One of the core premises to which I hold fast as a clinician is the holistic approach to healing. I believe that my primary role as a therapist is to know each person as a whole being, rather than merely treating the symptoms of an illness. No disease can be thoroughly understood independent of the person who’s experiencing it. Human experience is difficult to compartmentalize because our individual experiences (whatever that may be) tend to affect us as a whole rather than in fragmented pieces. When we injure our foot, for example, we are not just affected exclusively in that part of our body but our entire sense of well-being can be thwarted as a result of the pain or discomfort we may be experiencing. Our mental health is no different.
Humans are complex beings with our mind intricately tied to our body. What affects our body simultaneously affects our mind and vice versa. If we just focus on one aspect of a person’s being, we could be committing a reductionistic view which may be gravely limiting our understanding of the person as a whole. This is precisely the reason why I first strive to establish a holistic understanding based on the context out of which each person’s world of reality is born.
The basis of one’ reality is what shapes the person’s perception of self in relation to others. Devoid of this appreciation for each person’s self-concept, it would be almost impossible for the clinician to attune to the needs of that individual, let alone help effect any change or growth.
I believe that change and growth occur as a result of discovering, reclaiming, and reviving the potential residing in each individual’s inner strength. My responsibility as a clinician is to facilitate this very process of self-discovery which might have been halted, arrested, or ruptured due to a myriad of of relational trauma or environmental factors.
In sum, each person is his/her own expert with the intrinsic capacity to address and solve one's own problems based on each individual's existing strengths, level of motivation, and capacity for change.