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What is Holistic Counselling?

What Holistic Counselling is

seems sometimes to be ‘the elephant in the room’, as it’s the question I’m usually first and most often asked by people. My particular counselling approach in other words, is one that I find people are genuinely interested in and also quite curious about.  The question then What is Holistic Counselling?… is one which I believe requires a good answer. I hope to provide that for you here.

In my opinion, Holistic or Transpersonal Counselling is one of the richest and therefore most valuable Counselling methodologies available to us today. A ‘whole person’ approach to wellbeing, Holistic Counselling takes into account the Physical, Mental & Emotional, Social and Spiritual (if applicable) aspects of your life and experience, viewing each of these as part of an ‘interconnected whole’.

The nature of this whole person or holistic approach then, is that it’s centred around your unique (individuated) life experience, both ‘in’ and ‘of’ the world around you. Who and how you are being in the world. The ways in which the world is responding to you. How you can authentically create the life you desire. These are the discoveries that await through Holistic Counselling.

From the microcosm to the macrocosm – whether you seek to understand your difficulties within current intimate relationships or the ways in which your historical roots have contributed to your present experience – Holistic Counselling will facilitate growth, healing and greater self-awareness through your innate personal inclination towards wholeness.

The Holistic Counselling model is based fundamentally on self awareness, creativity and authenticity. It is an approach which deals with all of the common modern-day problems encountered by human beings and one in which practitioners explore with their clients a transformational pathway, yet in a humanistic and meaningful way.

… a final note about the Elephant.

One particular shade of meaning with this phrase, is that it refers to a subject which isn’t being openly addressed, even though everyone present is aware that the subject does indeed exist. Three examples follow:

A couple has recently separated, they both show up to a party but one of them arrives with a new partner. None of the other guests comment on this because most people feel uncomfortable. There is an ‘elephant in the room’.

A man meets his ageing parents and three married siblings at a restaurant to celebrate a family occasion. He is 46 and has recently split with his first fiancée. The subject of his single status is the ‘elephant in the room.’

A Holistic Counsellor attempts to explain the nature of her work to curious parties through social media platforms using only language to convey a very rich experience. The lack of shared ‘sensory engagement’ here… is the ‘elephant in the room’.

Elephants are the largest land animals on Earth, so when we use them as a metaphor, it means that a large part of our awareness around a subject may be being ignored. Often it’s not that people are actually ignoring the topic in their own minds, but rather only that they are reticent about bringing it up.

Susan JW
Counsellor & Holistic Therapist


… and some more reading for the really really curious.

Defining Holistic Counselling?