CAMLAW: Complementary and Alternative Medicine Law Blog

Integrative mental health care book gets solid review

The Textbook of Integrative Mental Health by colleague James Lake, MD and David Spiegel, MD received a favorable review in the American Journal of Psychiatry. Fellow shrink (or at least doc) writes of the integrative mental health care textbook:
It defines complementary and alternative treatments, places them in a historical context, provides a critical review of up-to-date and evidenced-based data on specific treatments relevant to adult mental health, summarizes each treatment's known risks and benefits, and includes easily accessible tables, appendices, and other references. Written by 25 practicing psychiatrists, psychologists, and other health care professionals, it is offered as "a bridge between the orthodox theories and practices of conventional biomedicine and the established theories and practices of the world's major systems of medicine as they pertain to mental health care" (p. xx).....

Part I, Background Issues, gives a nice overview of complementary and alternative treatments and has an especially useful chapter on legal, regulatory, and ethical issues surrounding its use. This chapter includes a model standard consent form grounded in good clinical sense and respect for patients, which is typical of the rest of the book. Another chapter refers to the definition of integrative approaches as those using "whole-person oriented healing and preventive methods" (p. 442). It distinguishes the goals of these approaches, achieving balance and enhanced self-awareness, from those of conventional medicine, which focuses on a return to good health.

Part II reviews 13 specific treatments grouped into three categories: nonconventional biological treatments; lifestyle and women's issues; and spirituality, mindfulness, and mind-body practices.... his is a very good book. One has the sense that real doctors are thinking about real patients in everyday situations. It is readable, interesting, serves as a fine reference book, and is available in paperback at a relatively modest cost. I would recommend it for medical students, trainees, practicing psychiatrists, and for our patients. By focusing on the evidence basis of these treatments and acknowledging the limitations of what we know, it could enhance discussions with our patients about their care. It might also serve as a basis for the incorporation of some elements of complementary and alternative treatments into various APA Practice Guidelines.
That is a wonderful commendation for a courageous foray into the evidence and philosophy underlying alternative medicine in mental health care. Congratulations to both authors for their pioneering work in integrative mental health care.
The Law Offices of Michael H. Cohen offers corporate legal services, litigation consultation, and expertise in health law with a unique focus on holistic, alternative, complementary, and integrative medical therapies. The law firm represents medical doctors, allied health professionals (from psychologists to nurses and dentists) and other clinicians (from chiropractors to naturopathic physicians, massage therapists, and acupuncturists), entrepreneurs, hospitals, and educational organizations, health care institutions, and individuals and corporations.

Michael H. Cohen is Principal in Law Offices of Michael H. Cohen and also President of a nonprofit organization exploring legal, regulatory, ethical, and health policy issues in the judicious integration of complementary and alternative medical therapies (such as acupuncture and traditional oriental medicine, chiropractic, naturopathic medicine, homeopathy, massage therapy, energy healing, and herbal medicine) and conventional clinical care. Michael H. Cohen is author of books on health care law, regulation, ethics and policy dealing with complementary, alternative and integrative medicine, including Healing at the Borderland of Medicine and Religion, Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Legal Boundaries and Regulatory Perspectives (1998), Beyond Complementary Medicine: Legal and Ethical Perspectives on Health Care and Human Evolution (2000), and Future Medicine: Ethical Dilemmas, Regulatory Challenges, and Therapeutic Pathways to Health Care and Healing in Human Transformation (2003).
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Health care and corporate lawyer Michael H. Cohen has been admitted to the Bar of California, Massachusetts, New York, and Washington D.C. In addition to qualifying as a U.S. attorney, he has been admitted and to the Bar of England and Wales as a Solicitor (non-practicing). For more information regarding the law practice of attorney Michael H. Cohen, see the FAQs for the Law Offices of Michael H. Cohen. Thank you for visiting the Complementary and Alternative Medicine Law Blog.
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