What is a holistic approach? You may have heard the terms holistic approach used to coin an alternative way of treating physical disorders in the medical field. Acupuncture and chiropractic treatments are two examples. I hesitate to use the word “alternative,” because as time goes on these treatments are becoming mainstream and much more accepted in our culture. In fact, According to CNN one-half of all medical schools now offer courses in holistic health care.
A holistic approach to mental health treatment incorporates the whole person; mind, body and spirit. From this perspective, all three are intertwined working together, not independently. What affects one affects the other. Let’s say you start psychotherapy because you are experiencing excessive anxiety and depression. After a thorough assessment, the therapist learns that the person is also struggling with recurring colds, low energy and an overall unhealthy feeling. Working with a therapist on a psychological level alone may be beneficial to an extent, but it might be difficult to stay motivated to do the work when feeling sick and tired all the time.
What might one expect from a mental health practitioner incorporating mind, body and soul into their practice? Below is a brief description of each component and what it may entail.
The psychology of emotions is what all mental health practitioners focus on using one approach or an eclectic mix of approaches. “Talk therapy,” is a therapist helping one to overcome emotional challenges or work through life stressors using their preferred psychological approach. Some therapists only address one’s psychology much like some medical practitioners only address one’s biology. There are many options from traditional psychotherapy approaches to energy therapies. Do your research and find a good fit for you. Some common approaches: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT), Dialectical Behaviorial Therapy (DBT), Psychodynamic Therapy, Humanistic Therapy, Solution Focused Brief Therapy, Family Systems, Human Needs Psychology, Strategic Intervention (SI), Neuro Linquistic Programming (NLP), Hypnosis, Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) just to name a few.
As mentioned earlier, it’s difficult to feel emotionally well when feeling sick and tired all the time. But, is there a connection? The holistic approach believes there is and a therapist who practices this approach will make sure to ask questions about current physical activity and nutrition habits. Depending on his/her background the therapist may help clients to understand the food/mood connection and make suggestions or they may offer referrals to experts in the fields of holistic nutrition, acupuncture, chiropractic medicine, yoga, Reike and others.
Is your spirit soaring or do you feel spiritually spent? Renewing your soul is vital to a happy fulfilling life. A holistic therapist incorporates the spirit and explores with the client personalized ways to revitalize passion for life so often missing in people. A good therapist will work from the client's belief system to help them create the fulfillment in life that they deserve.
The greatest gift you have to give is that of your own self-transformation.”
Peg Haust-Arliss, LCSW-R is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Certified Cognitive Therapist and Robbins-Madanes Life Coach and Relationship Educator residing in Upstate New York.
Her passionate mission is to help people overcome anxiety and other life challenges using a holistic approach and to do her part to create a shift from a reactive, symptom-driven, disease mindset approach to a proactive, practical, empowering, all natural approach for emotional wellness.
Learn more about Peg and her services at www.PegHaust.com
 Citation: Disabled World News (2009-01-16) - The World Health Organization estimates 65 - 80 percent of the population use holistic naturopathic medicine as a primary form of health care: http://www.disabled-world.com/medical/alternative/holistic/care-statistics.php#ixzz20tXUkooJ