What is Holistic Psychotherapy?
Psychotherapy is the process of gaining insight into and becoming liberated from unnecessary suffering. The word holistic is rooted in the Greek word holos, which means “whole”. Holistic psychotherapy is an integrative approach to restoring wholeness, i.e. becoming your True Self. Insight and healing happens on the levels of mind, emotions, body, spirit, relationships, community, past experiences, and present circumstances.
Therapeutic Approaches drawn from in the process of Holistic Psychotherapy
Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT)
EFT assists individuals in discovering and processing painful emotional states, including sadness, anger, fear, shame, and disgust. In EFT, individuals learn about the importance and adaptiveness of the full spectrum of human emotions, that every painful emotion contains wisdom and associated needs, and how to honour and meet those needs.
Compassionate Inquiry (CI)
CI is a psychotherapeutic modality developed by renowned addictions expert and author, Dr. Gabor Maté. CI is an efficient process that involves contacting present-moment awareness, gaining insight into developmental trauma / unhealed childhood pain, associating that pain with present-day suffering and symptoms, cultivating self-compassion, and reconnecting with parts of oneself that were lost in response to trauma. Here is a short video by Gabor, describing the approach. Jenna has been learning from Gabor via his professional events, retreats, and writings over the past 10 years, and is currently a student of his first ever Compassionate Inquiry Professional Online Training.
Body Centred Therapy: The Hakomi Method
The Hakomi Method - also known as Mindfulness-Based Assisted Self Study - is an experiential form of somatic therapy. With the goals of understanding how one’s inner world is organized and reducing unnecessary suffering, Hakomi is grounded in spiritual principles gathered from Eastern spiritual traditions including Taoism and Buddhism. The word Hakomi is borrowed from the Hopi language, and roughly translates to: “How do you stand in relation to these many realms” or, more simply, “who are you?”
Adlerian Depth Psychology
Jenna’s counselling training included specialization in Adlerian Therapy. Alfred Adler was one of the founding fathers of Depth Psychology, and Adlerian therapy can be considered a modern psychodynamic approach. Adlerian therapy posits that all individuals are born striving to contribute and belong to community in a meaningful way - and that unprocessed painful events of the past can mislead our pursuits of doing so. By revealing the unconscious causes of present-day struggles, Adlerian therapy assists clients in moving towards liberation from symptoms and into living in alignment with their authentic True Selves.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
CBT is a widely researched evidence-based treatment focused on bringing change to the way people’s attitudes and thinking (cognitive) and actions (behavioural). By becoming conscious of automatic - and often unconscious - problematic thinking patterns, we can become skilled at choosing what to do next, including challenging and changing the course of problematic thoughts and behaviours.
Mindfulness practices are not only evidence-based tools that can be called upon to minimize and alleviate mental health symptoms, but when integrated into our lives, afford us a lifestyle of increased ease, self-awareness, and presence. Mindfulness complements all forms of therapy by helping people to become increasingly aware of the mind’s tendency to drift into past memories and anticipated events, and to change the course of these thoughts through deliberate mindfulness or presence practices (e.g. breathing, meditation, traditional yoga, etc.).
“Realize deeply that the present moment is all you ever have.”
- Eckhart Tolle
Carl Jung (1875-1961), one of the founding fathers of Depth Psychology, taught that our dreams are powerful portals into understanding both our individual and collective unconsciousness. Working with dreams can be a powerful way of transcending egoic defenses and reaching deeper levels of self-awareness. Indigenous traditions have long honoured and revered The Dreamtime as a sacred ceremony containing wisdom and healing potential - if we pay attention. It is never my intention or practice to “interpret” your dream for you. Rather, we together explore the feelings and themes that emerge during the dreamtime, and collaboratively find ways to integrate what is revealed.