Looking at someone’s relationship to their body is often the key to tackling pain and stress complaints.

With an integral approach such as this, attention is given to social and psychological factors as well as the physical complaint. In therapists’ language, this is called ‘not limited to a purely somatic symptom-focused approach’. In the opinion of Practice Mieke Stevens, such an integral approach is very important, because clients (especially those with stress-related complaints) are likely to end up stranded between the ‘paramedical’ and the ‘medical’ poles. Descriptions and experiences of people who are dealing with physically ‘unexplained’ and stress-related discomforts often deal with processes whose cause is not easily identifiable. Purely medical research often produces nothing concrete in these cases and treatment methods that ought to help have little or no result.

Commonly existing (chronic) pain complaints such as pain in the neck, shoulders, back, head, joints, muscles, stomach or stomach are common examples. Feelings of hurriedness, irritability, anxiety, hyperventilation or overstrain are further indications. Key terms in Praktijk Mieke Stevens’ method are ‘open’ and ‘interdisciplinary’. No one specific method acts as the starting point for the treatment. Clients are invited for an exploratory interview, in which complaints the client experiences are explored together. The outcome may be that the client is initially referred back to a general practitioner or specialist for futher examination of medical indications. If that track is completed or not deemed necessary, a treatment approach will be discussed in further consultation.