Holistic Counseling – a natural form of psychotherapy

By admin / December 2, 2010
By: Jos Graf
Category: Stress Management

Applying too much "expertise" in a counseling session can prevent an optimal outcome for a client. Once a session is underway, I prefer to follow the client's inner wisdom. I may get an impulse to apply any of a number of techniques, but I often find myself wondering what other ways there may be to proceed, and what - in the whole wide mystery of human nature and spirit - what might I be precluding if I arbitrarily choose, for example, a behavior modification approach. That is, I prefer to ask, if I honor and facilitate the stream of spirit moving in the client's heart, where is it asking to go?

In another vein, what about this business, wherein so many therapists assume that an issue derives from a childhood experience? Is it always so, or is it perhaps that it is only partly so, or is there another avenue, more optimal, that might pay off in a better way? There are times when a client has already worked through that hook, and needs a fresh approach. The issue could have more to do with, for example, a former incarnation pushing through. Or an off-kilter meshing of the four bodies/sheathes of the human spiritual constitution (physical, etheric, astral and egoic levels of our being) - of which there can be several variations.

Over all, the human being, and life itself, is hugely mysterious - and the quest becomes, how to genuinely hold that mystery as a doorway that invites new exploration. We use only a tiny part of our minds and souls in this living process.

It is useful to view "evolution" from the anthroposophical indication. Here, Rudolf Steiner asserts that, contrary to the popular conception, evolution does not follow a steadily rising line of complexity (picture a graph with the line rising form bottom left to top right, representing degree of complexity) - but, rather, a curve that drops back down as time progresses. The example Steiner cites for this is the difference between an animal eye and a human eye. Most animals have a more complex eye, but the human eye is more evolved.

Using this inspiration when looking at holistic counseling, and combining the sentiment with the feeling that modern counseling can become too convoluted, or require a degree of "expertise" that doesn't feel right, the focus takes on a more responsive role.

I don't really want to be someone who charges $200 an hour, and feels induced to extend counseling sessions, and that whole line of working, but rather, entertain the central question, how can I maximize an empowerment of the clients, and as much as possible remove myself from the process, as soon as possible.

I have believed, for some time, that we all harbor inner resources and abilities that are, as yet, still sleeping, and that the time is upon us to increasingly waken these resources. And I am referring now to resources that extend far beyond what we are currently using, both generally, and in holistic counseling. And induce the awakening of these latent resources, we need to practice engaging some open-ended arenas, including leaving open doors, and lots of silences, and coming to places where we are not actually clear about how to proceed, and yet be okay with that. I don't want to run what I feel is a program for clarity, only to find out I have missed an opportunity to wait it out at the gates of the mystery we call the human being. So, I also want to remain unclear, when it serves Process, so to speak - to be willing to explore and discover, from a place of not-knowing.

The time is drawing near when counselors who are not rigorously grounded in spiritual reality will be considered redundant, of little value to client needs. This is because the world is becoming increasingly spiritualized in its focus. It is simply time to awaken, to take of the blinders of materialism, and get on with true life.
The increase in nervousness, and types and incidence of pathologies, the rise in disorders - this is principally about humanity's need to engage on a spiritual level. We either empower our true (spiritual ) nature, or risk falling into the abyss.


For more on holistic counseling and the wisdom of anthroposophy, visit the insight21 project.

Jos Graf is the coordinator of http://www.insight21.net -  Insight21 and http://www.evsite.net - Earth Vision  - presenting answers for the 21st Century.

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