OUR STORY

The Beginning of a Bio-Psycho-Social Approach to Mental Health

The standard model of mental health includes both psychological and social well-being, but often fails to take into consideration any underlying physiological changes. Over the last few decades, more and more research is confirming the inter-connectivity of the brain, body, and mind - it's impossible to change one and not the other! Research is now showing that many "mental" issues are highly correlated with real, physiological changes in the brain and body. It's here that our story begins.


Our approach embodies a bio-psycho-social approach to wellness, where we first address any underlying physiological issues as needed, and then move on to psychological and social concerns. We begin with an array of physiological, psychological and social assessments to create an individualized and holistic treatment plan. We combine cognitive therapies with the latest evidence-based treatments such as biofeedback, neurofeedback, Internal Family Systems (IFS), and other mind-body therapies. Our goal is to optimize the way your brain, body and mind work together.

DR. JOAN WRIGHT

Senior Psychologist & Owner

"The MindShift Clinic vision was born out of Dr. Wright’s extensive clinical experience working within the talk therapy model.  She noticed that while many of her clients got better and moved on with their life using the talk therapy strategies, there were many, specifically those with PTSD, who despite being motivated and participating fully in the talk therapy process, did not get sufficiently better. In speaking with her colleagues about this,  they shared that they were having similar experiences and despite the average time for  talk therapy interventions being 12-15 sessions, many of her colleagues also had clients on their caseload for significantly longer, some up to 20 years.

 

Curious about this phenomenon and already a licensed psychologist, she enrolled in a PhD in 1995 to try to figure out some reasons for this. The research she led offered some direction by showing that life experiences can have a significant effect on how the mind, body and brain interact and react to stress. Excited by this, she enrolled in a 5- year training that looked at how the body and mind work together. This offered some further understanding, but she still had questions. While attending a PTSD Workshop in 2012 with all the big names in trauma, she learned that the brain can get stuck in the trauma experiences, feeling like the trauma is happening over and over which makes the body and mind stay on alert, waiting for the worse to happen. Consequently, trying to talk to the part of the brain that is convinced that it is still in danger is not very effective. Dr. Bessel Van der Kolk, one of the speakers at the workshop, has researched trauma for several years and highlighted the importance of calming the brain and the body through yoga, biofeedback, neurofeedback, dance, song, EMDR, etc. before talk therapy interventions can be effective for many folks. Armed with what she had learned through this workshop, her clinical experiences, training, and education, she decided to get more training (in neurofeedback) and offer an intervention approach that involved calming the brain and body first, thereby helping talk therapy interventions be more effective.  As a result, the MindShift Clinic was born! 

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