Benefits Of Holistic Therapy

Medically reviewed by Andrea Brant, LMHC
Updated June 5, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team
Please be advised, the below article might mention trauma-related topics that include suicide, substance use, or abuse which could be triggering to the reader.
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Holistic psychology is a psychological discipline that addresses the whole person, encompassing physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being, aka the mind, body, and spirit. With its focus on interconnected aspects of an individual's life, holistic therapy has gained popularity in communities seeking complementary and alternative medicine for mental health conditions.
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What is holistic psychotherapy? 

By combining traditional therapeutic methods with alternative therapies and holistic therapy techniques, a holistic approach to therapy offers a comprehensive approach to mind and body healing. The goal of holistic therapy is often to help individuals gain a more profound understanding of the root causes of their mental health conditions or symptoms to provide them with a wide range of tools to improve their overall well-being and health.

This comprehensive integrative therapy approach may include mindfulness practices, clinical holistic medicine, massage therapy, and other holistic treatments that promote relaxation and self-awareness. By addressing the interconnected aspects of an individual's life, including body, mind, and spirit, holistic practices can lead to a more profound understanding of the factors contributing to mental health conditions. As a result, individuals may develop more effective coping strategies and cultivate resilience in the face of stress and adversity.

Holistic therapy also emphasizes the importance of self-care, the mind-body connection, and nurturing one's physical, emotional, and spiritual health.

This focus on the mind, body, and spirit can empower individuals to actively participate in their healing process and create lasting change. By adopting a holistic perspective, holistic therapists can offer personalized, comprehensive care that addresses each client's unique needs and experiences. They can allow clients to lead sessions and be experts in their own lives. 

Holistic therapy options for improving mental health 

Including holistic principles in therapy gives therapists more options for addressing mental health conditions. In addition, some holistic therapists offer their services online, making it easier for individuals to get these therapies from home. Below are a few strategies clients may learn in this area of psychology and medicine. 

Guided meditation and mindfulness practices

Available through video, verbal, or written instructions, meditation, and mindfulness practices can help individuals become more aware of their thoughts and emotions in the present moment, which may help them better manage stress and anxiety. Mindfulness medications may also help reduce stress and improve sleep, which can have several benefits for overall health. In person, a therapist can guide a client through meditation in-office. Online, a therapist may guide the client using an audio recording or by voice as the client sits or lays down in a comfortable and familiar environment. 

Yoga and movement 

Virtual yoga and movement sessions, conducted through video calls or pre-recorded videos, may involve physical exercises that promote relaxation, reduce stress, promote self-awareness, promote body-mind connection, and enhance emotional well-being. Individuals may also participate in tai chi or other complementary therapies to improve the mind-body-spirit connection through the nervous system. Clients may gain insight into these practices during in-person therapy. Yoga classes and meditation retreats can often be done outside of therapy in addition to what is learned in the session.

Therapeutic art and creativity 

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Art therapy sessions are often designed to encourage creative self-expression and healing. Virtual therapy might occur under a therapist's guidance through video calls or in an office. The client can have their artwork for discussion and reflection or create artwork while they talk to the licensed therapist, distracting them from eye contact or difficult emotions. 

The energy healing 

Holistic therapists may offer remote or in-person energy healing sessions like Reiki or therapeutic touch. This type of holistic therapy seeks to balance the body's energy field and promote emotional and physical well-being. Spirituality and energy healing may work well for those with profound spiritual faith or beliefs. 

Nutritional and lifestyle advice 

Addressing overall health and well-being can be crucial in addressing a mental health condition, such as substance use disorder or posttraumatic stress disorder. Through the whole-body approach of holistic treatments, a therapist may counsel clients to help them make healthier choices, contributing to mental and physical health to become healthy adults.

How to find and choose holistic therapists

Finding a holistic therapist who meets your needs and preferences may be essential for a successful therapeutic experience. Try to consider factors like the therapist's training, experience, and areas of expertise when searching for a holistic psychotherapy provider. In addition, look for professionals with a degree and license to practice counseling. For example, you might search for psychologists, counselors, or social workers with training in holistic techniques. You may also ask your primary care physician for a recommendation; although they are well-versed in traditional medicine, some may be able to point you in the direction of a holistic therapist. 

Different therapists may specialize in and work in various holistic therapeutic modalities, including mindfulness-based interventions, art therapy, or energy healing. Consider choosing a therapist with expertise in the specific techniques that interest you or who has been recommended by previous professional support workers.

Note that different therapists may have unique approaches to therapy. Some may be more direct, while others may take a more collaborative or supportive approach. Look for someone whose style resonates with you. If you do not believe it is a good match, you can always choose a new therapist. You can also inquire about their therapeutic approach during an initial consultation to determine if it aligns with your preferences.

Personalized holistic treatment plans

When you begin your first sessions, you can collaborate with your holistic therapist to create a personalized treatment plan that addresses your unique goals. A comprehensive plan may involve combining mindfulness practices, deep breathing techniques, movement therapy, and art therapy, among other approaches. 

You and your provider can regularly assess your progress and adjust your treatment plan to ensure continued growth and improvement. For example, a therapist might recommend integrating dialectical behavior therapy techniques into art therapy to help manage stress levels and control emotions on a deeper level.

Self-care can often complement structured, holistic therapy and improve overall well-being. When you begin your sessions, your therapist may discuss incorporating self-care practices alongside your treatment plan. Integrating self-care practices into your daily routine can support the progress you make during therapy sessions. Examples of self-care practices might include regular exercise, maintaining a healthy diet, practicing sleep hygiene, breath therapy, spending time in nature, and engaging in activities that bring you joy and relaxation.

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Holistic therapy options 

Some people may find it challenging to find time for therapy if it requires a commute to a therapist's office, parking, and scheduling far in advance. Online therapy through a platform like BetterHelp, including web-based holistic psychotherapy, may be a convenient and available way for you to receive mental healthcare while incorporating holistic treatments. For families, online holistic therapy works similarly to in-person therapy; however, you may meet with a family therapist to heal trauma if necessary.

Research has shown that online therapy, including approaches like internet-based cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), can be as effective as traditional in-person therapy in treating various mental health conditions. By offering these holistic treatments alongside evidence-based therapies, online platforms can provide a well-rounded and personalized approach to mental healthcare. This blend of therapeutic strategies may empower individuals to develop new coping strategies, gain insight into their mental health, and work toward lasting well-being.

One of the potential advantages of online holistic therapy is its incorporation of unique techniques like meditation, yoga, creative art, and nutritional counseling. These activities can be done from home, allowing clients to participate in their healing in a comfortable environment. Studies have found that people feel safer and more comfortable in their own homes, which can be an advantage of attending therapy sessions via phone, video, or live chat. 

Takeaway

Holistic therapy goes beyond traditional Chinese medicine or traditional talk therapy and uses a transformative approach to mental health treatment by focusing on the whole person, the body, mind, and spirit, and incorporating various therapeutic methods. Integrating holistic therapies into online therapy platforms can make it easier for some individuals to have transformative treatments and improve their overall well-being. Consider reaching out to a provider to gain further insight into this modality and how it may benefit a person’s life.
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