Susan Furtado is combining the fields of psychotherapy, nutrition and neuroscience.
She describes her psycho-nutra-therapy as a very holistic and integrative method to treating mood disorders.
"I never cookie-cut a treatment plan for individuals," she says. "Everyone is biochemically different. Everyone has different experiences. So, that is really important for me when it comes to creating a collaborative treatment plan."
Furtado, who has experience working at the Mood Disorders Association of British Columbia in Vancouver, moved to the Village Clinic in Tsawwassen in March.
The 15-year Ladner resident said she felt drawn to work closer to her community and local clients. Since every cell of our bodies and every neurotransmitter is built by what we eat, it makes a lot of sense to her as a therapist to incorporate nutrition, she says.
"It's something we do every single day of our lives. We have a relationship with food. So I incorporate the relationship of others, ourselves and food," says Furtado, who has been in the natural health food industry for 20 years.
She says she wants to bridge the mood to food connection.
"I'm here to create a new field of practice in psychology that incorporates nutrition as part of the treatment plan."
She also uses compassionate- focused therapy, which she describes as a mind set and heartfelt training in essence that involves understanding, acceptance, forgiveness and kindness to oneself.
This entitles the compassionate understanding of one's difficulties in the face-off failure or setbacks as a way of alleviation of psychological disorders instead of denying or stepping away from certain painful experiences as we as society like to do, she explains.
Self-compassion behaviour as part of her treatment focuses on alleviating distress while facilitating development and growth.