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What Does Holistic Mean, Anyway?

Updated: Apr 15, 2019

Sometimes the term “holistic” can carry a strange or negative connotation. I get it. Even when I hear people use the word, I sometimes feel my guard go up and wonder what they mean. I can be skeptical that it’s being used synonymously with “natural” and that’s supposed to make me think whatever is being offered to me is totally legitimate. Then my alarms really go off and I have to know why it’s so important for the person trying to get my buy in to assure me that everything is all natural and only comes with pros no cons. Now perhaps that's just me, but I feel fairly confident that I’m not the only one.

If you’re good with the term holistic, fantastic, but if you’re someone who feels that slight skepticism when you hear it, let me do my best to reassure you. The actual definition of the word holistic according to Merriam Webster is- “relating to or concerned with wholes or with complete systems rather than with the analysis of, treatment of, or dissection into parts…”. To elaborate, where my therapeutic process is concerned, this means taking into account mental, physical, and social factors, rather than just symptoms of a single issue. So, what I mean when I use the term holistic is that I am going to work with clients as whole people. Otherwise known as whole person treatment. Meaning we will not only address your symptoms, but we will also consider what areas of your life impact each other and how this relates to your current symptoms and/or situation.

Hopefully this was helpful to at least one person, if not several people. Everyone and every situation is unique, and I like to do my best to understand each unique individual in order to provide the best possible service. A whole person approach is very helpful in ensuring the likeliness that this can happen. Therefore, it was important for me to convey that my practice puts an emphasis on holistic counseling :)

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