What is holistic psychotherapy?

Holistic psychotherapy, sometimes called holistic therapy, is a type of psychotherapy (talk therapy) that considers and treats the whole person, including their mind, body, spirit, and emotions. Other methods and non-traditional treatments are often used along with talk therapy as part of a holistic approach.

This article will cover overall treatment, conditions treated, providers, course of treatment, etc.

Holistic Psychotherapy Definition

Holistic psychotherapy is a type of talk therapy that is based on the idea of ​​holistic psychology, where the biological, psychological, and sociocultural components of each individual work together to form the whole person. Through this approach, all areas of a person and their life are considered and treated together.

The idea behind this humanist approach is that the parts that make up every human being are inseparable. The holistic mind-body relationship includes the interaction of the body with the external environment and the role of the brain in processing and interacting with the body and the external environment.

Conditions Treated with Holistic Therapy

Since holistic therapy is a form of psychotherapy, it can treat many different mental health conditions. It can also be used as part of a treatment plan for physical health problems, such as an emotional component to help you cope with physical health challenges. In some cases, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), it may also help relieve symptoms.

Additionally, holistic therapy can be used to help improve overall health, well-being, and quality of life, even when there are no physical or mental health conditions that require treatment. It is important to understand that holistic treatment is intended to be used in conjunction with medical treatment, not in place of it.

Holistic therapy can be used to:

  • Addiction and Substance Abuse
  • anxiety
  • career challenge
  • chronic
  • chronic pain
  • frustrated
  • emotion regulation
  • Family Interactions and Dynamics
  • life change
  • physical illness
  • relationship challenges
  • BDSM
  • pressure
  • trauma
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Mental Health Hotline

If you or a loved one are struggling with mental health challenges, please contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357 to find out what support and treatment facilities are available in your area information.

For more mental health resources, see our national helpline database.

overall treatment process

The overall course of treatment depends on the health professionals providing treatment and how they work. In addition to talk therapy used with holistic therapy, it also depends on the treatment.

Typically, the process begins with an initial assessment, where the patient or client discusses the physical, psychological, and social aspects of the situation with the provider. The information discussed in this conversation can help guide a treatment plan based on individual needs.

Who provides holistic psychotherapy?

Like other forms of psychotherapy, holistic psychotherapy is provided by a mental health professional. This includes psychologists and therapists. Licensed professional counselors and licensed clinical social workers can also provide holistic therapy.

Because professionals who provide holistic psychotherapy focus on connecting all the components that make up each person, they may also have training and certifications in other areas. For example, there is growing evidence of the importance of low stress levels, regular exercise, healthy nutrition, and adequate quality sleep for overall health and well-being.

All of these areas are considered part of the whole person, so holistic therapy professionals may also focus on areas that support them, such as yoga or diet and nutrition.

what it might include

The main method of treatment is talk therapy. However, a number of different talk therapy methods are available.

In addition, the nature of holistic therapy that addresses the whole person (mind, body, spirit, and emotion) supports the use of complementary approaches. This means that holistic therapists can also use other methods that are not traditionally part of talk therapy.

talk therapy

The talk therapy approach is at the root of holistic psychotherapy. The type of talk therapy used may depend on the individual holistic therapy professional and their training and expertise. It may also depend on the needs of the client or patient and what suits them best.

Some types of talk therapy are more comprehensive than others and may be favored by professionals who do holistic psychotherapy. For example, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy is a mindfulness-based psychotherapy, while analytical body-psychotherapy is a body-psychotherapy.

Talk therapy methods include:

  • behavioral therapy
  • psychosomatic therapy
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • cognitive therapy
  • couples therapy
  • family system therapy
  • Humanistic Therapy
  • Comprehensive Treatment
  • Mindfulness-Based Psychotherapy
  • psychodynamic therapy

Other methods

Other methods used with talk therapy in holistic healing include mind-body-focused practices and complementary and alternative medicine practices.

In some cases, professionals who provide holistic therapy may be trained and certified to provide clients or patients with additional approaches. Other times, a holistic therapy professional may work with primary care practitioners and providers of specific complementary and alternative medicine treatments, and as someone who understands when and how to include these approaches as part of a treatment plan.

Other methods used with holistic psychotherapy include:

  • acupuncture
  • aromatherapy
  • art therapy
  • biofeedback
  • Breathing
  • Chiropractic adjustment
  • exercise
  • Hypnotherapy or Hypnotherapy
  • massage therapy
  • meditation
  • exercise therapy
  • music therapy
  • Nutrition
  • progressive muscle relaxation
  • regression therapy
  • Reiki
  • sleep
  • spirituality or prayer
  • stress management
  • Supplements
  • visualization
  • yoga


It’s important to understand that research is limited when it comes to some complementary and alternative medicine and other methods used in conjunction with holistic treatment.

Although the risk is generally low, and health care professionals are careful not to recommend anything unsafe for any particular person, it is still possible for a person to not respond well to treatment.

Everyone is different and has different risk factors, so care must be taken when deciding which approaches to include in your treatment plan.


Holistic therapy is a type of talk therapy that considers and treats the whole person and the interaction between the mind, body and environment. This type of therapy can treat a variety of mental and physical health conditions, as well as medical treatment as part of a care plan. It can also help with life challenges and overall health and well-being.

The process of holistic therapy depends in part on the needs of the practitioner and the patient or client, but it is conversation-based and may include methods other than talk therapy. Other approaches may include exercises that support the mind and body, such as nutrition or meditation.

While holistic therapy and approaches used in conjunction with talk therapy may have benefits, research is limited and care should be taken when determining a treatment plan.

VigorTip words

Holistic psychotherapy uses a complete body, mind, and environmental approach to care, including the use of talk therapy and other methods.

Holistic therapy may be a good option if you or someone you know is struggling with a mental or physical health condition, life challenges, or wanting to improve your overall health and support is available. Talk to your primary care provider or mental health professional (such as a psychologist or therapist) to figure out how to get started.

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