What is Holistic Care?
The Sum of All Parts
It is a living objective truth that as a human being, you are born complete. You came into the world with a body, a mind, and a spirit; complete, but unfinished. As you age, and journey forward day by day, year by year, life's experiences nurture the growth of our bodies, our minds, and our spirits. But not always at the same time, not always in sync, and not always in ways that support our good health and well-being.
For too long the prevailing practice has been to address difficulties in these three human dynamics separately. When you feel sick, you go to a medical doctor; spiritual issues are discussed with a religious leader, and emotional concerns are brought to therapy. But as whole, complex, and complete beings how can we really compartmentalize the key componants that make up our very existence? Like a three-legged stool, we cannot function as we were designed if all our parts are not working together.
A Complete Approach
Our holistic therapeutic approach to health and wellness addresses the multiple dimensions of the human person: emotional, intellectual, and social (the mind); physical (the body); and spiritual. The basis for this approach is substantiated by findings in neuroscience that have clearly established the interconnectivity of our emotions, thoughts, relationships, brain, and body.
In our experience working with individuals, couples, and families experiencing emotional, physical, relational, and spiritual pain, it becomes clear that when treating the whole system, more complete and enduring healing can be achieved.
Rather than focusing uniquely on a client's presenting problem (whether that be panic attacks, conflict with a family member, or feeling "stuck"), holistic psychotherapy acknowledges the importance of the "whole person" and views a client's presenting problem within the broader context of their overall health and wellness.
It is for this reason we prefer to work holistically with our clients. We encourage our clients to work with their doctors, physical therapists, and other healthcare providers in order to adjust their diet, exercise, and attitudes to promote healing in their bodies. This work will complement our work on the mental, emotional, relational, and energetic aspects of their health.
In session our holistic approach translates into an integration of traditional talk therapy with supportive techniques that access both the conscious and the unconscious. We might employ guided imagery, mindfulness training, meditation, art, active imagination, and somatic therapy. That said, it is important to note that our work with each client is unique. We believe that therapy is a highly collaborative process between the therapist and the client, and we will tailor our work with you to respond to your individual needs and wants within your unique life context.
Because we work from the belief that genuine health is an ongoing process to be nurtured throughout our lives, we teach our clients skills that empower them to continue nurturing their own health and wellness long after we have stopped meeting. We also believe in the innate healing capacity of the human person, and we help our clients reconnect with their inner resources and growth potential.
"I look at the issues a client presents as a symptom of a systemic imbalance within the whole person. For example, a client may come to me because she has been experiencing feelings of sadness and lethargy in recent weeks. My client may view the sadness and lethargy as 'the problem'. I view her sadness and lethargy as 'symptoms'--warning signals from her body that are alerting her to the fact that something in her life is unbalanced, unresolved, or needing attended to. That 'something' might be unresolved trauma, it might be a work conflict, it might be a physical ailment, or something else entirely. My focus in therapy is to attend to the whole person and, in doing so, identify root causes of problems. That way the symptoms are alleviated as part of the process in resolving the root cause." "
Dr. Vernita Marsh