It comes as no surprise that current trends in the psychology world have equated to the growth in the alternative and complementary medicine field. The techniques utilized to cure patients both mentally and physically are progressively holistic in their methods. Studies reveal that holistic techniques for decreasing anxiety, depression, and stress are being used by clients and patients more and more, successively substituting what was once a restricted authority of medicines as the cure.
Even the United States military has documented a remarkable surge in the use of techniques such as exercise, spiritual and energy healing, meditation, and hypnosis. Their most updated research stated that out of the 16,000 military participants, at least 45% of them had used at least one holistic healing technique.
It is a method that helps individuals recover by involving the whole human being and its life encounters for evaluation and treatment purposes. This means that while traditional counseling methods consider the mental complications of behaviors and other matters, holistic counseling evaluates and deals with the physical and spiritual contexts, including the psychological ones.
It is vital to note that a licensed counselor who utilizes a holistic approach and counsels clients by utilizing holistic techniques is not the same. The former is an individual who is has graduated from college, holds a master’s degree in therapy, counseling, or social work, and has met all the requirements for licensure in the state that he will practice in. The latter could have or have not completed a degree but perhaps took some short courses and earned special certificates in holistic healing. He is usually referred to as a life coach or a holistic or spiritual counselor.
The Physical Aspect
Holistic counseling looks into the client’s current symptoms and problems. It assesses the client’s physical body’s impact and involvement to expedite an awareness of his physical state. Counselors have an array of fields on which they can be certified and focus on. For instance, yoga, energy healing, Reiki-based therapy, chiropractic methods, acupressure/acupuncture, and massage therapy. Many of them assist with weight management, creating a sustainable diet plan, exercise, supplementation of vitamins and minerals, and creating positive health measures.
Addressing The Spiritual Aspect
Holistic counselors and therapists recognize that a person’s spirit is intimately tangled in the recovery of the entire person – his body, mind, and soul. Some counselors have specific religions or beliefs of their own, but they prefer to integrate the spiritual aspect universally. However, other holistic counselors prefer to let the client stand for his or her own personal convictions and incorporate these into the spiritual work performed during the counseling session.
However, an individual who does not have any beliefs or thoughts about the afterlife often goes through anxiety or depression. They usually feel that they do not have a greater purpose for why they are alive today. This somehow results in him spiraling down until he loses self-control. When a counselor or therapist integrates one’s spirituality into his treatment regimen, this helps the client understand and heal from his past trauma and eventually perceive himself better.
The Mental Aspects
Normally, holistic counselors are conscious and aware of the mental state of their clients. Knowledge and abilities acquired from college and internships help the counselor navigate the behaviors and symptoms to evaluate problems and identify action plans. Holistic counselors do not ignore traditionally employed techniques, although they prefer to incorporate them into their observations based on their spiritual assessment of their client.
Earlier forms of counseling are continually implemented in therapy, together with other holistic healing methods. This includes exposure therapy, hypnotism, and talk therapy. All these techniques work with the brain to assist a client in understanding his own feelings and cope better. Combining all these helps him feel good about himself and enables him to face life’s challenges better and stronger.
But, of course, various treatments work for various people. If one specific technique works for someone, it doesn’t mean everyone will benefit from that technique. It is also crucial to get a referral for a well-known counselor for his good reputation and experience with his clients and other colleagues from the mental health field.
A counselor who practices holistic healing is aware of his clients’ whole existence. He employs an interdisciplinary approach to mental healing. His work brings him into the various scopes of human experience – the spiritual, the physical, and the mental. Finally, the holistic counselor aims to heal by assisting his clients in getting rid of their damaging behaviors and live a life that is improved in all aspects. He does not see his client as broken and in dire need of fixing. He focuses on guiding the client towards healing, as he eventually attains physical, spiritual, and psychological wellness.