Mental Health & Cognitive Health

Integral Counseling & Psychotherapy

Aside from lifestyle counseling, my current practice blends traditional psychotherapy with hypnotherapy and naturopathic/chinese medical therapies. I also make generous use of body-centered approaches, such as craniosacral / somato-emotional release therapy, hakomi, bio – and core-energetics, as well as gestalt based body centered approaches to therapy.

My philosophy and approach to counseling lies comfortably in what’s come to be called Integral Psychology / psychotherapy following the work of Ken Wilber. Integral Psychology integrates all the different schools of psychotherapeutic thought into a framework that recognizes each of their (partial) accuracy and usefulness for understanding and therapeutically accessing particular levels of consciousness and aspects of the mind. In other words, when it comes to gaining insight and help from therapy, what matters most is what you individually need – what approach is right for your situation. In practice, I make use of techniques from gestalt therapy, mindfulness based cognitive therapy (as well as other experiential approaches), and Bert Hellinger’s Family Constellation work. There are however, also strong traces of dreamwork, depth psychology, and Jungian models in my work, all of which I feel, form a natural and synergistic union.

The Mind, and Emotions in Medicine

As naturopathic physicians, we treat people, not their diseases, disorders, or labels. An individual can not be understood as a list of medical problems, concerns or labels, but rather as a person who feels, has hopes and fears, a family, past, and dreams of the future. In short, in naturopathic medicine, there is no distinction made between mind and body – as there shouldn’t be; the neurological system mediates the experiences of both.

Naturopathic Psychiatry

Naturopathic Psychiatry is an integrative approach to mental and emotional health and dysfunction. It combines integral psychology and counseling methods, as well as the gamut of naturopathic assessments and treatment options from functional and orthomolecular medicine, mind- body medicine and bodywork, homeopathy, Chinese medicine and acupuncture, herbal medicine – both Chinese and Western, and of course, conventional psychiatric approaches including medication. It is in short, an integrative approach to mental health that emphasizes a mind-body approach, while  aiding the mind-body-spirit to regain health and balance via as natural approach as possible, while respecting the role and place of medication.

Clinical Hypnotherapy

Hypnotherapy is the skilled medical application of hypnosis which is a natural state of selective heightened focused attention of the mind in which the mind relaxes, yet full awareness of self and surroundings remain, once the mind is relaxed in trance the conscious relaxes opening access to the subconscious mind where change of limiting beliefs and behaviors takes place.

Hypnotherapy is effective because it focuses on the mind; the mind controls the body, organs, voluntary and involuntary reflexes, muscles, nervous system, all areas of the brain, thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.  The mind, body and spirit are connected; hypnotherapy brings the body back into balance through direct communication with your subconscious mind; you learn to control your own thoughts by reprogramming pain signals and negative limiting beliefs with your desired new positive thoughts and behaviors.

The Medical applications of hypnotherapy include more rapid recovery from treatments and surgeries, reduction of chronic pain, stress, high blood pressure, and heart disease.  Hypnotherapy addresses the issues behind negative limiting behaviors such as smoking, unhealthy weight, fears, lack of self-esteem, and dis-ease offering support in making desired changes allowing immediate access to your subconscious mind to create positive lasting change through positive therapeutic suggestions.

Through hypnotherapy it is possible for you to eliminate the emotional baggage creating your health issues, emotional pain of false beliefs and the personal lies we decided about ourselves as children; by replacing our negative thoughts with new positive beliefs releasing the past negative emotions promoting health and greater self-love.

Mental Field Therapy & Energy Psychotherapy

Mental Field Therapy is an effective form of therapy that combines aspects of traditional chinese medicine and acupuncture meridians with psychotherapy, with the goal of uncovering mental-emotional factors interfering with your overall health and well-being. This is accomplished through a guided dialogue process which occurs while certain points on one’s acupuncture meridians are stimulated.

