THIRA’s Three Program Pillars
Here at THIRA Health, we include three pillars in our treatment programs:
Whole Person Care
Dialectical Behavior Therapy
Community & Family Support
As we share the ideas behind these three pillars, we do so with the intent to inspire you or a loved one to 1) understand the process and philosophy of mental health treatment, 2) emphasize the importance of the whole person, and 3) empower family and friends to help when they can along the treatment journey.
Whole Person Care
Whole person care rests on the idea that it isn’t a singular entity or part of ourselves that demand our attention in the healing process, but rather, multiple. There are several dimensions of wellness – eight, to be exact! These include physical, intellectual, emotional, social, spiritual, vocational, financial, and environmental wellness. When we consider and honor all the parts of ourselves that influence and inform our healing, we can experience full-bodied wellness.
These dimensions inform the therapy process because they serve as markers for taking care of the whole person. In mental health treatment, we acknowledge and consider that each person is made up of mind, body, and spirit. While our work at THIRA Health is primarily made up of girls and women living with severe anxiety, depression and eating disorders, these tenets expand to multiple experiences of mental health care (e.g., trauma recovery, OCD, relational challenges).
Treating the whole person includes individual therapy, AND…
Nutrition – nutritious meals, education on food as fuel/medicine.
Expressive arts – healing through movement and expression in and of our bodies, as well as expression through artistic efforts that transcend words.
Mindfulness-based meditation – consciousness of our body’s reactions and responses, and sourcing energy from our inner, spiritual knowing.
Family therapy – finding support through family, chosen family, and community.
Dialectal Behavioral Therapy
Dialectal Behavior Therapy (DBT), originally developed by Marsha M. Linehan, strikes a balance between the practical benefits of mindfulness by pairing it with cognitive-behavioral interventions and strategies to promote change.
You might be wondering…how does DBT work? What would I do?
D is for Dialectal.
We like to think of life as a series of “living in the dialectics.” This encourages an integration of ideas, feelings, or beliefs that feel opposite. So instead of choosing one or the other, we encourage a both/and perspective that helps clients move out of extreme positions or black-and-white thinking. As primal beings, we are conditioned to seek concrete truths – right and wrong, good and bad, happy and sad. With DBT, we empower clients to consider how they can experience two emotions at once (e.g., relief and sadness) or two beliefs at once (e.g., holding family values next to personal values).
B is for Behavioral.
As we cultivate ways of helping patients think and believe parts about themselves and their world, we take into consideration the situations that elicit behavioral responses from them. The behavioral component of DBT requires the implementation of problem-solving skills to support patients making conscious choices to create sustainable wellness. Some of these behaviors include coping mechanisms such as mindfulness, but also bring in techniques for emotional regulation (e.g., opposite action) and tolerating distress (e.g., self-soothing, putting your body in charge) when it bubbles up.
Community & Family Support
A key component of promising treatment is inviting your loved ones, community, and trusted others into the process. Studies have shown that interpersonal relationships are often affected by mental health issues, and can also exacerbate emotional distress. Therefore, soothing and easing these connections can provide a source of support, encouragement, and relief.
Whether it is your family, a few close friends, a circle of friends, or a community of those you trust, it is powerful to include them in your healing process. These people often know you best and have been with you through the multiple seasons of life. Inclusion of community and family support in the treatment process could involve family therapy, group interventions/workshops, and cohort-based treatment (i.e., creating community with peers with proximal age or experience).
THIRA Program Pillars Lead to Sustainable Recovery
The pillars discussed above lead to the ultimate goal – sustainable recovery. In this context, sustainability is built upon the foundations of tolerance, acceptance, accountability, self- and other-awareness, and community. When we recover out loud, both to ourselves and in the company of supportive others, and marry that to whole-body awareness, a system is created that sustains, perseveres, and transcends pain and transmutes into purpose.
To learn more about how our pillars can align with your treatment needs or mental health concerns, contact us now!