What ‘holistic counselling’ means to me

At some point in our lives, we’ve all heard someone suggest counselling. When you think about counselling, you might imagine laying on a sofa, while someone asks you about your childhood. Thankfully, there is more than one kind of counselling. Holistic counselling is a form of counselling focused on the entirety of an individual. Holistic counselling considers not only the mind, but also the body and spirit and how each of these elements interconnect. In my experience, holistic counselling can help people on their journey of discovery, empowerment, and growth, to heal, and to build inner wisdom.

How is this different than traditional therapy? Well, traditional therapy can tend to focus on a certain disorder or dysfunction a person might present with. While this can be effective in some cases, it doesn’t work for everyone. And why is that? Well firstly a lot of people dont have a disorder! They just know things can be improved, and want some guidance along the way. Another problem is that focusing on a particular presenting problem can miss all the important elements that create a person, such as life experiences, philosophical and spiritual beliefs, emotionality, psychology, physical health, and more. Holistic counselling can help to identify patterns that may be more complex or relate to multiple facets of your life.

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For people interested in holistic counselling, below is a brief summary of how I might integrate the physical, psychological and spiritual elements in a session:

Physical: Here we could discuss any physical concerns you have and how they may be contributing to your overall wellbeing. We might start with discussing lifestyle, diet, and exercise. We might also discuss potential activities, treatments or new activities and physical behaviours that could be of benefit to you, depending on your personal circumstances.

Psychological: Here we could explore thought patterns to determine what’s bothering you most currently and to come up with a course of action for improvement and change. In my practice I work collaboratively with clients to 1. Explore deeper concerns (both past and present) and long-term patterns, and 2. Develop strategies and practices to improve psychological wellbeing currently and for the future. This might include a combination of traditional therapies and deeper conversations that are more personal, and focused on overall personal wellbeing.

Spiritual: A core principle in holistic counselling is that the human spirit is essential in healing an individual’s mind, body, and soul. In fact, many cultures around the world still follow ancestral teachings which state that the body and soul are not separated. Personally, in my practice I have found that holistic counselling can provide a safe and nurturing platform for an individual to express, explore and find ways of integrating their spiritually beliefs/philosophies into all aspects of their lives (e.g. physically, emotionally, psychologically). Some practices and techniques that I may draw on to help a client gain a deeper sense of clarity and to assist with integrating their personal faith and philosophies into their general wellbeing, could be through relaxation techniques, mindfulness or meditation (just to name a few). I have also found that when an individual begins to integrate their personal spiritual philosophies and practices on their journey of healing and change, comes a greater sense of belonging and inner peace.

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Combining all these elements together in a holistic counselling process can help you feel better in both body and soul as well as feeling more ‘grounded’ and able to function better in everyday life. Holistic counselling can be a highly personal and nurturing process, and can be a fantastic option for those who have not found success with traditional therapies. Or for those who want a more personalised form of counselling that examines your entire life, not just what you’re experiencing day to day. Maybe also for those who want to connect within yourself on a deeper spiritual level. Or maybe those who feel that traditional therapies are too rigid and not suited to your individual needs. Either way, holistic counselling is an amazing option for people who want to work on developing greater wellbeing, spirituality, and inner peace, and to move positively forward in life and achieve long lasting results.

If you are located in the Brisbane area, please feel free get into contact with me for any more information. As well as holistic counselling, I offer life and career coaching, and run various workshops and courses.