PSYCHOKINESIOLOGY

Psychokinesiology combines muscle testing (applied kinesiology), along with acupuncture theory and cognitive techniques, in order to rebalance the communication between the different neurological aspects of the individual – the unconscious and conscious mind, emotions and cognition. Essentially it readjusts the flow of emotional energy flowing throughout the individual system, directly accessing and correcting imbalances in the mind-body system.

FLOWER ESSENCES

Flower essences are an integral part of my practice at the clinic, specifically with the psychokinesiology and mental/emotional work. Flower essences gently restore the balance between mind and body by balancing emotional states, such as, fear, worry, hatred and indecision, which interfere with the equilibrium of the being as a whole.

Flower essences are made by infusing flowers, plants or certain parts of trees in spring water, and then adding alcohol as a preservative. The underlying philosophy focuses on stabilizing emotions in order to dissipate illness and stimulate internal healing processes.

White Rock Naturopathic provides access to the entire range of over 140 flower essences, including the entire North American Flower Essence Society’s collection and Dr Bach’s original flower essence collection.

SOME EXAMPLES OF VARIOUS FLOWER ESSENCES’ CHARACTERISTICS:

  • Black-Eyed Susan Rudbeckia hirta (yellow/black center)Positive qualities: Awake consciousness capable of acknowledging all aspects of the Self; penetrating insight and self-aware behavior
    Patterns of imbalance: Avoidance or repression of traumatic or shadow aspects of the personality, addictive or hypnotic behavior due to loss of consciousness
  • Bleeding Heart Dicentra formosa (pink)Positive qualities: Ability to love others unconditionally, with an open heart; emotional freedom
    Patterns of imbalance: Entangled in relationships based on fear, possessiveness or neediness; emotional co-dependence
  • Dogwood Cornus nuttallii (yellow/white bracts)Positive qualities: Grace-filled movement, physical and etheric harmony in the body
    Patterns of imbalance: Awkward and painful awareness of the body; latent emotional trauma or abuse affecting the body, accident prone
  • Lady’s Slipper (Yellow) Cypripedium parviflorum (yellow)Positive qualities: Higher purpose aligned with daily work, integration of spiritual vision with vital forces in the root and creative chakras
    Patterns of imbalance: Life purpose and direction not aligned with outer activity; nervous exhaustion or sexual depletion due to inability to access life force in the lower chakras
  • Love-Lies-Bleeding Amaranthus caudatus (red)Positive qualities: Transcendent consciousness, the ability to move beyond personal pain, suffering or mental anguish; transpersonal vision; compassionate acceptance of life karma
    Patterns of imbalance: Intensification of pain and suffering due to isolation; profound melancholia or despair due to the over-personalization of one’s pain

Did you know….

  • Dr. Oz recommend Rescue Remedy for stress
  • Selma Hayek mentioned in InStyle magazine that she has used rescue pastilles to help with crazy busy days, keeps her calm.
  • Emma Watson says about Rescue Remedy “A few drops under my tongue before I go out calms me down. It’s in my makeup bag all the time.”
  • Jay McCarrol, the winner of the reality TV show Project Runway, used Rescue Remedy on the show’s grand finale???
  • Jennifer Anniston says it keeps her cool under pressure.
  • Cate Blanchett swears by it, and Salma Hayek has been a fan for years.
  • Martha Stewart uses Rescue Remedy and Rescue Sleep.
  • Van Morrison ordered Rescue Remedy before his performance in Texas, 2010.It’s called Bach’s “Rescue Remedy

Homeopathic Psychotherapy

Homeopathic Psychotherapy is essentially a homeopathically supported and guided form of psychotherapy. Traditionally in psychotherapy, the mode of treatment would be talking alone; as in talk therapy. In homeopathic psychotherapy, homeopathy is used to support, guide, and rebalance the mind and emotions, through the therapeutic process. Likewise with the other naturopathic modalities; nutrition, acupuncture, bodytherapy, and botanical medicine. This approach offers one many options to chose from, in supporting mental and emotional health, and restoring peace, clarity and balance.

