Holistic counselling is inclusive in what it considers significant for a client’s well-being. Every area that pertains to human life is on the table for possible consideration. No area of activity is left out because to leave it out would be to disavow a part of our humanity and to overlook the fact that all aspects of us, as living systems, function as a whole, each part interacting in countless ways with all other parts.
A holistic counsellor will help you to see the connections between your different activities, feelings and thoughts, so that you begin to get a more complete picture of who you are. Often our view of ourselves is focused too narrowly on isolated aspects of our being, and so we get a distorted image, that can equally be flattering or critical. In either case, it’s not us in our wholeness who we see.
The same happens when we look at ourselves outside our situation. Who was I with when I started to feel anxious? What does my family think of my choice of partner? Does my community celebrate or ignore the work I do? Why do I feel so different when I’m out in the bush? All the preceding questions point to our place in the world, or more precisely, who we are in the world.
In the recent New York Times best-seller on depression, “Lost Connections”, author Johann Hari, a depression sufferer himself, has compiled a wealth of research from leading medical and social scientists that suggests that as individuals and as a society we have become disconnected from others, from nature and from ourselves, which has resulted in a global pandemic of psychological dis-ease.
Holistic counselling is a way to help us find our way to greater connection and wholeness. It is a way to celebrate our inner diversity, including those aspects of ourselves that we’re not fond of or which we may find threatening. It strengthens our sense of belonging, reducing out isolation, by considering the social contexts in which me live.