Holistic Mental Health Counseling Services
What is Holistic Psychotherapy?
Holistic mental health or holistic psychotherapy focuses on the relationship between the individual’s mind, body, and spirit. Many practitioners of holistic psychotherapy described it as a “psychology of hope” with the goal of helping individuals create a life of personal meaning and values. The psychologist who practices in a holistic way attempts to understand and address the ways that issues in one aspect of a person can lead to concerns in other areas. Holistic psychologists may refer to themselves as “Integrative” or “Mind-body” therapists.
The goal of holistic mental health psychotherapy is to help the individual obtain awareness of the connections among emotions, thoughts, physical experiences, and spiritual beliefs. A holistic psychologist helps the individual understand that when these aspects work in harmony, the individual gains more self-awareness, improved self-esteem and greater self-acceptance.
Does Holistic Psychotherapy cure my symptoms?
Holistic psychotherapy views symptoms as the path to greater self-awareness and acceptance. In holistic psychotherapy, symptoms are not seen as an obstacle to overcome. Rather accepting, or tolerating, one’s feelings of anxiety or worry or depression in the present moment is the goal. The psychologist who works within a holistic approach, helps individuals accept the present moment: including the challenges and stressors. Holistic psychotherapy supports individuals to accept the feelings and thoughts they are having in the present moment. From this acceptance, individuals can reduce resistance and fears while increasing relaxation and contentment.
What are some techniques a Holistic Psychologist might use?
Symbolic or creative art therapy using visual arts such as drawing, painting, sculpting, photography and movement therapy such as dance or tai chi provide a connection between one’s mind-body-spirit.
Journaling helps an individual structure the feelings and thoughts that they seek to understand. Their journal entries reveal the themes that the individual is facing in real-time. Their awareness of these themes is the first step toward acceptance and integration. As noted earlier, the integration of one’s emotional, spiritual, and physical realities is the goal. Some holistic psychologists will invite the client to share their journal during the psychotherapy session.
Kinetic activities including yoga, exercise, bodywork/massage, and water activities help create a connection among body-spirit-emotions.
Hypnosis is a treatment that brings an individual into a relaxed state (sometimes called a trance). When an individual is in a state of relaxation, the holistic psychologist can provide suggestions for acceptance of the client’s current state.
Breathwork therapy involves body awareness and helps the individual focus on the present moment as a way of attaining psychological and spiritual insights. In this way, one’s own breathing is used to restore harmony among the mind, body, and spirit.
Guided imagery is often used along with deep breathing and relaxation therapy to create well-being by actively creating images of body-mind-spirit working together in harmony.
Mindfulness is a highly regarded approach used by many holistic psychologists to help the individual accept their present situation without judgment.
The above techniques are a sample of techniques that are used in holistic psychotherapy. A holistic psychologist believes that the client’s self-perception is not limited to only one area such as mind OR body OR spirit, but is an integration of mind AND body AND spirit. Thus, other techniques that help the individual gain awareness of the connections between the mind, body, and spirit using a number of different techniques can be used. The goal is to help individuals develop a much deeper understanding of themselves at all levels, which can often lead to improved self-esteem and self-awareness.
How do I know if my issue can be addressed by holistic psychotherapy?
It is important to note that holistic psychologists often use the techniques described above in conjunction with traditional evidence-based therapies such as cognitive-behavioral therapy or dialectical behavior therapy. Many traditional forms of psychotherapy can offer enhanced outcomes when certain holistic techniques are incorporated.
Individuals with emotional issues such as depression, stress or anxiety, family and relationship problems, stage of life issues, work-related issues, sexual abuse, trauma, addiction to drugs, alcohol or unwanted behaviors may find benefit from holistic psychotherapy.