•  Navigation
  • Or Why I Am Still Excited About Being a Healthcare Professional.

    Many of us wear multiple hats during the day, both in our personal and professional lives. One hat I frequently wear is called the “Holder of Hope.”

    Underneath its brim, I stand with clients and look into the abyss. Call it depression, trauma, chronic pain, anxiety, grief, psychosis, spiritual warfare, or even the devastating impact of broken systems of care… the abyss is a scary place. I stand with people and we stare unflinchingly into the abyss- together. They are not alone. I tell them stories of others who have stood where they are, fought their fight, and gone on to flourish. I tell them that when they have no hope, their circle can help hold it for them.


    This is what we do for each other. Sometimes, we hold the hope, and sometimes, others hold it for us.

    In my last post, I told you this one would be about why I thought the future of integrative medicine looks bright. One word.


    People the plural…the world-wide community of bright, talented, dedicated souls who fight the fight. This happens on a large, pretty scale through communities such as the Functional Forum and it happens in the nitty gritty, from the store front clinics, to the exam room, and to the jungle.

    I am listing below some of the community I have found who help hold the hope for me, who help me keep looking up and looking bright.

    For who and what do you hold the hope… and who holds it for you?


    Tribe: a Healing Arts Community

    This lovely little corner of the world also happens to be my office in Chicago and a beautiful community of like-minded practitioners.

    Belize Botanic Gardens

    I recently toured this facility and was deeply moved as one of their native biologists described how his journey of learning and caring for the plants as a young adult helped him overcome the trauma of an abusive home. He had such a deep respect for the complex ecosystem of medicinal and food plant and human interaction and this out of the way garden is not only gorgeous but doing so much to protect, preserve and support their local community.


    The Functional Forum is the world’s largest integrative medicine conference curating the industry’s leading innovators in a mixed-media format that combines interviews, TED-style talks, videos, audience interaction, and music, all archived for free forever on their Youtube Channel.


    IFM serves as a leader and catalyst of the ecosystem of functional medicine, incubating, supporting, and disseminating creative and innovative new tools and approaches highlighting the central concept of an interconnected web binding all elements of body (physiology, biochemistry), mind, and spirit.

    Whole Health Chicago

    The Midwest’s oldest and most respected center for integrative care. I love Dr. Edelberg’s blog and their extensive library of articles on health concerns and ailments, alternative therapies, nutritional supplements, etc. is wonderful.

    *I also have the distinct privilege of collaborating with a wide array of incredible colleagues and practitioners who walk the walk with me! Too many to list.

    *And to the people who trust me to be part of their health team, who keep showing up in their own lives…you make it all worth while. You help hold my  hope!

    Aline Bethea Defiglia LCSW, MPH  is a licensed psychotherapist, coach, trainer and consultant practicing in Chicago and Elmhurst, Illinois.  You can find out more at www.abwellness.life