Episode 38 - Dr. Mo Yee Lee: Integrative Body-Mind-Spirit Social Work - Core Concepts (part 1 of 3)

Monday, January 25, 2010, 8:58:41 AM

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This is the first of three episodes in which Dr. Mo Yee Lee discusses her research and clinical work bridging social work practice and an integration of Eastern philosophy/practice with traditional Western approaches to client change. In this episode, Professor Lee introduces the core concepts of the body-mind-spirit approach and its defining characteristics as applied to practice.

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Average Rating: 5stars  thoughtful integration , Sunday, February 09, 2020

By Julia Carey :

In this podcast, Dr. Mo Yee Lee describes and explains the integrative mind-body-spirit approach and its implications on social work practice. In the explanation, Dr. Mo Yee Lee details the tenants of the approach and how it is linked to empirically based research and theories (ancient system theory of the east). In addition, it provides information on the growing interest western culture has in East/West treatment based on Dr. Eisenberg’s 1993 study, revealing Americans spent $13 billion towards this type of treatment. Throughout the podcast, examples of how this integrative approach applies to social work practice is laid out, including its relation to social work’s core concepts, such as strengths based approach and the client system’s deep connection to the environment. Listeners are provided with the basic concepts of integrative mind-body-spirit and how it can affect the client system. One way is the yin yang perspective which balances presenting problems instead of eliminating them. It also touches on its ability to go beyond the focus of the rational mind in social work practice by bringing a stronger connection to the mind and body. One of the highlights of the podcast is Dr. Mo Yee Lee’s practical implications of how integrative mind-body-spirit approach benefits and positively affects the client system. Overall, Dr. Mo Yee Lee imparts thoughtful and important concepts to be considered by social workers.

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Average Rating: 5stars  lee, Sunday, February 03, 2019

By Alfred Womack :

In this series of podcasts, Dr. Lee offers an introduction to the concepts she uses, examples of their uses, and what she sees as some barriers to acceptance of the concepts and the methods of their practice. In the nine years since these recordings were made, many of the concepts Lee describes have found much wider acceptance in the helping professions, among both practitioners and clients.
Most in the social sciences have placed all the emphasis they can on the science side of their practice. Lee follows, grounding her work in fMRI results and controlled experiments. This is probably necessary for acceptance in the mainstream of her field. But it strikes me that what she is describing—a study of change and how we can shape it—is not quite aligned with the mainstream in a fundamental way, even as the mainstream may appear to have embraced it.
One important idea is that change is unavoidable, so we learn to welcome it. It is the product of a feedback mechanism in a grand system. Solution-focused therapy and motivational interviewing are aligned with this approach, and with Lee’s focus on self-reliance and empowerment, her holistic approach, non-intrusiveness, and focus on the present—these elements are all present in many of the leading therapeutic approaches now.
What is missing from the current mainstream is what Lee says about the mind, and what she says is one of the two goals of meditation: its irrationality, and the fostering of emotion and passion. It makes sense that practitioners would want to limit these things in their clients, since unchecked they can be very destructive: combined with impulsiveness, they often lead to trouble. I think if we can focus on helping with impulsiveness, as mindful meditation can do—the panicked need to make a quick decision, the hyper-reactiveness—then we might worry less about irrationality and passion, which are often the very elements that bring about the kinds of changes that make life feel full and rewarding.

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Average Rating: 5stars  integrating body-mind-spirit, Monday, April 22, 2013

By Christina :

In this first segment of Dr Mo Yee Lee's podcast, she explains the concept of integrating Body-Mind-Spirit as a therapeutic approach for social work. Many times, spiritualism is not a component in therapy as it is not seen as a scientific approach. However, Dr Lee argues that spiritualism is a part of our being and people are expressing interest in spiritual techniques as evidenced by the amount of money being spent on these techniques. "People are more than willing to discuss spiritual approaches" explains Lee, and apply the approach to their problem. Dr lee defines this integrated approach as combing Eastern with Western therapeutic techniques such as mindfulness and meditation. Spiritualism traditionally is associated with either values or secularism and confining it instead of using it as a way to manage change. The remaining two segments of this series are as intriguing as the first and go on to further Dr Lee's use of integrating spiritual techniques. Listening to all three is well worth the time.

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Average Rating: 5stars  mind-body-spirit sw, Thursday, April 01, 2010

By Jamie G :

In this podcast Dr. Mo Yee Lee discusses her research and field work in social work practice. She talks about the basic aspects around the mind-body-spirit approach to social work. Also, she discusses an advance to social work practice that integrates Eastern philosophy with Western philosophy to client change. Dr. Mo Yee Lee has stated that the integration of Easten and Westen social work practice provides a more beneficial result to clients.

One particular discussion I found very interesting was the five defining characteristics of the integrative social work practice that Dr. Mo Yee Lee discusses. The five defining characteristics of an integrative social work practice that Dr. Mo Yee Lee shares include: seeing mind-body-spirit as fundamental domains in human experience, seeing that things are connected, being appreciative of diverse life, seeing change and welcoming it, and believing in the healing ability of every individual. Prior to listening to this podcast, I had no knowledge in this area and I found the podcast very informative and interesting. The discussion inspired me to what to learn more about this area.