Nootropics

An area of great interest in Dr Grodski’s practice is the use of nootropics to improve brain and mental function. Nootropics, also referred to as smart drugs, memory enhancers, cognitive enhancers, and intelligence enhancers, are drugs, supplements, nutraceuticals, and functional foods that improve mental functions such as cognition or thinking, memory, intelligence, motivation, attention, and concentration. The term ‘nootropic’ was in fact coined originally for brain enhancing drugs with very few side effects, that showed substantial benefit.

Nootropics are thought to work by altering the availability of the brain’s supply of neurochemicals (neurotransmitters, enzymes, and hormones), by improving the brain’s oxygen supply, circulation, inter-hemispherical communication, or by stimulating nerve growth.

Although many of these substances were discovered or designed initially to treat people with cognitive difficulties such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and ADHD, they are now used by a much larger population keen on improving their cognitive function.

Ecopsychology

From Wikipedia:

“The basic idea of ecopsychology is that while the human mind is shaped by the modern social world, [it can not be understood in isolation from] the wider natural world, because that is the arena in which it originally evolved. Mental health or unhealth cannot be understood simply in the narrow context of only intrapsychic phenomena or social relations. One also has to include the relationship of humans to other species and ecosystems. These relations have a deep evolutionary history; reach a natural affinity within the structure of their brains and they have deep psychic significance in the present time, in spite of urbanization. Humans are dependent on healthy nature not only for their physical sustenance, but for mental health, too. The destruction of ecosystems means that something in humans also dies.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ecopsychology

How does homeopathy relate? 

Well homeopathy has recognized for 200 years, that every substance – be it of the natural world or not, can be anthropomorphized or related to human behavior through the homeopathic method of provings. What that means, in essence, is that in relationship to humans, every substance in nature has a personality, in terms of physical, mental and emotional symptoms when taken homeopathically. These are refered to as homeopathic pictures – and they can refer to any aspect of health or disease. There are substances when made into homeopathic remedies that have aspects of nausea and certain aches and pains; and that is what they are used in turn to treat. But there are similarly remedies made from substances that have other more subtle aspects, such as exhibiting the behaviour of a type A personality (Nux-vomica being an example). These remedies, when taken by an individual who is sensitive to the characteristics of that particular remedy, will exhibit those very behavioral, physical, mental and emotional symptoms that are unique to that remedy. Likewise, someone else who is typically a type A personality, would benefit from taking that same remedy; their behavior would in turn become balanced; they might not necessarily stop being a type A personality (that isn’t exactly a disease after all), but they would find themselves a healthier, more balanced version of who they are (in this case, of a type A personality). And so, if they were suffering from lack of sleep, over-excitability, over working themselves, burning the candle at both ends, suffering from insomnia, irritability, etc., they would find themselves in turn, going to bed for a change, taking better care of themselves, while experiencing better health, both physically and mentally. All this while still remaining no less a type A personality, albeit a healthy version of one.

And thus, Ecopsychology – or rather, the psychology of ecology, is in truth, no different then the study of homeopathy. True, homeopathy is the system of medicine based on treating similars – a symptom present in a human, with a remedy from nature that exhibits a similar symptom in a healthy individual. But the homeopathic materia medica – the description of the remedies used in its practice, is essentially a whose who of the natural world. Much of what is described therein, is strangely enough found to support much of what we know as the symbolic world and natural archetypes. In other words, we call a certain tree a weeping willow, and then find that homeopathically such a tree is useful in cases of depression. Though one may think that homeopaths have jumped to certain conclusions about nature in arriving at such descriptions, this couldn’t be further from the truth; as there is a standardized double blind approach to obtaining homeopathic pictures from new substances. Instead, homeopaths are startled to find that after such proving methods have been used, their symbolical impressions of many natural substances are quite close to the information they obtained through the provings.

