Treatment Planning in Integrative Mental Health Care

  • James H. Lake


The limitations of current treatments in psychiatry are reviewed. As many as one half of individuals being treated for a psychiatric “disorder” fail to respond or respond only partially to psychotropic medications and other conventional Western medical treatments and are labeled “treatment-resistant” or “non-responders.” The role of placebo and nocebo effects in Western medicine and CAM is discussed. Safety, liability, and ethical issues in integrative mental health care are reviewed. Research findings are providing evidence for safety and efficacy of select CAM treatments of depressed mood, anxiety, and other mental health problems, including pharmaceutical-grade natural products, lifestyle modifications, and others. The major categories of CAM modalities used to treat mental health problems and to maintain wellness are introduced. The goals of integrative mental health care are described and safety and ethical issues are reviewed. A methodology for selecting appropriate modalities when planning integrative care is presented, including considerations of treatment precedence and treatment selection when managing moderate versus severe symptoms. Strategies are described for developing a realistic treatment plan that is both acceptable and affordable to the patient. The treatment plan should be reviewed and modified until the most effective realistic combination of Western medical and CAM treatments has been identified and successfully implemented. Methods are developed for refining and optimizing the integrative treatment plan and evaluating compatibility and synergy between two or more modalities. Considerations of ongoing care versus termination are discussed.


Limitations of conventional mental health care CAM treatments of affective, cognitive and behavioral symptoms Treatment planning in integrative mental health care Ethical and liability issues in integrative mental health care Safety issues in integrative mental health care Enhancing outcomes through synergistic effects 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • James H. Lake
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Integrative MedicineUniversity of Arizona College of MedicineTucsonUSA

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