Holistic counselling represents a unique way of counselling that is focused on the individual as a whole and considers psychological as well as physiological disorders as part of the greater whole and reckons the body, spirit and mind as a fundamentally interconnected unit. The term ‘holistic’ has its origin in the Greek word ‘holos’ which means complete or whole. Thus the effort of a holistic practitioner is focused on discovering the underlying causes than addressing the symptoms. The interconnection of the body with the mind and spirit is taken into account while arriving at treatment/cure for specific ailments.Holistic counsellors may employ different techniques since they belong to different backgrounds, have studied multiple or different therapeutic methods and may even change those methods in consonance with what they feel is best for the client.
Holistic counsellors may employ different techniques since they belong to different backgrounds, have studied multiple or different therapeutic methods and may even change those methods in consonance with what they feel is best for the client. Some of the common approaches include:
- Mindfulness – This represents a meditative process allowing the individual to view their behaviour and thoughts with a compassionate perspective. The holistic counsellor may provide the client with training in mindfulness so that he/she can administer self-therapy. Another specific technique is focusing which emphasises focus on a body sense that is felt and then listen to what the body is trying to communicate. Although there are many other systems, they all follow identical systems when it comes to awareness of the body.
- Holistic counselling also uses art to explore unconscious/subconscious mind and enhance creativity as a therapeutic means.
- Hypnosis is also used at times to delve into the deeper level of consciousness
As we stated earlier, there are some other techniques that may be employed by holistic counsellors, but the emphasis is always on enabling self-healing and self-discovery. Often, holistic counsellors state that they engage in partnership with the client to assist him/her access his/her inner wisdom than imparting knowledge or wisdom to heal themselves.
Benefits of holistic counselling
The following are among the benefits that you can expect from holistic counselling
- A more centred and peaceful approach to life
- Greater self-acceptance and self-awareness
- Greater vitality and health
- Emotional wellness
- A deeper sense of spirituality
- Greater ability in coping with traumas like divorce, death or abuse
- An elevated feeling of self-esteem and optimism
Generally speaking, holistic counselling is a compassionate and gentle method of therapy that seeks to assist you in helping yourself when you feel that assistance and support are needed. You can always look for a holistic counsellor in your neighbourhood and check out the services provided by him/her. When you have found someone you can trust and someone who resonates with you, it could well be the beginning of a long and remarkable journey of self-discovery.
According to the recent study by The Three Seas Psychology Group, holistic counselling can help you open up to a fresh beginning through a unique space between the counsellor and the client assisting the individual to move out of a stuck space or problem and move forward to a place of change with skilled and compassionate support. The type of therapy may differ from one counsellor to the other with some counsellors focusing on the past of the individual (particularly the childhood) which can be useful and has a certain bearing on life in the later years. This approach, at the minimum, helps to identify a marker on the origin of the individual.
Other forms of therapy may focus on solutions and aim at restructuring the individual’s thinking to sequence improvement in behavioural outcomes. For any form of therapy to be most effective, the individual should feel the difference and could well be an eclectic mix like holistic counselling that focuses on the individual than the counselling method itself.
A good therapy initiated by the holistic counsellor aims at getting under the skin of the individual, underneath the spoken words, and into his body considering the edges of the issue on hand from a different perspective. Thus, when the client/you rise to talking sense to yourself, you have achieved the results from the therapy. Thus, nearly every method and every form of holistic therapy focus on helping you to shift gears and move into a different and new frame of perspective and reference so that you move into a changed state. It takes vulnerability, honesty and energy to purvey the surface and more importantly, get beneath the surface to guide you towards a new way of being. Or, we can say that holistic counselling can help the ship set sail.
How long does it take to benefit from holistic counselling?
Holistic counselling is a short-term activity since it is goal oriented with a framework that has tasked you should complete achieving the desired outcomes. Every type of ‘talking therapy‘ needs consolidation about action-oriented activities and anchoring of the individual into the future, then digging up his past or getting stuck in the ongoing trauma.
The manner in which your progress is measured by you will determine how many sessions you need to absorb the change and move forward. But, depending on the intensity of your issues, you may need to be prepared for longer sessions or even ongoing therapy, so that deeper issues are effectively explored and addressed. And if related or new issues surface later, it is natural that you seek fresh support from your counsellor.
You must be active and involved
Given that true healing from holistic counselling comes from within, it is essential that you are involved as well as active throughout the counselling sessions and therapy. This is a method that seeks to work from within you and bring about the desired outcomes more through your efforts than any form of medication. Believing firmly that you can do it is therefore paramount.