Holistic Psychotherapy

“ Holistic Psychotherapy, for me is providing clients an ego supportive positive psychology approach that includes safe touch, Reiki and energy somatic experiencing, hatha yoga, meditation, Breathing exercises, visualization, guided imagery, aromatherapy, herbal medicine, and spirituality, as the need arises, and based on the client’s interest”

The word holistic implies, whole, complete, comprehensive, or as I like defining it inclusive of energetic, physical and subtle) MIND, SPIRIT, and of all living things. 

Consequently, it would be accurate to say that healers, body and energy therapist, psychotherapist, doctors, shamans, and others that practice Holistic Medicine, would probably define holistic therapy according to what they include in their practices.

My definition of Holistic Psychotherapy evolved over time.  As my understanding of the impact of abuse, neglect and trauma grew, so did my commitment to my own healing and to discover, educate and prepare myself to be of service to those seeking my support.

What do I use when working with survivors?yoga 657054 640

It all started with the mental, behavioral, and psychological training I acquired from my clinical studies throughout social work school and other clinical post graduate training.

Shortly after, I became interested in body work.  It became clear to me that the body held memories; often memories that the mind had forgotten, or perhaps was never able to process, witness or tolerate acknowledging. 

This awareness led to my interest and dedication to body work and massage therapy.  I started incorporating, what I then called Psycho-Therapeutic Bodywork, a process oriented physical massage. 

It was during this time that I studied and included in my practice other medicinal/healing approaches.

I found that including essential oils and aromatherapy in the treatment, for some, provided the grounding, calming, clarity, detoxification and even the access to memories that would otherwise just be experienced on a body level.

I started learning about practices that spoke of energy.  Taking courses in foot reflexology, Chakra healing, Safe Touch and becoming a Reiki Master.  

By now, I had developed my own Yoga Practice.  And before I knew it, I was teaching Level I Yoga, Meditation and Breathing exercises.  My time at the Ashram resulted in obtaining a Teacher Training Certification which prepared me to teach classes, but also learn how Yoga supported, mind, body and spirit well-being. And most excitedly, to identify poses that would help the healing of survivor’s sexual trauma.

Soon after, I had added discussions and client education on the use of medicinal herbs.  These suggestions became essential to those seeking non pharmaceutical interventions to address issues of depression,  anxiety, panic, sleep challenges, irritability, anger, dissociation, lack of energy, and even indigestion and inflammation,  to name a few.   There are times when I talk to clients about their beliefs, spirituality and even religion.

Bottom line, I invite clients to create their unique healing experience.  I often say,

“My commitment is to offer you a safe place to heal, and to introduce you to as many options as possible.

I see client’s progress and I am encouraged to share with them all that I’ve learned.  Clearly, not everything is for everyone, but being able to offer clients different options and hope, has enriched my client’s wellness and experience, as well as mine and my clinical practice. 

My clinical practice is my next personal healing level; one in which I get to affirm that healing from sexual trauma is possible.  I know this for sure, because I have been healing.  What at some point took my life away, has given my life purpose.

And so, Holistic Psychotherapy is a process by which clients are offered an array of healing practices to obtain wholeness and wellbeing; it provides clients tools necessary to continue, forever, their healing journey.  It is, providing them a flashlight to stop, “RUNNING THROUGH THE DARKNESS”.

 

What healing practice have you used or would you like to try?  Share and let me know.

Be Well, be Blessed

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RUNNING THROUGH DARKNESS
MEMOIR OF A SPIRITUAL WARRIOR

BY SANTA MOLINA-MARSHALL ‧ RELEASE DATE: MAY 3, 2022

This debut memoir chronicles a woman’s spiritual exploration and growth as she overcame a disturbing childhood and helped others heal.

Brought to America from the Dominican Republic as a youngster, Molina-Marshall should have led a happy life. Her father was a diligent worker, and his large family wanted for nothing. But the author recounts that her dad had a drinking problem and was a serial philanderer. Molina-Marshall’s long-suffering mother left him for a woman. Then it was all downhill for the bright, 12-year-old girl, who was shuttled between foster care and relatives. According to the author, she was sexually abused by the husband of one of her siblings. This resulted in Molina-Marshall becoming alienated and moody. By 15, she simply tried to survive. In her favor were grit and a restless intelligence. She quit school, rented a room, and found a factory job. Time went by, and for a while she was happily married. Yet when her husband left her, her life truly began. She turned to religion for answers but decided that blaming God for her woes was a cop-out. 

In this absorbing and moving memoir, Molina-Marshall’s vivid storytelling is fearless. She frankly discusses the truths she discovered and the indignities she suffered. These admissions are disclosed with a touch of resignation and plenty of bite. However painful, everything she experienced was a lesson, and she bravely realized that she was part of the problem: “The fear of being hurt, rejected, or abused often led to me feeling lonely and misunderstood. No one knew the agonizing pain I felt being trapped in my thoughts and anger. I was becoming my biggest threat.” 

The author skillfully recounts her intricate spiritual journey. To deal with her psychic wounds, she searched for an inspirational system. Her open-mindedness led her to the interfaith concept—cherry-picking from various religions and spiritual movements, yoga, and Indigenous beliefs as a way of finding peace. Along with her female partner, she built a therapy practice, making use of every spiritual element that aided her and others. The road was bumpy, and she found that women of color in same-sex relationships were not welcomed everywhere. To do good works—and finally live on her own terms—she effectively overcame bigotry.

An engrossing, cathartic account of empathy and success through determination and confidence.

Pub Date: May 3, 2022   |    ISBN: 978-0-578-38315-6  |   Page Count: 264    | Publisher: From Trauma to Triumph  |   Review Posted Online: June 13, 2022