We live in peculiar times, where more is no longer enough and too little is a scary thought. Everyone seems to be in some kind of a race, driven to do more, to do bigger, bolder, stronger better than anyone in order to gain more or win against one another. Fostering a spirit of unique division as opposed to embracing our unique differences by coming together and fostering a spirit of unity as opposed to one of threat and fear should be a mantra. Instead of: ‘me against you’, it could become ‘me with you’. The notion of ‘separatism’ is an important psychological factor in the development and maintenance of mental il–health. Of course, it is not the only contributing factor. Other contributors to poor mental health will include genetics, nutrition, environment as well as other social aspects namely, culture, politics, economics and other more specific individual stressors such as personal family dynamic and history.
Today, millions of people are affected by some kind of mental illness all over the world. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), it is estimated that 300 million people are affected by depression alone, along with 60 million struggling from bipolar disorder; a condition characterized by frequent episodes of both mania and depressive symptoms. Other mental health conditions such as anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), eating disorders, dementia and schizophrenia all seem to be on the rise. Only less than half of the population with a mental health illness actually gets treatment. The rest either 1) do not talk about it out of fear or shame of stigma, 2) do not know where or who to turn to, 3) do not have access to mental healthcare services. For those people that do have access to a mental healthcare service, will find help through specific mental health organizations, private clinics or hospitals. However, in recent years a more holistic approach to treating mental health has emerged, providing opportunities for people to get a more wholesome evidence-based treatment. An example of this are the residential treatment centers and rehabs that have mushroomed in various countries around the world. They provide recovery treatments in more comfortable home-like settings as opposed to traditional psychiatric wards. These seem to provide the type of environment conducive to healing and recovery, more so than in a typical hospital or office in a clinic.
As a Clinical Psychologist, with a specialization in clinical hypnotherapy and biofeedback therapy, I adopt an integrative Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) approach in my practice. CBT is the most widely studied therapy intervention that is evidence based and provides clear strategies to helping people improve their quality of life, manage as well as recover from ailments such as depression, various forms of anxiety, trauma, relationship issues, eating disorders, addictions as well as chronic pains, in a relatively short space of time. With almost twenty years of mental health experience, working ith people from around the world in traditional clinical settings, i.e. private clinics, hospital wards and residential treatment centres; I discovered ever since arriving in Bali that the natural environment of the island is in its core a very healing and therapeutic one. Many people from around the world travel to Bali for various forms of healing, detox and recovery mainly through alternative medicinal approaches such as yoga, meditation, tai chi, acupuncture, homeopathy, herbalism, energy work, breath work and the list goes on. Each of these approaches has something beneficial to offer and for many people, assist them in powerful transformational ways. Recovery after all is a process that is personal to each and there is not one but many ways of achieving it.
I have been collaborating with Daisy Retreat as well as running my own retreat program, exactly the same as Daisy Retreat, offering person centered integrative CBT programs to people struggling with various issues from burnout to anxiety, depression as well as couple issues, who have the opportunity to be accommodated at our beautiful host resort, where every person or couple has their own private room and space to carry out important introspective work in full anonymity and confidentiality. Since this is neither a clinic, nor a hospital, it provides a unique opportunity for each to be more at ease in therapeutic work. During an eight day or more intensive therapy program, we have noticed that every person and couple were more readily open and committed to the process which could result in them returning home with more clarity, understanding and more importantly, strategies that would allow them to pursue their recovery. Integrative CBT along with mindfulness practices such as meditation and yoga is a great combination to adopt. To find out more about our retreat package, click here.
In this day and age, we owe it to ourselves to take a step back, slow down, to reflect and be brave enough to challenge our mindset. For it is this that will ultimately free you from your burden.