Holistic Healing and Inclusivity: how transforming mind, body, heart and spirit awareness is for eve
As an holistic therapist and healer, it is my experience that connecting, exploring, transforming and expanding the consciousness of body, mind, heart and spirit brings deep and powerful healing.
Healing on a spiritual level brings healing to the mind, body, and emotion. Traditional Western psychotherapy has been long critiqued for its "ethnocentricity". Meaning in Western Psychology, suffering and healing and the treatments thereof are based on male hetero-normative, Caucasian North American lens and is therefore, limited in it's applicability and effectiveness for a world more globalized than ever.
The big book of mental illness, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of For Mental Disorders, (DSM 5) - now in it's 5th revision - is the training in mental health and addiction with which, health professions like Psychology, Social Work, Nursing, Psychiatrists and Physicians use. This framework is important however, limited and becoming more apparent now than ever. As a result, healing and treatment for mental health and addictions issues systemically often fails in applicability because the dominant discourse on what promotes and brings effective healing and treatment is limited in scope of the global population and discourse on mental health. The DSM-5, released in 2013, recognizes but one addiction, gambling! Let that sink in!
From an holistic standpoint, Western Psychology is centered on the consciousness of the mind. One piece of the the puzzle, one piece of who we are as human beings. There is far more to who we are as humans and far more to our suffering and healing than the level of the mind, far more to embrace and work with to bring healing into our lives.
Along my own journey as a therapist and healer, I realized early that embracing and weaving Western Psychology with other - often ancient- powerful forms and systems of healing was my path. Many years later, I am more passionate and engaged about integrative healing than ever. I love to continuously hone my abilities to consciously and intentionally weave complimentary, alternative healing paths with the language of the western mind for deep, embodied, enriching, holistic healing. Holistic healing is inclusive, empowering and highly sophisticated treatment, even though many of its practices and interventions seem simplistic at first thought - Key word, thought! For example, the Buddhist healing notion of forgiveness is a deep practice that goes beyond an apology to another, it is a repeated process of sitting with the pain that comes from the harm we do to others, and to ourselves. Holistic healing is not expert-lead, it is a collaborative, co-created process lead by the needs of the clients in the moment as it arises. It is not preconceived and planned to the minute. It allows for flexibility of the human experience whilst providing a healer's repertoire of healing tools to both honour and meet the changing needs of the healing journey. It is having a plan as a healer and being ready to throw it out in the next breath because something else is more important for the client since the last time you met and you do not need to hold on to a rigid plan of what you thought healing looks like for an individual. In this way, holistic healing teaches you to dance with your client in the healing journey. They show you where the healing is and you meet them and create a healing song. Holistic healing is about embracing inter-generational cultural ways of knowing and honouring healing paths thousands of years old- some tens of thousands - and finding ways to tap into these systems of healing for humans to integrate them into the Western ways of knowing. Holistic healing includes facilitating the cultural uniqueness of the individual while incorporating the universal qualities. It is understanding that every trauma, painful thought, chronic illness, injury, heart-break...every wound has a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual component that requires healing.
There is no separation of mind, body, heart and spirit and the journey of waking up to this truth holds a healing space for everyone. In an era where we are consciously connecting to collective manifestations of division, hate and violence of marginalized populations through sexual violence stemming from sexism and other forms of collective violence like racism, homophobia and xenophobia holistic healing meets us where we are, in need of inclusivity in the way we understand suffering and facilitate healing.