“ 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?
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