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The benefits of psychotherapy and holistic counseling are unique to the person in counseling. In short, the benefits are highly personal. That said, there are some common factors. These fall into broad categories of:
These categories create a story and the story is real. It’s the story of You. It's the conscious discovery of what makes you act, think, feel, and be.
While the list of benefits are presented in a straight-forward way in this article, the act of actually experiencing counseling is much more of a
non-linear, spiral experience. The following benefits are not “steps” in counseling but rather human “processes”
that contribute to the human experience of re-balance and improved wellness. Or said another way, it's your experience of self-healing because all healing is self-healing.
The space within a counseling session is a healing place of safety. Safety is a real fundamental need we all have. According to Stephen Porges, a neuropsychiatrist in social psychology,
“Safety is the body’s detection of certain features in environment
that tells our body that it doesn’t have to be vigilant . . . Feeling safe is really our goal in life.”
Understandably, safety and feeling safe can and does take time for some people.
In a safe space, you feel heard, you are listened to, you are seen.
Counseling provides an opportunity, a gift you give yourself, to be seen, heard, connected to and received by another human being who is a trained professional. Holistic psychotherapy and holistic counseling that is non-judgmental, non-critical, empathetic and non-pathologizing is powerful and empowering.
Experiencing genuine support
from a place of no criticism is a bit mind-stretching in our current
culture. Judgment as attitude of criticism
towards a client whereby the counselor's view is superior and is used demean a
client subtly or obviously is a microaggression and is oppressive. Being judgemental is not the typical
style of professional counselors. Being accepting non-judgemental is.
Sharing what you are comfortable sharing. Expressing yourself in ways that allow you to speak and share your truth is incredibly fulfilling. This simple act of expressing yourself leads to discovering more about you. One of the many benefits of psychotherapy and counseling is that it becomes a doorway into exploring what you know about you and discovering new aspects of who you really are.
The act of being in a safe space, being seen, heard and discovering more about you helps you get even clearer on what you want out of therapy. It helps you gain clarity on the reason for coming. It helps you set your goal or goals. It also helps in identifying steps to get there and working towards achieving them.
Counseling offers an opportunity to collaborate with a skilled helping professional who works together with you as an ally to help you help yourself and attain your goal(s).
In this way, the collaboration between a counselor and client is about building therapeutic relationship skills that are supportive and beneficial.
During the process, learning happens. You learn about yourself. Also, the counselor learns about you and your situation. As appropriate, the licensed professional counselor will offer information to educate you about your unique situation. Your counselor may help you hone existing skills or share new ones for you to explore. Your counselor may provide you with new data about something that concerns you. All in all, teaching, learning and honing skills are a part of counseling.
Sometimes we may realize we don’t know why we behave the way we do. Understanding the underlying causes of our thoughts and behaviors involves going deep into our psyches. Holistic psychotherapy and holistic counseling safely and gently helps a client go deep within themselves, to reflect on our “unconscious motivations and historical explanations for your current patterns" as Dr. Marla B. Cohen shares.
When you discover patterns of behaviors you were unaware of before, you can work to change them. Yes, it's possible. And yes, it’s not easy. What's also true is that it’s extremely rewarding to change old patterns.
Working to change patterns of how we act and behave that no longer serve us into proactive healthy behaviors that do serve us is making real change.
One of the many benefits of psychotherapy and counseling is that it may help you to make better choices. Choice is empowering. As you uncover unconscious motivations to things that you do that don’t serve you, you can choose what to do next.
Choice is profound. Choice is freeing. Choice is proactive. Choice leads to solutions and self-healing. And that choice, the power to choose is within you. Counseling may help you to activate your conscious choice-making.
At the end of therapy, typically, some improvement in wellness and health occur. Throughout the process of counseling, the following four benefits can naturally occur . They are an organic part of the experience of consciously feeling our inherent wisdom.
The act of counseling helps us face ourselves and actively work towards our goals. No one else is doing it but you. Frankly, only you can do it. The counselor is a helping professional that helps you to help and heal yourself.
Self-awareness empowers. Uncovering fears and the causal reasons that underlie the behavior that keeps you from your aims and living the life you want is empowering. This leads to becoming aware of yourself. Once you bring to light that which was hidden and in the dark, you become more self-aware.
From self-awareness, you have a choice. You can choose to behave in ways that are informed by what you know about yourself. Choosing a new path towards improving a behavior and starting a new habit. Counseling can help you to be a proactive choice maker.
Ultimately, your quality of life and living can be improved. Doing all the active work of self exploration, self-discovery, self-empowerment and improved choice making helps you towards attaining your goals. It can gently help you change your behavior which naturally enhances the quality of your life.
The bottom line is that it's all about you. The benefits of psychotherapy and holistic counseling are in allowing yourself the gift of receiving help; safely exploring whatever you wish and discovering solutions which may help you handcraft your own healing and health holistically.
If you'd like to learn more about the counseling therapy available at Mind Body Well Therapy, PLLC click here.
Lucrezia Mangione is in private practice. She is a board certified licensed professional counselor, board certified telemental health provider, neurofeedback trainer, counselor supervisor, educator, and nurse wellness education consultant. View her profile.