I’m often asked what it means to work with a client holistically. For me, it means I examine each of my clients holistically. 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. I listen to my client’s core language, I help them gain awareness of the connections between their emotions, thoughts, physical experiences, and spiritual understandings. Helping my clients realize each of these components work together in harmony to support typical daily function is necessary for change. This deeper understanding of the whole self can often lend itself to greater self-awareness, self-esteem, and self-acceptance.
In order to develop awareness through holistic therapy, I work less to help individuals achieve change and more to help them accept the present moment—who they are and where they are. I offer support as my clients work to accept what is going on within. Once this acceptance is achieved, individuals may be able to let go of their own resistance, which can further allows them to relax and release any fears. Acceptance and relaxation are important components of this therapy.
Through communication, emotions arise from the release of the bodily tension. As this happens in therapy, we can begin to explore the emotions and the role they play in my clients life. Many don’t realize that the resistance and denial of emotions a can hinder healing. Once an individual makes a decision (conscious or unconscious) to notice this, then, and only then, can someone accept the emotions as part of the person’s whole self. In short- it’s the awareness, and acceptance of their emotions that we’re seeking to accomplice initially.
The spiritual component is often the most difficult to reach. The goal is to connect the client to a deeper meaning in the world. This process typically involves psychoeducation on philosophy and meditation.
The point of holistic work is to address the whole, and not parts of the whole. If I worked in “parts” I’d merely be addressing symptoms- often this is where medications come into play. This does not heal, this represses, in turn merely putting a bandage over the problem.