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Volume 7, Pages 1810-1820
Review Article

First Do No Harm: An Analysis of the Risk Aspects and Side Effects of Clinical Holistic Medicine Compared With Standard Psychiatric Biomedical Treatment

1Quality of Life Research Center, Teglgårdstræde 4-8, DK-1452 Copenhagen K, Denmark
2Research Clinic for Holistic Medicine, Copenhagen, Denmark
3Nordic School of Holistic Medicine, Copenhagen, Denmark
4Scandinavian Foundation for Holistic Medicine, Sandvika, Norway
5Interuniversity College, Graz, Austria
6Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Behavioral Sciences, Ariel University Center, Samaria, Ariel, Israel
7National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Jerusalem, Israel
8Office of the Medical Director, Division for Mental Retardation, Ministry of Social Affairs, Jerusalem, Israel
9Kentucky Children's Hospital, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, USA

Received 19 July 2007; Revised 9 September 2007; Accepted 9 September 2007

Academic Editor: Hatim A. Omar

Copyright © 2007 Søren Ventegodt and Joav Merrick.


Clinical holistic medicine (CHM) is short-term psychodynamic psychotherapy (STPP) complemented with bodywork and philosophical exercises, to be more efficient in treating patients with severe mental and physical illness. STPP has already been found superior to psychiatric treatment as usual (TAU) and thus able to compete with psychiatric standard treatment as the treatment of choice for all non-organic mental illnesses; we have found the addition of bodywork and philosophy of life to STPP to accelerate the process of existential healing and recovery (salutogenesis). In this paper we compare the side effects, suicidal risk, problems from implanted memory and implanted philosophy of CHM with psychopharmacological treatment. Method: Qualitative and quantitative comparative review. Results: In all aspects of risks, harmfulness, and side effects, we have been considering, CHM was superior to the standard psychiatric treatment. The old principle of “first do no harm“ is well respected by CHM, but not always by standard psychiatry. CHM seems to be able to heal the patient, while psychopharmacological drugs can turn the patient into a chronic, mentally ill patient for life. Based on the available data CHM seems another alternative to patients with mental illness. There seem to be no documentation at all for CHM being dangerous, harmful, having side effects of putting patients at risk for suicide. As CHM uses spontaneous regression there is no danger for the patient developing psychosis as, according to some experts, has been seen with earlier intensive psychodynamic methods. CHM is an efficient, safe and affordable cure for a broad range of mental illnesses.