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wholistic model

wholistic model

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Published by: klocek on Nov 06, 2008
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By Ben Hanah

The wholistic model for psychotherapy and for life has been developed in
the last thirty years of my work with people. It is an attempt to integrate the
various aspects, qualities and realities of our lives, into one practical
system in order to help us with our clients and with our own journeys
towards healing, growth and fulfillment. This article presents only an
overview and main points of the wholistic model.

We can look at the manifestation of our lives as made of five overlapping aspects: 1) body 2) mind 3) spirit 4) community and 5) environment. These five aspects are permeated by three qualities: 1) wisdom 2) creativity and 3) love. The five aspects of life and the three qualities spring from and are expressions of Being-pure consciousness, the eternal, transcendental


Now I will expand on these parts of life and explain how we can explore
them , as healers and guides for our clients and for ourselves, using
different approaches, tools and techniques to achieve more wholeness
and fulfillment in our lives.

BODY-our body is made of many levels of energy, in which the physical
material body that we experience with our senses is only one

manifestation of our whole bodily energy field (energy bundle). Each one
of us is an open energy system and our body interacts constantly with
other aspects of who we are and with the world around us. These aspects
may be our mental and spiritual aspects, inside us, and the community and
environmental aspects, outside us. (Looking at these aspects from another
point of view, we realize that there is not much meaning to the words
inside or outside, because the outside is part of us even by the simple fact
that it defines us and our boundaries).

We are born with a genetic and energetic plan for our body, and through
life experiences (inner and outer influences) our body shapes itself and our
entire life in many different ways.

We absorb air and food into our body for energy and as materials for
activity, purification, healing and growth. There is a saying that "who we
are is what we eat" (or more accurately "what we don't shit"). Most people
in western culture don't eat right food for them or the environment (non-
organic food, genetically manipulated food, an excess of sugar, alcohol,
fat, acidic food, processed food, food produced out of season and food
that is brought to our table from other parts of the world with the expense
of polluting the environment etc.). Many people don't eat a balanced diet
and this in itself is enough to create a physical and emotional imbalance or


We need to educate ourselves and our clients about good nutrition in
general and the specific needs of each body in different seasons and
geographic locations, because we have different body types and different
balances of elements in the body according to the seasons and
geographic location. (See Ayur-Veda,Chinese medicine and the five

elements, Macrobiotic literature, etc.)

Many people in the West breathe shallow in the chest, instead of deep belly breathing, the lack of air and energy creates fatigue, haziness and even disease in the body, mind and spirit. (To learn about breath, see Yogic pranayama, Chi-Quong, Middendorf technique and Continuum).

Our body is shaped by inner influences like balanced or imbalanced
mental emotional and spiritual activities, including anxiety, relaxation, love,
anger, confusion, devotion,as well as outer influences including food,
air,stressors,traumas and disease. We have to teach our clients how to
balance, enhance and heal their bodies. Our body is not only a machine, it
has its own wisdom and memory. It is beneficial for us to develop ways of
listening and learning about our needs and potential, from the body. Our

emotions are energy that arises from the body in reaction to conscious and
unconscious mental activity. We can learn a great deal from our emotions
about what we need from ourselves and the world (look into Reichian
therapy, Bioenergetics, Hakomi, body oriented trauma therapy etc.).

Most people in western culture are very limited in their sexual knowledge,
experience and expression. In spite of the sexual revolution in the
nineteen sixties and seventies, many people still confuse the purpose of
sex with power, self-esteem, anger, success etc.

Many men and women experience limited sexual pleasure and orgasm due
to ignorance of their potential, past traumas, fear of intimacy and an
unbalanced need for control.

The clothes we wear are an intimate connection with the environment.
Influenced by fashion, trends, prices and cultural and religious taboos we
tend to wear clothes that are unhealthy to our bodies (for example:
synthetic fabrics, inorganic fibers, tight clothes and shoes that cut off blood
circulation, limit our breathing and damage our natural posture). We buy
clothing that is connected with the abuse other people (like unfair trade
and sweatshops), or damaging to the environment (irresponsible cultivation
and watering of plants for fibers which destroy the land, chemical treatment
of fields, plants and fibers which poison us, other animals and plants etc.).

We can explore our somatic potential and possible interactions with others
and the world at large, through different techniques and tools (martial arts,
Tai-chi, Hatha-Yoga, Five -Rhythms dance, Continuum, Authentic-
Movement, Contact-Improvisation, Tantra, tribal dancing, Dervishes-

swirling, etc.).

MIND-Our mind is made of subtle levels of energy field and it includes: our
mental activity and patterns like thoughts (conscious and unconscious),
intellectual activity like reasoning and planning. imagination, visioning,
intuition. belief systems, archetypal energies (see Jungian psychology)
and individual and collective memory.

Most people in western cultures have a very narrow, distorted and limited
experience and understanding of the nature. capacity and potential of their
minds. Unfortunately mainstream western Psychotherapy addresses only a
small part of our mental activity. It is our duty to encourage, inform and
teach our clients about the vast dimensions of the mind. (See Rudolf
Steiner philosophy-anthroposophy, westerns psychology including; Jung,
cognitive psychology, limbic brain research, eastern and shamanic

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