And so, one could say that in homeopathy we find a detailed description of the natural world as a symbolical world – rich with personality, physicality, emotion, and feeling. Perhaps this for you, as it does for me, suggests a natural world full of humanity – or dare I say, a world that was mistaken for being human, waking up to its true nature.

All of a sudden, man realizes that he’s had it completely backward this entire time; after all, it isn’t a natural world full of humanity, but rather simply, a natural world (period), no matter where one looks. You can not differentiate the human world from its environment – nature has no boundary, or limitations.

Perhaps you can not separate the human world from its environment, and it’s all Nature, but surely there still is some distinction to be had in that natural world? Certainly!

Psychology and Psychiatry

As the branch of medical science that deals with the causes, treatment, and prevention of mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders, psychiatry is differentiated from psychology in its current focus on biochemical approaches to mental health. Whereas psychology approaches the health of the mind with an emphasis on the behavioral and cognitive-emotive dynamics, psychiatry includes that framework in its synthesis as a factor, but only secondary to the biochemical mechanics of the mind. This bias of course, lends to a focus in conventional psychiatry on treating the disorder through medicating the patient based on symptomatology, or in other words, palliation. Historically however, this has not always been the case, as Carl Jung points out in his memoirs, “Freud introduced psychology into psychiatry, although he himself was a neurologist,” (p. 114, Jung: Memories, Dreams, Reflections, Vintage: 1965). Thus, both Jung and Freud practiced psychiatry in this integrated style that based psychopathology on first understanding the psychology of the patient as the context for the arising imbalance or disharmony. Once the psychology was understood, the treatment could be decided upon based on how the etiology of the disharmony developed from being psychogenic (yang/neurological/functional/psychological/energetic) to organic (yin/biochemical).

Although presently, psychology and psychiatry are often distinctly practiced conventionally, this is not the case in naturopathic medicine, where this integrated paradigm is practiced in regard to all disharmonies and imbalances. The patient is understood as a whole; a physical, psychological, spiritual, social, cultural entity, that lives within other wholes (families, communities, companies, nations, etc.), or holons as Ken Wilber puts it in his Integral Psychology.

Chinese Medicine

Please see: https://drgrodski.com/services/acupuncture/

HeartMath

HeartMath is a state-of-the-art modality used by individuals, educational systems, and the Government of the United States to optimize performance, reduce stress and improve health.

Since 1991, the Institute of HeartMath (IHM) has conducted leading-edge research on stress and emotional physiology, heart-brain interactions, the physiology of learning, optimal performance and technologies to improve emotional health and overall well-being.

Recent biomedical research has revealed that the heart is not merely a simple pump, but actually a highly complex, self-organized information-processing center. With each beat, the heart continuously communicates with the brain and body via the nervous system, hormonal system, bio-electromagnetic interactions, and other pathways.

At IHM, researchers are demonstrating that the messages the heart sends to the brain not only affect physiological regulation, but also can profoundly influence perception, emotions, behavior, performance and health.

HeartMath interventions have been shown to be effective with very young children, adolescents, young adults and adults dealing with a variety of emotional, mental and medical challenges.

Through the HeartMath Intervention Training you will learn how to:

  • Neutralize and replace stressful emotions.
  • Regain vitality and stop energy drains that deplete health and mental and emotional resilience.
  • Have an increased ability to think clearly, making the best solutions to problems more evident.
  • Discover and use effective communication skills that decrease unseen friction in relationships reducing the drain from emotional drama.

HeartMath Intervention will provide four powerful and effective tools for Self-Care that help the individual to effectively learn to reduce stress and anxiety and improve health, learning, performance, and quality of life.

QUICK COHERENCE and FREEZE-FRAME are two emotional refocusing techniques for rapid emotional shifts, in-the-moment stress reduction, impulse          control, perceptual shifts and for dealing with a variety of emotional triggers. These techniques can begin altering negative behavioral patterns.

