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What is Holistic Therapy?

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Holistic therapy is an approach to mental health treatment that considers the whole picture of your wellbeing.

This means that your mental, physical, and spiritual health are considered equally important and inextricably linked to one another.

Therefore, while the focus may be on your mental health in therapy, your holistic therapist will carefully consider how the other elements of your wellbeing may influence your current mental and emotional state.

what does holistic therapy look like?

Typically, a holistic therapist will be compassionately curious about how you currently care for your mental, physical, and spiritual health.

This may include questions about diet, exercise, spiritual practice, and more.

Incorporating what is already working for you is key to any successful therapy approach. Your holistic therapist may also help you consider how to build off of your strengths in these areas.

For example, if meditation is a part of your spiritual practice, you and your therapist may work together to determine ways to incorporate this into your self-care routine.

Holistic therapy does not follow a certain therapeutic approach. However, there are some therapy models that align with the holistic way of thinking.

These include:

  • Internal Family Systems

  • Somatic Experiencing

  • Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing

  • Sensorimotor

  • Inner child healing

  • Contemplative psychology

The key to any holistic treatment is the practitioner’s assumption that your wellbeing is dependent on more than just one element or part of yourself.

Here’s an example:

Let’s say that recently you have intermittently started breaking out into hives. You’ve never experienced this before and you have no known allergies. After what seems like an endless amount of tests and ointments, you’re still suffering from those itchy bumps.

While talking this through with your therapist who uses a holistic treatment approach, she gets curious about when your break outs get worse. You both start to notice that they worsen at the end of the month, when you have an important report due for your job.

You work together to make a stress-management routine for this time of the month to address the mental and physical strain it puts on you. After a couple of months, you notice your hives start to fade and by month six, they have completely disappeared.

Here’s the thing: If your therapist was not using a holistic lens, she may have thought your hives were strictly a medical issue. However, because she knows that the mind and body work closely together, she got curious about how these two may be affecting each other in this instance and ultimately led to a relief of your symptoms.

what are some holistic therapy techniques?

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To be most effective, holistic therapists frequently incorporate more than one aspect of healing into their interventions.

For example, yoga incorporates both your mental and physical health while meditation includes mental and spiritual components.

Other common tools include:

  • Breathwork

  • Art Therapy

  • Mindfulness

  • Mantras

  • Mental Health Nutrition

  • Mindful movement

  • Relaxation techniques

who does holistic therapy treat?

Here’s the good news: Holistic therapy can helpful to so many different people.

Because holistic treatment is an approach to healing, and not a specific intervention or technique, it can be applied to so many different mental health struggles.

Holistic therapy can be helpful for those who suffer with:

  • Anxiety

  • Depression

  • Traumatic stress symptoms

  • Mood disorders

  • Addiction

It may also be a good fit for you if:

  • You are spiritual

  • You believe that physical health and mental health are connected

  • You want to know how to improve many aspects of your life, not just the way you think

  • You are interested in mindfulness and meditative practices

  • Other types of therapy haven’t been successful

alright, so let’s recap. ready?

  • Holistic therapy incorporates all components of your wellbeing to improve your mental health.

  • Because it is not a specific therapy model, it can be used to help most people struggling with their mental health.

  • It may be a good fit for you if you are spiritual or interested in expanding your spiritual practice

  • Common techniques include breathwork, meditation, and mantras

Sound like something up your alley?

“The soul always knows what to do to heal itself. The challenge is to silence the mind.” -Caroline Miss

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