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What is Holistic Counseling?
Holistic Counseling is an approach which helps clients to heal by taking the entire human being and their life experiences into consideration for assessment and treatment purposes. In other words, where traditional counseling methods consider the psychological ramifications of issues and behaviors; holistic counseling assesses and treats from physical andspiritual contexts--as well as a psychological or mental ones.
It is important to note that there is a difference between a licensed counselor who takes a holistic approach and someone who "counsels" or "coaches" clients by using holistic techniques. The former is someone who has attended and graduated from an accredited college(s) with a minimum of a Master's Degree in Counseling/Therapy/Social Work and who has met all the internship and licensing requirements of the state in which they live. After licensure, they have then chosen to incorporate treatment methods which are holistic in nature. They can hold additional certifications and degrees in holistic areas, but they practice under their state licenses.
The latter is a person who may or may not have attended college and one who may or may not have achieved certification
or earned specialized credentials in the fields in which they offer assistance. Some use the title Holistic or Spiritual Counselor, Life Coach, etc.
Physical Aspects: Holistic counselors look at a client's presenting symptoms and issues and evaluate how the physical body is involved and affected with the goal of facilitating a sense of physical well-being. Counselors have a spectrum of areas in which they can be licensed and specialize; for example: Reiki-based treatment, yoga instruction, energy healing, chiropractic techniques, massage therapies and applied acupuncture/acupressure-just to name a few. Many offer their clients assistance with dietary issues, weight management, vitamin and mineral supplementation, exercise and the development of proactive health measures.Spiritual Components: The holistic counselor acknowledges that the human spirit is intricately involved in the healing of the total person-mind, body and soul. Some are denominationally pre-disposed to one religion or another; but an increasing number choose to incorporate the spiritual aspect in a generalized way. Albeit, some holistic counselors choose to let the client assert and superimpose their personal orientation onto the spiritual work that is done in the therapeutic environment.
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