What is Holistic Therapy?

Published on
September 6, 2023

Have you heard of ‘holistic therapy’, but you don't really know what that means?

Holistic therapy is an approach to healing that considers the person as a whole, including their physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual aspects. It acknowledges that all these components are interconnected and that any disruption in one area can (and likely will) affect all the others. Holistic therapy seeks to identify and address the root causes of a person's issues, rather than by simply treating their symptoms.

At the heart of holistic therapy is the belief that the body has an innate ability to heal itself, which is one of our core beliefs at One Breath Institute. A practitioner or therapist's role is to facilitate this healing process by creating a safe and supportive environment in which a person can connect with their inner wisdom and innate healing power, and learn to trust themselves. Holistic therapy recognizes that every person is unique and that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to healing. Therefore, the therapist or facilitator works collaboratively with the person to develop a personalized treatment plan that addresses their specific needs and goals.

Breathwork is a powerful tool used in holistic therapy to help people connect with their bodies and emotions by using conscious breathing to bring awareness to what is present in the moment. Breathwork can be used to release physical tension, reduce anxiety and stress, increase energy and vitality, promote emotional healing and a sense of connection to oneself and to nature.

At One Breath Institute, Introspective Breathwork™ is viewed as a fundamental aspect of holistic therapy.

Breathwork can be practiced individually or in a group setting, and the experience can vary depending on the person's needs and goals. Some people may find that breathwork helps them access deeper levels of relaxation and inner peace, while others may experience intense emotions and release old patterns of behavior. Every breathwork session is different, so it’s possible to have different experiences at different stages of our healing. Regardless of an individual's experience, breathwork is a powerful tool for promoting holistic healing and personal growth.

Person-centered therapy is another important aspect of holistic therapy. This approach recognizes that a person is the expert on their own life and experiences. The therapist or facilitator's role is to create a safe and non-judgmental space in which a person can explore their feelings and experiences, and develop a greater understanding of themselves.

Person-centered therapy, also known as client-centered therapy, is a humanistic therapy approach that was developed by the American psychologist Carl Rogers in the 1950s. Rogers was a pioneer in the field of psychotherapy, and his approach to therapy was based on the belief that every individual has the capacity for self-healing and personal growth.

Rogers' approach to therapy was heavily influenced by his own experiences as a client in therapy. He believed that traditional therapy approaches, which emphasized the therapist as an expert who provided advice and solutions to the client's problems, were often ineffective and disempowering. Rogers believed that therapy should be a collaborative process in which the client and therapist work together as equals to promote the client's self-discovery and growth.

From the viewpoint of Carl Rogers, the healing relationship in therapy is based on the development of a strong, positive, and authentic therapeutic relationship between the therapist and client. Rogers believed that this relationship, which is also called a ‘healing relationship’, is essential for the client to experience personal growth and healing.

According to Rogers, the therapeutic relationship is built on three core conditions: empathy, unconditional positive regard, and congruence. Empathy involves the therapist's ability to understand the client's experiences and feelings from their perspective, without judgment or criticism. Unconditional positive regard involves the therapist accepting the client for who they are, without judgment or evaluation. Congruence involves the therapist being genuine and authentic with the client, and being able to communicate their own feelings and experiences in a way that is honest and transparent.

Rogers believed that when these three core conditions are present in the therapeutic relationship, the client is able to feel understood, accepted, and valued by the therapist. This creates a safe and non-judgmental space in which the client can explore their thoughts and feelings, and begin to make positive changes in their life.

In a healing relationship, the therapist serves as a facilitator of the client's self-discovery and growth. The therapist does not provide advice or solutions, but rather helps the client to explore their own experiences and emotions, and develop their own solutions and strategies for addressing their issues.

According to Rogers, the healing relationship in therapy is not just about providing the client with a ‘listening ear’ or a supportive presence. Rather, it involves actively working to create a safe and non-judgmental space in which the client can explore their own experiences and emotions, and develop a deeper understanding of themselves.

