Holistic health and medicine is a diverse field of alternative medicine in which the "whole person" is focused on, not just the malady itself. Often called mind-body medicine, holistic medicine takes into account the spirit or soul, as well. According to the individual viewpoint of the patient or the practitioner, the definition of "spiritual" as well as the relationship between the body, mind, and spirit or soul can be strikingly different. An important factor in mental health treatment is the awareness, by practitioner and client, of the fact that both physical health and spiritual health correlate to mental health, sometimes in a web of causality that can seem at first like an overwhelming puzzle. For those seeking meaning and reasons behind mental and emotional struggles, healing the body and soul go hand in hand with healing the mind.
Where do we learn our beliefs? How do we get educated in them? Some, like the Amish, teach their beliefs in a multi-pronged system, which includes learning, praying, physical work, family, home and community duties. Others seem to absorb their beliefs through a kind of osmosis, and are barely conscious of how their beliefs are being shaped, if at all.
A therapist I supervise came to me with a case: F. struggles with relationships and socializing. The sensory processing and cognitive issues she's struggled with since childhood cause her to misunderstand or miss social cues. Therefore, her responses to people's words, gestures, or tone of voice often were often wildly inappropriate and misfire. One of the biggest issues for her used to be her inability to read when someone was belittling or bullying her. Her social awkwardness made her an easy target. With the guidance of her counselor as well as support in developing a healthy response to bullying, she began to be able to assert herself and even stand up for herself, too. She learned about healthy boundaries and in cases where she used to get overly involved in other people's lives, especially people who were using and/or abusing her, she began to be able to recognize
Your thoughts and feelings are not, as some suggest, your interface with reality. They are your reality. That's why understanding that you can change your thoughts and feelings is so important, because once you believe you can change them, you give yourself the freedom to do so. Gaining mastery over your thoughts and feelings changes your life. Of course, this is easier said than done.
It’s safe to say one of the main goals of therapy is to teach you how to help yourself so you don’t actually have to be in therapy, at least not for a moment longer than necessary. If you don't have a diagnosis which requires ongoing therapy, then ask yourself:
If you've found yourself in therapy with more than one qualified, experienced, compassionate and committed therapist, and you've chosen to move on, again and again, you may be derailing your therapy for reasons other not finding the right therapist. What can you do to avoid bouncing from one therapist to the next, never finding what you are looking for?