Despite the massive research findings indicating the importance of spirituality in health and wellness, it has been largely neglected in the mental healthcare system. Integrating spirituality into healthcare brings joy and meaning into the lives of children, teenagers, parents, and the elderly in magnificent ways. Physicians, admittedly state that they don’t have the time to discuss spirituality with patients. This along with a societal taboo against discussing religion and spirituality in order to avoid conflict leaves most people unprepared to have an open and honest conversation on spirituality that both honors and supports the patient on the fundamental spiritual path they have chosen in life. With the emergence of the increased number of integrative health coaches (IHC) being hired by medical systems, insurance companies and organizations, spirituality is being reintroduced as the vital and forceful component of recovery and revitalization that it is.
Elderly patients have repeatedly indicated that they want to discuss spirituality with their physicians, especially related to end of life issues. Finding meaning and reaching transcendence can bring great comfort as patients prepare for death. In addition to easing the fear of the unknown following physical death, integrative health coaches help dying patients review their lives and focus on the positive aspects of their legacy rather than the mounds of regret that many face when they are preparing to die. They know that these situations are actually opportunities to easily open discussions and enter into divine energy. The dying are given the grace to get closure on these issues before going to hospice where these topics may or may not be addressed. This allows for more time to heal and from what is for some, a life time of ongoing emotional wounds and remorse. They will discuss topics of ultimate meaning – what is my legacy? How will I be remembered? What was the real reason why that happened in my life?
Research has shown that when the elderly or dying have an opportunity to take stock of their lives and realize their special contributions and the positive impact they have had on others, they achieve a sense of peace before passing and experience a much more graceful death.
It’s not just those facing their own mortality that benefit from open spiritual discussions. Depression, anxiety, and substance abuse are epidemics in our society stemming from deep spiritual angst. Integrative health coaches teach clients the importance of using mindfulness strategies in maintaining inner peace for optimal mental and physical health. Those with inner peace have a much lower risk for cardiovascular disease, cancer, and other disorders that are affected by depleted immune systems, not to mention reported higher levels of happiness and joy. In addition, peacefulness, meditation and prayer have been shown to be highly powerful in recovering from surgery, illness, disease, and pain; cutting the length of healing and recovery times by 50% more than when using pharmaceuticals alone.
Studies have shown that patients often heal from depression and anxiety by gaining insight into their life’s purpose. Integrative health coaches are trained in helping people with this aspect of their life, ultimately giving them a sense of meaning and stability that relieves patients of their symptoms of depression and anxiety. They realize that their depression and
anxiety was a wake-up call for the truth of their existence and purpose. And instead experience feelings of meaningfulness, appreciation for their work, and an ultimate knowing that they can relax and do what they love, while they thrive and live a joyful life.
Spirituality has been shown to extend life, reduce depression, substance abuse, anxiety and worry. Integrative health coaches teach, educate, and encourage clients on the power of releasing negative emotions and how to promote forgiveness of self and others if they take the time to focus and work on their wellbeing. Some find great solace in knowing that they can call a 24-hour prayer line and pray with another person about their worries and concerns, while in the presence of a Higher Power that totally supports them.
Helping the ‘New Kids’ on the Block
Spirituality can also be leveraged to improve the lives of children being born with what society has diagnosed as certain ‘special needs’, including ADHD, anxiety, depression, and autism. Others understand that these ‘new children’ born over the past 20 years actually come into this world with a higher degree of knowing and connection to spiritual aspects of life, necessary for them to fulfill their life’s missions. They find it difficult to adjust to a three-dimensional world as they live in a higher dimensional body and mind. Many are Highly Sensitive People (HSP) and incredibly empathic, (EMPATHS) feeling the emotions of everyone around them. Integrative health coaches are trained in this phenomenon and know how to help these children remember who they are and change their perception of themselves from a flawed human being to one of great giftedness and esteem.
They can also guide them to resources that help them understand and cope with what is going on in their emotional systems. For example, Jeanette Folan wrote the Diary of a Teenage Empath along with an accompanying online workbook (http://empathdiary.com) providing exceptional tools to help teenagers cope with their sensory overloads.
In an effort to educate, these virtual workbook sessions are being offered to school systems as after-school programs. In many cases, this re-conception totally changes the child’s self-image and can prevent major psychological distress and potentially even suicide. Interestingly, most parents and mental health care professionals are not aware of the HSP/Empath identification, nor the research-based knowledge and tools that can help these special teens, who by the way, most often get diagnosed with depression and or social anxiety. Until they gain this knowledge, they do not know how to truly help their struggling child.
By starting the conversation on spirituality with nearly every type of client, integrative health coaches open a new path of healing and wellness that has historically been ignored or even shunned. Without proselytizing or promoting any specific religion, they are able to utilize core spiritual truths that help in every facet of health and wellness.
Dr. Nickerson’s Certified Integrative Health Coach Training Program is a one-of-a-kind holistic mental health care training program that can be used as a stand-alone mental health certification or as an expansion of present practitioner or healthcare knowledge and expertise. The next 15-week virtual training program begins on January 8, 2018.
“Dr. Nickerson’s Certified Integrative Health Coach Training Program (IHCTP) is a terrific way for students to learn how to offer a healing space for those looking for mental health assistance and support using a variety of conventional and complementary evidence-based techniques and methods. Health coaches are needed in hospitals, clinics, communities and schools everywhere. Dr. Nickerson’s teaching approach is light, thoughtful and inclusive. It was a treat to be in a learning atmosphere and have active conversation with such wonderful people. The program will help you grow personally as well as professionally.” — Dr. Pam Purcell BSC ND CBP
“Not only is Dr. Wendy Nickerson an amazing professor, but her experience, knowledge and passion to assist in resolving the mental health crisis has taught me current, effective, evidence-based, non-medical and non-evasive techniques to assist and coach people requiring mental health services with an Integrative Health Coach (IHC).” — Marlene Whitehead
“I am so pleased that I took the plunge and enrolled in the Integrative Health Coaching Program. The program is intensive and much more focused on mental health than I had expected. As a coach and trainer, the program has provided tremendous insights into the full spectrum of non-drug treatments for physical, emotional and mental wellness.” — Linda Symonds – Infinite Possibilities
For more information and registration, visit http://nickersoninstitute.com/individual-health-
coach-training/ or contact Dr. Nickerson at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 888-339-8443.
Dr. Wendy Nickerson, a licensed psychologist in Arizona and Nova Scotia, and is the Founder of the Nickerson Institute of Integrative Health Training, a company dedicated to helping individuals and organizations achieve ultimate success through mind, body, spirit health and wellness.
Dr. Nickerson has developed and delivers an accredited and certified virtual/live Integrative Health Coach Training Program with the focus on holistic mental health practices. Graduates from this inclusive and intensive program can apply for Board Certified Holistic Health Practitioner and/or Registered Health Coach status. The program encompasses interwoven evidence-based aspects of Mindfulness, Neuroscience, Positive Psychology, Energy Psychology, Psychoneuroimmunology and Cognitive Behavioral Techniques. Other aspects of spirituality and the power of our thoughts, words, and energy fields are taught throughout this course. The next training session begins January 8, 2018.
Dr. Nickerson is also available for public speaking and provide talks and presentations to your group or organization.
For more information and registration go to http://nickersoninstitute.com/individual-health-