Rogers believed that the healing relationship in therapy is based on the therapist's ability to be fully present with the client, to listen deeply and with empathy, and to provide a safe and supportive environment in which the client can explore their own experiences and emotions. When these conditions are present, the client is able to experience personal growth and healing, and develop a greater sense of self-awareness and self-acceptance.

A healing relationship as described by Rogers can be applied to any relationship. When his book ‘On Becoming A Person’ was first published in 1961, it was popular with a wide audience of people who were interested in personal growth and self-improvement. Rogers' emphasis on the importance of self-discovery, self-awareness, and self-acceptance resonated with many people who were looking for new ways to understand themselves and their experiences, including housewives and teachers, in addition to those seeking a new approach to psychotherapy.

Creating a healing relationship is one of the core pillars at One Breath Institute, and we seek to create healing relationships with our clients and students, and include how to create a healing relationship as part of our curriculum within our breathwork training. Person-centered coaching emphasizes the importance of active listening, empathy, and compassion, and helps clients to develop greater self-awareness and self-acceptance.

Holistic therapy also encompasses a wide range of therapeutic approaches that aim to address the whole person, rather than just their symptoms. In addition to breathwork and person-centered therapy or coaching, there are many other techniques and approaches that can be considered part of this holistic approach.

Here are some additional examples of holistic therapies:

  1. Mindfulness-Based Therapy: This therapy approach is rooted in mindfulness meditation practices and involves learning to become more present and aware of one's thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations. This approach can help individuals to reduce stress and anxiety, improve self-awareness and self-acceptance, and develop greater resilience and coping skills.
  2. Acupuncture: This ancient healing technique involves the insertion of thin needles into specific points on the body to help balance the body's energy and promote healing. Acupuncture is often used to treat physical pain, but can also be effective for treating mental and emotional issues.
  3. Yoga Therapy: This therapy approach uses the practice of yoga to promote physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Yoga therapy may involve physical postures, breathing exercises, and meditation practices, and can be tailored to address specific health concerns or goals.
  4. Nutrition Therapy: This approach focuses on using diet and nutrition to promote healing and overall health. Nutrition therapy may involve identifying food sensitivities or deficiencies, developing healthy eating habits, and using supplements to support optimal health.
  5. Art Therapy: This therapy approach involves using creative expression, such as painting, drawing, or music, to promote healing and self-discovery. Art therapy can help individuals to express emotions that may be difficult to put into words, and can promote greater self-awareness and self-acceptance.

Overall, holistic therapy is an approach to healing and personal growth that considers the whole person, including their physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual aspects. By using a variety of techniques and approaches, holistic therapy aims to promote health and healing at all levels of a person's being. At One Breath Institute, we believe that each person is unique and that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to healing. We work with each individual to address their specific needs and goals, and we are committed to helping our clients achieve holistic healing and personal growth.

Holistic therapy can help empower individuals to understand themselves better, identify their values and priorities, and develop a greater sense of purpose and meaning in life. This in turn can lead to an increase in self-esteem and confidence, as well as a greater sense of fulfillment and satisfaction.

Holistic therapy can also be particularly effective for individuals who are dealing with chronic physical or mental health conditions. By addressing the root causes of their issues, rather than simply treating their symptoms, holistic therapy can help individuals attain long-term healing and improve their overall quality of life.

Overall, holistic therapy is a powerful approach to healing and personal growth that can help individuals to achieve greater self-awareness, self-acceptance, and overall well-being. One Breath Institute offers a unique and effective approach to holistic healing, through Introspective Breathwork™. An Introspective Breathwork™ practitioner is trauma-informed and skilled at recognizing and supporting an individual's needs. Whether you are dealing with stress, anxiety, physical pain, or any other issue, holistic therapy can help you to achieve greater health, happiness, and fulfillment in life. You may also want to check out this article to learn more about breathwork.

This article was all about: What is Holistic Therapy?

by Lisa McNett

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