Coined from a Greek word, 'holos', meaning 'whole' or 'complete', holistic therapies approach disease and disorders as parts of a greater whole. Rather than treating just the symptoms, a holistic practitioner looks deeper and tries to uncover underlying causes. Holistic counsellors look at the interconnectedness of the body, mind and spirit to help facilitate wellness.
It is difficult to pinpoint specific techniques employed by all holistic counsellors, because they come from different backgrounds, have studied different therapeutic modalities and even change their methods according to their sense of a client's needs. A few of the more common types of therapies used by holistic counsellors include:
- Psychotherapy: A trained psychotherapist may use formal techniques as part of a holistic approach to counselling. Many holistic psychotherapists help clients explore the subconscious and unconscious aspects of the self or personality.
- Mindfulness is a meditative process that allows an individual to view their own thoughts and behaviour from a compassionate perspective. A holistic counsellor may give mindfulness training to a client to help facilitate self therapy. Focusing is a specific technique that emphasises focusing on a felt body sense and listening to what it has to "say." Many other techniques with different names follow similar systems of body awareness.
- Art is used for therapeutic purposes, to enhance creativity and/or explore the subconscious and unconscious mind.
- Hypnosis is sometimes used to explore deeper levels of consciousness.
These and many other techniques are employed, but the emphasis in holistic counselling is always on facilitating self discovery and self healing. Holistic counsellors often say that they enter into a partnership with a client and assist them in accessing their own inner wisdom rather than imparting wisdom, knowledge or healing themselves.
How Holistic Counselling May Be of Help to You
Holistic Counselling may help you achieve:
- Greater self awareness and self acceptance.
- A more peaceful, centred approach to life.
- Greater health and vitality.
- Emotional well being.
- A deepened sense of spirituality.
- A greater ability to cope with traumas such as death, divorce and abuse.
- An enhanced feeling of optimism and self esteem.
Holistic counselling is a gentle and compassionate form of therapy that may help you help yourself when you feel the need for support or assistance. Contact a holistic counsellor in your area and ask about the services they provide. When you find one you trust and who resonates with you, it may be the beginning of a remarkable journey of self discovery.
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