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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter September 30, 2008

Australian Natural Therapists and Mental Health: Survey of Treatment Approaches and Referral Patterns

Amy J Morgan and Andrew J. P. Francis

This study was an initial examination of practice by Australian naturopaths and Western herbalists in their treatment of insomnia, anxiety and depression. Types of treatments provided and the nature of interactions with mental health professionals were explored. Sixty-nine participants (response rate approximately 9%) completed a questionnaire devised by the authors. A variety of natural medicine modalities were chosen to treat each condition, most frequently herbs, lifestyle advice and dietary modification. Evidence was found for some degree of consistency in the treatment approaches taken to mental health issues, suggestive of common practice approaches amongst suitably qualified practitioners. Findings also indicate considerable interaction between naturopaths/herbalists and mental health professionals, with more referrals made to mental health professionals than received. These findings may inform the better integration of natural medicine and mainstream mental health care in Australia.

Published Online: 2008-9-30

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