Lifestyle Counseling

Health is more than the elimination of disease or symptoms. Many studies have shown that mental/emotional stress causes physical changes in the body, which can lead to health problems. Studies also show that the body heals faster and the immune system operates better when the body is in a state of relaxation.

Because emotional, mental, social, spiritual and behavioral factors can directly affect your health, Bastyr University Clinic practitioners provide lifestyle counseling focused on helping you create a sense of balance, peace and resiliency.

Finding your inner resources, your inner strength and cultivating a sense of meaning and purpose in life are at the very heart of this approach, as our clinicians help you train to live in a way that would most benefit your whole-person well-being.

What You Can Expect

Lifestyle counseling is a collaborative process between you and your clinician. Together we help you identify your concrete treatment goals, your assessment strategies and home practices to move you toward those goals.

Because the first step of the process involves self-awareness, you will be invited to monitor your physical sensations, moods and emotions, thought patterns and habitual behaviors. You will also be asked to engage in home practices that mirror the training you practice in session.

A few of the practices that you may be introduced to include:

  • Biofeedback - Practice of using your own bodily signals to improve your health and well-being. By monitoring bodily signals, you can gain control over physiological reactions that are usually considered unconscious or automatic.
  • Meditation and mindfulness training
  • Autogenic training and self-hypnosis
  • Guided imagery
  • Breathwork
  • Journaling
  • Relaxation techniques
  • Physical and postural exercises

Research has shown that the more you practice outside of sessions, the more effective your training will be.

Conditions Lifestyle Counseling Can Treat

Conditions for which lifestyle counseling techniques can be helpful include:

  • Addictions
  • Anxiety
  • Asthma
  • Chronic insomnia
  • Chronic pain
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • High blood pressure
  • Hyperactivity
  • Insomnia
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • PMS
  • Poor muscle control
  • Raynaud’s disease

Our clinic is ideally suited to provide short-term treatment (typically no more than 12 sessions). Appointments are generally scheduled on a weekly basis. Student clinicians oversee the sessions and are closely supervised by a licensed naturopathic doctor. They refer to outside services when appropriate.