ATTITUDE BREATHING and HEART LOCK-IN are two techniques that support emotional restructuring and facilitate establishing a new psychophysiological baseline for sustained behavioral change and resets maladaptive emotions and physiological baselines at the level of the heart, brain, and hormones.

Practicing these “coherence-building” skills offers a wide range of long-term benefits, including increased emotional awareness, vitality, overall well-being, cognitive flexibility, and enhanced problem-solving. In addition, this practice results in a reduction in the symptoms of depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and other significant clinical disorders.

Meditation

Meditation, according to the dictionary, is “the emptying of the mind of thoughts, or the concentration of the mind on one thing, in order to aid mental or spiritual development, contemplation, or relaxation.”  The effects of meditation on the mind and body are so profound that it has become as important to modern health as nutrition and exercise, perhaps more important.

The followers of Mararishi Mahesh Yogi and his Transcendental Meditation movement in the 1970s led the way in meditation research. Since then over five hundred papers have been published in 108 scientific journals, authored by scientists at 211 research institutions and universities, in twenty-three countries worldwide. Studies of meditation have shown that quieting the mind through various forms of meditative practice benefit every system in the body, including weight loss, lower blood pressure, improved immunity, better digestion, reduced need for medications, as well as improved learning, concentration, less depression and anxiety and improved sleep. Other studies have found important benefits for such diverse populations as prison inmates, drug addicts, and Vietnam veterans suffering from posttraumatic stress disorders.

The latest research on meditation shows that it focuses the mind and awareness into the frontal lobes (FL) of the brain.  The frontal lobes are the command center of the brain, where the full resources of the brain are made available for decision making, creativity and the experience of happiness and joy. Whenever we are fully engaged in awareness of the moment, what is occurring now, we are in the frontal lobes. Sports, art, love-making, absorption into the beauty of nature, or, the wonder of any moment, are all frontal lobe experiences.  When we stop focusing our conscious awareness on the moment, the brain relaxes and goes on “automatic” and that is when we experience reactive thought, or self-talk.  Based on our past conditioning from childhood, the reactive mind will “pop” thoughts into our mind, called self-talk.  This endless inner monologue is the source of our stress; we worry about what may go wrong in the future, or, feel guilty about what did go wrong in the past.  These reactive mental patterns of thought and emotion create our worries, frustrations, resentments, anxiety, depression, guilt, anger, and an entire range of personal stress.

At White Rock Naturopathic Clinic, we consider meditation an important part of stress management and health enhancement and is encouraged through a variety of tools, including classes, seminars, CDs and DVDs.

Mindfulness

Mindfulness is another approach to meditation, which involves the ability to focus completely on only one thing at a time. In other words, in mindfulness the mind is full of whatever is happening right now. This can include walking, cooking, sweeping the floor, dancing, watching a bird, hearing the sound of a river, or any other focus you may choose. Whenever thoughts intrude, you simply return your attention back to the focus. This is a traditional Buddhist approach and has been widely popularized by Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D., in the Stress Reduction Clinic, University of Massachusetts Medical Center, Worcester.

Bio-Energetics

Bio-Energetics includes those esoteric body centered therapies that are used at WRNC on occasion when treating transpersonal issues. Therapies used include: (Axiatonal Re-Alignment(Reconnective Healing/Reconnection); Pranic Healing; Qigong; Esoteric Acupuncture;  Craniosacral Therapy; Bioenergetic Therapy – Wirkus/Brennan, and Body Centered Psychotherapy (Reichian, Pierrakos, Somatic Emotional Release).

Neurotransmitter & NeuroReceptor Restoration Therapy

A form of Orthomolecular Medicine that is used in both acute IV therapeutic forms as well as oral dosing forms for the treatment of depression, anxiety, panic disorders, obsessive compulsiveness and addictions.

Please see: https://drgrodski.com/services/neurotransmitter-restoration-neuroreceptor-repair-therapy/