What is Holistic Counseling?
Holistic Counseling is an approach which helps clients to engage in self-healing by taking the entire human being and their life experiences into consideration for assessment to bring balance and harmony in their life’s purpose. In other words, where traditional counseling methods consider the psychological ramifications of issues and behaviors; holistic counseling assesses and supports from a physical and spiritual contexts–as well as a psychological or mental ones.
It is important to note that there is a difference between a licensed counselor who takes a holistic approach and someone who “counsels” or “coaches” clients by using holistic techniques. The former is someone who has attended and graduated from an accredited college(s) with a minimum of a Master’s Degree in Counseling/Therapy/Social Work and who has met all the internship and licensing requirements of the state in which they live. After licensure, they have then chosen to incorporate treatment methods which are holistic in nature. They can hold additional certifications and degrees in holistic areas, but they practice under their state licenses.
The latter is a person who may or may not have attended college and one who may or may not have achieved certification or earned specialized credentials in the fields in which they offer assistance. Some use the title Holistic or Spiritual Counselor, Life Coach, etc.
- Physical Aspects: Holistic counselors look at a client’s presenting issues and evaluate how the physical body is involved and affected with the goal of facilitating a sense of physical well-being. Counselors have a spectrum of areas in which they can be licensed and specialize; for example: Reiki-based treatment, yoga instruction, energy healing, trauma release, chiropractic techniques, massage therapies and applied acupuncture/acupressure—just to name a few. Many offer their clients assistance with dietary issues, weight management, vitamin and mineral supplementation, exercise and the development of proactive health measures.
- Spiritual Components: The holistic counselor acknowledges that the human spirit is intricately involved in the healing of the total person—mind, body and soul. Some are denominationally pre-disposed to one religion or another; but an increasing number choose to incorporate the spiritual aspect in a generalized way. Albeit, some holistic counselors choose to let the client assert and superimpose their personal orientation onto the spiritual work that is done in the therapeutic environment.
A holistic counselor is conscious of clients in their totality; they take an integrative approach to healing the mind. Their work takes them into the multiple dimensions of human experience; the physical, the spiritual and the psychological. Ultimately, they seek to heal by helping their clients to break free from destructive behaviors and enjoy a new and improved state of mental, spiritual and physical health. These counselors do not consider the client as damaged and in need of repair; they instead focus on helping the client release the spiritual perfection which lies within.
About Your Practitioner
De’Shaun Thornton is co-host of the One mic, one Voice show. De’Shaun grew up in Oklahoma City, Ok. Mr. Thornton obtain a Bachelor’s in Sociology and a Bachelor’s in Psychology from St. Gregory’s University, where the University recognized him with their “Champion of Character Award”. De’Shaun furthered his education at Langston University, receiving a Masters in Rehabilitation Counseling, and now services his community as a Licensed Professional Counselor in the Oklahoma City area. De’Shaun has spent the extent of his career working with youth and their families developing programs that empower them to overcome the many challenges they face, as well think critically about the circumstances of our societies. De’Shaun has been privileged to give keynote addresses to many High schools and Universities in the Oklahoma area, and noted as one of its “Emerging Leaders”. De’Shaun has been able to make significant impact on the individuals that he has been blessed to encounter, and continues to uphold the values of moral character, leadership, and community.