The conceptual framework of contemporary Western psychiatry subsumes multiple theoretical viewpoints and a single best explanatory model of mental illness has not yet been put forward. Disparate psychodynamic, genetic, endocrinologic and neurobiological models of mental illness causation reflect diverse theoretical perspectives, ideologies and clinical training requirements of mental health professionals. Until now a single explanatory model of psychopathology has not been established as more valid or inclusive compared to other models. Mental illness is regarded as a consequence of complex interactions of dynamic biological, psychological and social factors which cannot be adequately described in the language of a single theory. Some would contend that complexity theory and other emerging ideas in physics, information science, and the life sciences will ultimately provide an adequate explanatory model of the complex causes of mental illness howeversystems of medicine which do not rely strictly on empirical observations or reproducible outcomes frequently include clinical approaches that are beneficial for a range of illnesses. Thus, there is not a necessary correlation between a formal requirement of empirical verification of a postulated mechanism of action or measurable outcomes and the clinical utility of a particular approach. Examples of this include acupuncture, massage, meditation, qigong and mindfulness training. Click here to read more about the conceptual foundations of integrative mental health care.

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