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Average Rating: 4stars  integrating mind, body & spirit, Friday, March 19, 2010

By Michele M :

Recently, I volunteered for a Caregiver Day that provided caregivers with information and support. One of the guest presenters there discussed the benefits of Tai-Chi and Eastern medicine as a source of healing. After hearing what she had to say about how Eastern and Western medicine can be integrated to provide a more holistic approach to healing, I became more interested in this topic.

In this country, many people tend to think of Eastern medicine as a kind of pseudo-medicine because we live in a society that needs a pill to fix everything. However, after having done some research on the effects of Eastern medicine (specifically Tai-Chi), I was amazed (but not surprised) to learn about the evidence supporting Tai-Chi as a very effective methods for positive health changes. It seems to me that our strict emphasis on the medical model has severely limited the way we treat health (as well as mental health and other) issues. It seems so important to focus on how to help a person regain balance rather than just mask their symptoms.

I found this discussion very informative and enlightening. I hope to be able to learn more about it and learn how to implement this approach with clients in the future.

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Average Rating: 4stars  review of podcast #38, Thursday, March 04, 2010

By Tami :

Considering the vast material that can be covered in this area of practice Dr. Lee did a wonderful job of touching on the main points and including her specialty areas of research. I find very interesting her statement about the mind not being limited to the rational. It is not the first time I’ve heard the concept and enjoy the saying that 99% of perception is reality. These two concepts go hand in hand and describe the experiences that people have as being true to themselves. I also find it important that Dr. Lee spoke about the balance of mind, body, and spirituality. It has been a concern of mine that a person might be so spiritual that they don’t take responsibility for themselves because they believe that it was just meant to be and therefore finding it difficult or no reason to make changes in their lives. I too agree with Dr. Lee that it is the balance of all parts interacting with each other that create the optimal health of a person as in her description of the yin and yang. Although Dr. Lee had time only to briefly touch on many topics I found that the podcast left a lot of room for discussion about what spirituality is and the differences between spirituality and religion. I look forward to Dr. Lee’s future podcasts on this topic.

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Average Rating: 4stars  treating the entire being, Sunday, February 28, 2010

By Mary Godfrey :

In listening to this podcast, I remember a time in the early eighties when I was a member of a church circle. We were presenting a discussion on holistic healing for the other church ladies. This was my first experience with mind-body-spirit healing. I was fascinated by this concept and I still am.
One of the reasons I chose UB's SSW was the school's interest in integrating spirituality into SW practice. The subject is explained very well by Dr. Lee. To treat just one aspect of a person is to ignore other possible blockages to healing. I believe this is very true. I was also impressed with the Dr's idea of holistic balance and that change, while uncomfortable, isn't always a bad thing. It can encourage tremendous growth. To be able to help a client through that change to a more healthy mind-body and spirit is a wonderful process. If one part of a person is out of balance, the whole being can be stressed. If you take the time to help the person heal in all three dimensions, it is a more integrative and inclusive way to help bring the entire person into the right kind of balance.
The Dr. mentioned psychosomatic disorders being a popular diagnosis earlier in psycho-therapy history. Today it is common knowledge that the mind does affect the body and the body does affect the mind, to add the spirit into SW practice is just a natural progression or evolution of our practice. This is not to say that we as social workers can impose our spiritual views on others, but to be open to a client's spiritual needs and to help them to achieve them is well within our scope as practitioners.

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Average Rating: 4stars  integrative body-mind- spirit social work core concepts, Thursday, January 28, 2010

By Sarah J :

As an up and coming Social Worker, I have been exposed to several theories and therapies within my personal, educational, and clinical experience. In listening to Dr. Mo Yee Lee’s podcast discussing the mind-body-spirit integrative approach, I find information conveyed to be holistic in its approach and the most client-friendly, if you will, approach within our profession.

Dr. Mo Yee Lee provides a concise description of the integrative approach and is able to relate it to the combination of Western and Eastern philosophies that have been the foundation of many of the rationales utilized in therapies today. Dr. Mo Yee Lee describes this integrative approach as a positive welcoming of crisis to effectively introduce change while recognizing the importance of an individual as a whole and intaking the different outside “forces” and looking for connectivity within the whole picture to achieve and maintain a person’s equilibrium.

Dr. Mo Yee Lee’s approach of belief in people’s abilities to find a balanced state of being is discussed in this podcast with respect to alternative theories and applications. Dr. Mo Yee Lee expresses the need to integrate the sciences with the spirit through her poignant description of the influence of the ying and the yang. With the ying and yang symbol being that in constant motion as is the individual and the fluidity to find balance.

Within the ever-changing Social Work practices, Dr. Mo Yee Lee sets forth an idea of integration of the mind-body-spirit connection as an option that offers the least traumatizing, client focused, cognitive approach that allows for the individual to receive the value of ultimate homeostasis potential. Dr. Mo Yee Lee uses this model to pull from the individual’s own abilities and own ideas and instead of attempting to change values it recognizes potentials and builds upon them.

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