Holistic Mental Health Treatment

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What Is Holistic Therapy?

URP Behavioral Health is a residential facility that treats mental health conditions ranging from anxiety and depressive disorders to schizophrenia and dissociative disorders. While each resident receives an individualized treatment plan depending on their mental health condition, the integration of holistic therapies is crucial. The experts at URP Behavioral Health believe in treating mental health conditions using a combination of evidence-based and holistic medicine. Let’s discuss what it is, what it includes, and how it’s beneficial.


This form of therapy looks at the whole person instead of just their mental health problems. It’s based on the idea that, mental, spiritual, and physical health are all interconnected. Therefore, it includes elements that work on your overall well-being, such as nutrition, exercise, and meditation, as part of mental health recovery.

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Types of Holistic Mental Health Treatment

URP Behavioral Health employs a range of holistic treatment methods that are designed to complement traditional techniques.

Yoga Therapy

Research indicates that yoga and similar meditative treatments have the most effective for alleviating symptoms of depression and anxiety. Because of its emphasis on deep and steady breathing, it activates the parasympathetic system and reduces stress. Besides stress reduction and mood improvement, benefits include better eating habits and anxiety relief.

Art Therapy

At URP Behavioral Health, our mental health specialists use art therapy as a way to improve your self-awareness and self-expression. As a therapeutic method, it encourages you to open up and share your experiences, views, and feelings. It’s also a highly effective assessment tool that allows practitioners to access information that would otherwise be difficult to obtain using conventional methods.

Equine Therapy

In equine therapy, you’ll work with a horse specialist as you learn to take care of specially-trained horses. Keep in mind that you’ll spend much more time caring for a horse than learning to ride one. It’s recommended as a holistic therapy because the process of looking after a horse, like leading, grooming, or feeding, requires selflessness and concentration. As you learn more about the horse and look after it, you build empathy, confidence, and self-awareness, all of which are important for alleviating emotional or behavioral issues.

Music Therapy

Research shows that listening to music has a variety of benefits for your physiological, emotional, and cognitive health. That’s because it can encourage you to feel emotions and helps with regulating them as well.


It engages areas of the brain, such as the brain’s reward center, the nucleus accumbens. Similarly, it alters psychophysiological factors like heart rate, respiration, blood pressure, relaxation, and pain perception. You’ll engage in activities like listening to music, discussing its elements, and playing instruments.

Massage Therapy

At the URP Behavioral Health facility, we have on-site massage therapy, which is used as a complementary technique alongside evidence-based methods like talk therapy. It’s highly effective at relieving stress, as research indicates that it reduces blood pressure and heart rate. One study involving the use of a massage chair shows that it’s highly effective in relieving anxiety. This is proven by the reduction of salivary cortisol concentrations after a 10-minute massage.


There’s scientific evidence that proves the efficacy of acupuncture in increasing central nervous system hormones like serotonin and beta-endorphins. Stimulating the increase of these hormones can reduce stress and elevate mood. It can also alleviate pain in the knees, neck, or back, which can otherwise worsen psychological symptoms like anxiety.

Clinical Approaches to Holistic Mental Health

URP Behavioral Health uses evidence-based therapies as a core component of individual treatment programs. Moreover, pharmacotherapy is used to help stabilize patients’ mental state so they can be more responsive to holistic techniques. This can include the use of medication to relieve the severity of depressive or psychotic symptoms, both of which can interfere with patients’ ability to engage with a therapy.


In addition to these therapies, we take a clinical approach to holistic treatment, which includes the following:


Nutritional Counseling

Healthy nutrition is an important aspect of recovery because of the connection between your diet and mental health. There’s a focus on fresh vegetables, fruits, protein, and whole grains, as well as the reduction of processed foods that are high in sugar or sodium.


A healthy concentration of amino acids, antioxidants, omega-3 fatty, and fiber can regulate your mood and enhance concentration. In contrast, poor nutrition and vitamin or mineral deficiencies can make you more susceptible to fatigue and poor decision-making, thereby exacerbating the symptoms of your underlying mental health issues.

Exercise and Wellness

Numerous studies indicate a link between aerobic exercises, like walking, swimming, or jogging, can alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety. During exercise, blood circulation to the brain increases. This affects the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and your body’s response to stress.


Additionally, exercise acts as a distraction and offers the potential for social interaction, both of which can be a reason for the link between physical activity and wellness.


Practicing meditation is an effective way to direct your attention and manage your impulses. This is known as mindfulness and it involves redirecting your attention so you focus on current feelings and physical sensations. There’s evidence that it can help alleviate pain, depressive thoughts, and anxiety, and it’s why URP Behavioral Health offers dedicated meditation and yoga classes.

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Benefits of a Holistic Approach to Mental Health

Some of the benefits of adopting a holistic approach towards mental health involve the following:

Reduce Stress and Anxiety

The most effective aspect of the holistic approach is that it can alleviate stress and anxiety. Techniques such as yoga, mindfulness, and therapeutic massage lower cortisol and adrenaline levels so you experience fewer anxious thoughts.

Learn New Coping Skills

You may discover that unhelpful emotions like shame, hopelessness, guilt, and anger worsen the symptoms of your mental health disorder. Through holistic therapies, you can build coping strategies that help you manage such negative thoughts.

Instills a Sense of Spirituality

Through activities like equine therapy and mindfulness meditation, you feel a sense of meaning, purpose, and hope. You start to build a deeper connection with something greater than yourself, allowing you to practice self-control, self-esteem, and confidence.

Increases Self-Awareness

Through holistic therapy, you’ll reflect on your relationships, feelings, and many other aspects of your life. Going through this process encourages you to understand yourself and the connections between them. Consequently, you’ll start to determine which areas of your life lead to distress and unhappiness.

FAQs for Holistic Treatment for Mental Health Disorders

These are some of the most commonly asked questions about using holistic treatment for mental illness.

The benefit of holistic treatment is that it acknowledges the effect of the mind, body, and spirit on each other. By using this approach, the therapist views the condition from multiple perspectives rather than just one. This increases the chances of positive outcomes.

At URP Behavioral Health, all individualized treatment plans are developed according to a holistic approach. The availability of relaxation treatments, complementary therapies, and nutrition counseling can indicate the use of a holistic approach. In contrast, emphasis on pharmacotherapy and a single therapeutic approach to alleviate symptoms is a more conventional mode of mental health treatment.

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