Achilles Healing Hypnotherapy

Hypnotherapy in Glasgow

Natural Treatments for Mental Health

“Last night Jonathan E. Prousky, a naturopathic doctor here in Toronto, gave a lecture at the University of Toronto on the benefits of an orthomolecular approach to mental illness.

He has successfully treated hundreds to thousands of patients for mental health symptoms, over a period of 12 years, referring to himself as a last resort for many, after mainstream psychiatry had failed them.  He says usually the patients show improvements within a few months.

In psychiatry patients are routinely told that their medications won’t work in the short term, and that they need to be on them for 3 months or longer to see the benefit.

Prousky did not, however, target the failures of the psychiatric approach to mental health.  His message was focused on an integrative approach.  He does, however, advocate for more truthful marketing and more detailed patient disclosure around pharmacology, including risks and probable outcomes.


It’s untruthful to claim that any drug fixes or normalizes the brain or brain transmitters of anyone with a mental illness, he points out, citing the research of Joanna Moncrieff, a U.K. psychiatrist and author. The more accurate description of their mechanism of action is that they cause generalized changes in overall brain function, which may or may not result in an improved mood or outlook for that patient.

Nobody Made Well By Psychiatry – But Still They Claim Success!

He does point out, though, that in his own practice, he can’t recall anyone who came in well on psychiatric drugs.  Many are considered treatment successes, because they have experienced a 15-30% reduction in their original symptoms, perhaps they no longer hear voices, for example, but they are still not high functioning – able to work or enjoy recreation or enjoying any quality of life.  They often have debilitating side effects of the drugs.  Furthermore, he points out that mainstream psychiatry does not offer counseling or ask these questions of patients.  He has often had patients tell him nobody has ever asked what they do with their time when not at the doctor’s office.

His philosophy is bolstered by recent statistics out of Finland that show that patients who do not have pharmacological treatment after a first episode, but rather a nurturing, community support approach do better over time than those who use medications.  His says the supports people receive, the compassion and attention to their other health complaints as well, and the holistic approach to what they need, is far more effective in the long term.

This is the same thing I witnessed with my son.  While doctors claimed the diet and vitamins could not possibly help him, because his problems were neurological, the patients they treated (whom I knew through support groups) did not fare well in the long term.  My son is the only one of the group I knew who opted out of the meds.  He is also the only one who has not developed other disabilities and diagnoses.  In fact, diagnoses were taken away because he has done so well.

Psychiatric Model Creates Dependence; Orhtomolecular Model Creates Independence

The goal, according to Prousky, is to create a person who is less dependent on medical assistance, more independent and higher functioning, with a higher quality of life.  He feels MDs should support patients to realize their dreams, not to just survive. The psychiatric model creates too much dependence on doctors, does not emphasize informed consent enough, and does not support individual independence and growth.  Success is a patient who takes his meds on time all the time, and shows up for all his appointments, rather than a patient who is doing well without needing medication, and is back to work or otherwise enjoying life more fully.

Hardy Patients Have Better Outcomes

Prousky cites patient attitude as having a tremendous amount to do with outcome.  Those who seem”dead inside” are the ones he finds respond least favorably to his approach.  This is similar with Dr. Hoffer’s sentiment that it was only those who had been medicated long term, in the “backs of institutions”, on antipsychotics for years, that did not respond favorably to his treatment protocol.

Among the many causes of mental health problems that he has seen, Prousky talked about vitamin B12 deficiency, thyroid problems, and celiac disease.  He also spoke of the role of food allergies and a very poor diet with a lack of exercise in some people.  But he stressed that every case is unique and must be approached from that position.

He recommends numerous books, including Dr. Hoffer’s autobiography, Adventures in PsychiatryDr. Cartlat’sUnhinged,  and Robert Whitaker’s Anatomy of an Epidemic to better understand the concerns with a completely pharmacological approach to mental illness.

Orthomolecular Treatment Safer with Better Outcomes

While orthomolecular medicine (using diet, vitamins, minerals and naturally occurring substances to treat disease) can produce side effects, Prousky feels it is a safer, more patient empowering treatment with better long term outcomes than pharmacology alone.

Jonathan E. Prousky is the Chief Naturopathic Medical Officer at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine.  He is the author of  Anxiety: Orthomolecular Diagnosis and Treatment, Naturopathic Nutrition, andPrinciples & Practices of Naturopathic Clinical Nutrition.”


2 comments on “Natural Treatments for Mental Health

  1. Nonie De Long
    April 5, 2012

    Hello Alyson,
    Thank you for checking out my site and reposting my article. If you are interested, I have a free monthly natural health newsletter and I welcome you to sign up! You can find the link at I was interested to see that you have done some research on caffeine-related disorders and I’m going back in to read more now. I think it’s really not given the attention it deserves, and is epidemic in our culture. I’ve subscribed to your posts and look forward to more. Wishing you success! Namaste! Nonie

  2. achilleshealing
    April 5, 2012

    Yes, I’ll definitely sign up for the newsletter. Thanks! What interested me in this article was the problem of sticking people on meds without questioning other factors.
    I’ve witnessed how cognitive-behavioural techniques, positive validation and a non-judgemental attitude, alongside relaxation (rather than hypnotherapy, which is dependent on meds being taken), has allowed the person to become more calm, reduce medication and start to see the world as a place that they want to enjoy. From there, in my experience, they often begin to take care of themselves more, and are more open to suggestions of how to improve lifestyle. At which point, if they have come off medication, cognitive-behavioural hypnotherapy can then be used to help them achieve that.

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This entry was posted on April 4, 2012 by in Uncategorized.



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