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Personal Development and Integrative Health


“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” —Mary Oliver

You are the narrator of your life story. The roads taken have led you here. And the paths you now choose can point you in many different directions. Coming to therapy to work on personal development or integrative health can be an opportunity to choose the direction of your growth, align your energy and time with your values, give yourself grace about past mistakes or missed opportunities and learn from them, and make meaning of your unique journey. 

Personal Development Plan

When some people enter therapy for personal development, they want to reflect on their past, negotiate something new, or reach a challenging goal. For others, it’s an opportunity to prepare for a transition from one developmental phase to another, mourn a loss from a prior stage, and successfully settle into a new one. Through the process of telling your story, having it reflected back to you with curiosity and empathy, and developing an authentic narrative, you’ll deepen your self-awareness, which can inform your future. It can be rewarding to put words to the process of how you’re living your life. 

Personal development goals can foster healthy growth, helping you picture how you’ll successfully transition from one crossroad to the next. Collaboratively putting together a strategic, therapeutic personal development plan can be especially helpful—it commits you to acknowledging where you are now and where you want to go. 

Rather than ruminate on the unknown or be overwhelmed by fear, you can exert positive control. Developmental and identity changes occur across the lifespan in a variety of areas such as: psychosocial, cognitive, gender, racial, sex and sexuality, career, cultural, and more. These changes can demand something from us that we have not yet developed. 

“In the end, just three things matter: How well we have lived; How well we have loved; How well we have learned to let go.” ―Jack Kornfield

Psychosocial development is centered on a range of other important aspects of human development and the developmental process. Therapy for personal development can help you:

  • Feel a sense of security
  • Develop competence and independence
  • Establish a coherent sense of identity after a time of exploration
  • Accept others even when they are different from you
  • Care and contribute through productivity
  • Recognize the mark you will leave on the world through nurturing or work, and feel as if life has been successful


Integrative Health

In therapy, you may prefer to develop an integrated behavioral health plan that is guided by your strengths, values, interests, and sense of purpose. Integrative health combines conventional interventions—such as evidence-based talk therapy and treatments for disease and illness—with complementary intervention—such as acupuncture, yoga, mind-body exercises, therapeutic massage, tai chi, meditation, chiropractic care, qigong, hypnosis, music, art therapy, reiki, herbal treatments, and more. 

Instead of viewing the human body as a machine that needs fixing, integrative medicine focuses on living a healthy life. It encompasses:

-Health orientation                                          -Preventive self-care

-Identification of risk and minimizing it     -Proactive professional care

-Whole-person approach                            -Lifelong planning

-Support for implementation                      -Partner-based strategies

Your goals will serve as guideposts as we create a customized, proactive, integrated health and wellness plan that includes talk therapy and more, targeting areas of physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. 

Your goals will serve as guideposts as we create a customized, proactive, integrated health and wellness plan that includes talk therapy and more, targeting areas of physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. 

Together we will identify the healthy, sustainable lifestyle behaviors that you want to implement. As a licensed psychologist informed by additional training in integrative medicine health coaching by Duke Integrative Medicine under the Duke Health System, I will support you as you pursue your goals related to both prevention and healing.

Whether you want to create a cohesive life narrative, focus on one specific area of personal growth, successfully transition from one developmental stage to the next, or focus on integrative health, let’s work together to collaboratively establish your therapeutic goals. We’ll look at the full spectrum of physical, emotional, mental, social, spiritual, and environmental factors that influence your health. 

I agree with Duke Integrative Medicine’s philosophy that: “The human mind and body have the ability to self-repair. Your life choices, combined with appropriate therapies and medical interventions, can support and enhance this healing.”  

“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.” —Henry David Thoreau

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