Holistic Counseling Holistic Counseling is an approach which helps clients to heal by taking the entire human being and their life experiences into consideration for assessment and treatment purposes. In other words, where traditional counseling methods consider the psychological ramifications of issues and behaviors; holistic counseling assesses and treats from physical and spiritual contexts--as well as a psychological or mental ones. Holistic psychotherapy focuses on the relationship between mind, body, and spirit, attempting to understand and address the ways issues in one aspect of a person can lead to concerns in other areas. Those pursuing holistic therapy may, with the support of a qualified mental health professional, become better attuned to their entire awareness, which can often promote greater acceptance of the self. Holistic therapy theory holds that a person's consciousness is not housed in any one part of the person but is instead an integration of the mind, body, and spirit. Practitioners of holistic psychotherapy, who believe viewing each person as a whole being is an essential first step in providing care, typically collaborate with those in therapy to help them gain awareness of the connections between their emotions, thoughts, physical experiences, and spiritual understandings. Therapists can help individuals realize each of these components work together in harmony to support typical daily function. This deeper understanding of the whole self can often lend itself to greater self-awareness, self-esteem, and self-acceptance.
Many holistic professionals believe that the body as a whole can really control how a person feels on a more mental level. Something like depression or anxiety may be related to a predetermined mental health issue, but it may be able to be effectively controlled and managed by using more physical treatment options. These treatments can vary but often include:
What a person eats may very well be affecting how they feel and what they may be lacking can have an effect as well. Many holistic professionals will take a detailed look at what a patient is consuming on a daily basis and ask them to cut out things like alcohol, refined sugars, and processed foods. These things can increase a person’s anxiety and depression very quickly.
The body’s overall alignment may affect mental health, according to some professionals. Things like chiropractic care or ongoing yoga practices can help align the body and keep it in sync physically and mentally.
There are new treatments being used like sensory deprivation chambers, saltwater chambers and so on that help heal the body and help it function optimally to promote healthy mental health. Keeping the body functioning at its best will help a person feel good physically and mentally. These two things function very hand in hand.
Another aspect of this holistic care is addressing the spiritual side of life. The holistic counselor acknowledges that the human spirit is intricately involved in the healing of the total person—mind, body and soul. A person who doesn’t have any concept or beliefs in the afterlife or beyond this realm of thinking often experiences things like depression or anxiety. They don’t always feel they have a greater purpose and this can cause a patient to spiral out of control. When a practitioner incorporates spirituality into a treatment plan, this can help a person heal from past experiences and it can give them a better sense of self. Holistic therapy can be used to address any number of challenges, in a diverse range of individuals. A holistic approach may be beneficial in the treatment of:
Concerns related to mood regulation
Trauma such as abuse and sexual assault
The ideas behind holistic therapy are frequently used in areas of preventative therapy, which are also known as wellness practices. Within the realm of prevention, holistic therapy takes the form of numerous alternative practices such as meditation, yoga, acupuncture, and massage therapy. In addition, a wellness-focused therapist will generally work with people to strike a balance in taking care of their mind, body, and spirit. This often involves encouraging people to take part in physical activities, explore their spirituality (for those who express a spiritual nature), or remain connected to their loved ones through positive communication styles.
Research suggests that holistic techniques used to reduce stress, anxiety and depression are being utilized by patients and clients more than ever; subsequently replacing what used to be the exclusive purview of pharmaceutical remedies. Even the United States military has showed a marked increase in the use of methods such as hypnosis, relaxation exercise, meditation, spiritual healing and energy healing--according to a study done by the Samueli Institute in Alexandria, Virginia.