Sunnyside Healing Arts

Integrative Wellness Counselling

What is Integrative Wellness Counselling?

Integrative Wellness Counselling is a unique synthesis of Health Coaching with Nutritional & Lifestyle counselling.  Integrative Wellness counselors are advocates and supportive mentors who guide clients toward vibrant whole-health.  Clients feel more energetic, vital, rejuvenated, passionate and joyful.  Positive outcomes are facilitated by guiding clients towards improved well-being through meaningful changes in nutrition and lifestyle.  Instead of prescribing one diet or exercise program, Integrative Wellness Counselling values the concept of bio-individuality and individualized programs are specially designed to meet the specific needs of each client.   This functional, holistic approach to treatment demystifies and simplifies the journey towards wellness, as clients receive explorative and preventative treatment from one source instead of focusing only on symptom management.

How Does It Work?

Our program is designed to transform health.  The program is set up over a minimum of 12 bi-weekly sessions, as it takes the body approximately that long to incorporate and integrate nutritional, emotional, physical and lifestyle changes and to discover the impact of bio-individuality on health concerns.

Session 1: The first session involves a complete Health & Lifestyle Assessment and referrals for testing (if necessary) in order to identify nutrient deficiencies and other physical indicators of illness.  Clients will receive a Food, Mood & Energy Tracker to record what they are eating, what their energy levels are like afterwards and how it affects mood.  This is explored in Session 2 and used to create change as appropriate.

Session 2: The second session involves providing clients with a comprehensive case formulation, collaboration of meaningful goals, tips on how to successfully navigate and overcome current challenges experienced with a conventional medicine approach.  Each formulation is specifically developed to best suit the client and their unique healthcare needs.

Session 3: This session is designed to help clients explore the lifestyle factors that are influencing their current functioning and developing plans to overcome challenges and barriers.  We look at many aspects of life (work, social life, love life, play, exercise, spirituality), determine the current balance, identify areas of improvement and increased participation and collaboratively plan how to achieve those meaningful goals.

Sessions 4-12: Topics of discussion include: Successfully Navigating Grocery & Health Food Stores, How to Read Nutrition Labels, Decoding Cravings (understanding nutritional, biological & emotional influences), Hormone Imbalance, The Gut-Brain Connection, Healthy Cooking, Personalized Nutrition Guide,  Activity (finding methods of exercise that you enjoy), Relaxation Training, Creating Happiness, Effects of Insomnia and Lack of Rest, The Effect of Wheat and the Standard American Diet (SAD) on Autoimmunity and Whole Health & a Re-assessment to determine progress and goal attainment.

How is it Holistic?

Integrative Wellness Counsellors look at the impact of a variety of factors that influence the current state of our health.  While conventional medicine focuses on symptoms and intervention, Integrative Wellness focuses on primary prevention and identifying the root causes of illness.  This results in a comprehensive conceptualization and development of a treatment plan that addresses factors that are affecting current functioning.  Integrative Wellness Counsellors explore the impact of nutrition on health, as well as investigating other lifestyle factors, such as activity, relationships, work and spirituality.  These factors of emotional, physical and spiritual nourishment can be as, or more, impactful than nutritional nourishment, itself.  Nutritional, emotional, physical and spiritual nourishment is intimately linked and achieving an improved balance can help clients gain energy, vitality and achieve vibrant health.

What is bio-individuality?

Assessing and understanding bio-individuality is a crucial component of Integrative Wellness Counselling.  This concept involves identifying and understanding that there is no perfect way of eating, exercising or being that works for everyone.  What works for one client’s unique body, lifestyle, age and gender may make another client feel lethargic and gain weight.  Integrative Wellness Counsellors explore how personal differences in anatomy, metabolism, bodily composition and cell structure affect well-being.  Another component of this concept is that, like people, bio-individuality is a dynamic state that can shift along with lifestyle changes, age and season.  Foods eaten in childhood may not agree with you in adulthood and what is craved in the winter is totally different than what is desired in the summer.  Integrative Wellness Counsellors carefully consider the many factors that contribute to each client’s unique bio-individuality.  We also work collaboratively with other complementary health practitioners to expedite the healing process in as comprehensive and integrative a manner as possible.  More minds working together results in more health!  This helps clients achieve their goals and find comfort in a process that is specifically designed to help them transform their life and health.

© Andrea D’Onofrio, 2016

Please contact me to discuss my fee, which is aligned with standard rates in Toronto.