breaking down the complex concept of creativity into states of consciousness and behaviors, recognizable as what people actually do when they create, and as skills that can be developed. Besides treating moments of the creative process as states of mind and behaviors, we will make reference to the brain as providing for these moments through continual ordering and re-ordering of the thoughts and feelings that contribute to what we do, consciously and unconsciously, in creative activity and in everyday functioning.
Serlin, I.A. (2007) Whole Person Healthcare. Westport, Conn: Praeger.
Wallas, G. (1926). The Art of Thought. New York: Harcourt Brace.