Holistic Counseling: Integrating Traditional and Alternative Therapies

Individuals with mental health challenges soon learn there are a wide variety of therapy options to help manage their condition. Talk therapy is a traditional method of treating these conditions, and it has had significant success in helping people understand the causes of their issues. Alternative methods of holistic mental health therapy are also available, and these are often highly effective in helping people to manage symptoms on an everyday basis. Combining these two types of therapies can provide additional benefits for many people dealing with a number of different types of mental health conditions.


Understanding Holistic Mental Health Therapy

Holistic mental health therapy looks at the whole person and what they might need to manage symptoms in order to live more effectively. It may include art therapy, music therapy, meditation techniques, mindfulness training, yoga, tai chi and other methods to encourage self-awareness and to support effective management of emotions. These methods can be used along with more traditional mental health treatment to provide additional tools for managing daily life and helping individuals achieve their personal and professional goals.


Combining Traditional Therapy With Holistic Methods

Psychotherapy generally begins with traditional talk therapy methods to determine the source of problems and how they affect individual’s reactions and behavior in daily life. Talk therapy allows patients to work out deep-seated problems at their own pace, developing understanding of why they do the things they do. Holistic therapies, such as breathwork, acupuncture, dance therapy and others allow patients to use the techniques on their own, when they need it, for more effective treatment. Together, the two methods offer a more “whole person” therapeutic experience that gives patients greater power to manage their own condition.


Benefits of Combining Traditional Therapy and Holistic Mental Health Therapies

Talk therapy offers deep insights into the sources and outward manifestations of mental health issues. The combination of traditional talk therapy with alternative holistic methods offers more tools for relieving symptoms and allowing individuals to take greater control over their emotions, reactions and performance in daily life. Holistic therapies help to reduce physical symptoms that often accompany mental health conditions and allow patients to choose therapies that work best for their needs. In addition, holistic mental health therapies take into account the spiritual aspects of life that help patients to deal with everyday problems and stresses. These therapies provide non-drug measures that can be used along with, or instead of medications. Holistic methods can also help to improve sleep problems and provide additional coping skills.


Treating the Whole Person and Not Just Symptoms

The fundamental idea behind holistic mental health therapy is to treat the whole person. This means caring for all aspects of the individual, such as their psychology, their body, their spirituality and their socialization. All of these elements make up who we are and how we interact with the world. In this way, patients are able to employ a broad range of techniques to help them manage their emotional well-being, their physical health and their spiritual awareness.


Finding the right therapy can often be a challenge for those with psychological conditions. The combination of traditional methods with holistic mental health therapy can provide a larger toolbox of techniques to help people perform more effectively in their everyday lives.