How Holistic Counseling can help with Healing
As a Therapist I am always wanting to provide the most effective and up to date treatments to help the clients I serve to find healing in a shorter amount of time. I used to provide mostly traditional talk therapy and clients found some results and healing. However there were some clients who seemed to hit a wall with their progress and they felt stuck. Many had complex trauma and traditional talk therapy with cognitive behavioral strategies only seemed to only go so far. CBT is a type of treatment that looks at negative or unhelpful thoughts, helps you dispute the accuracy of the thought and find ways to reframe the thought and create more helpful thinking. This is research based and does have it place in helping many work through challenges with anxiety or depression.
From a neurobiological level when you are dealing with issues around anxiety, depression or trauma your prefrontal cortex (the front of the brain behind your forehead) can go “offline” and make it harder to think and process information. If you are in freeze, fight or flight response it is much harder to get healing from just talk therapy. This is where bringing the body into treatment can be so helpful and allow you to access the deeper parts of the brain. By using somatic strategies like yoga, breath work or Brainspotting, therapists are able to access the deeper parts of the brain to allow for more healing that cant be accessed from talk therapy alone.
Holistic counselors treat clients from the whole person perspective. This can include assessing issues of the mind, body, spirit, social supports , financial, career, physical activity, eating habits and sleep. When you apply treatment to one part it can impact the other parts, everything is connected. As an example if you struggle with sleeping it can impact your mood, level of irritability and ability to concentrate. By working on sleep hygiene you may find ways to improve your sleep and therefore improve some of your mental health concerns. Pretty cool right?
Many inquiries I receive ask the question about how does Holistic Counseling differ in a session? It can involve using grounding techniques to start a session, teaching a new breath work pattern to calm down the nervous system, using a short yoga sequence to either ground or energize you. Other techniques may involve meditation, mindfulness and energy healing, every provider may offer different modalities to use in your session. Consent is most important! You will always be asked if its ok to use one of these modalitiesin a session, the ball is always in your court to decide what you best need that day. You always have the right to decline anything you are not aligned with.
Overall Holistic Counseling can go a bit deeper than traditional talk therapy and engages the body in different out of the box ways. It can help you get back into your body, connect with spiritual practices and find ways to better manage your anxiety and/or depression.