Not long ago I had lunch with a young woman who just received her PhD in Psychology and was getting ready to start using her knowledge and skills to help others. I have known her for several years and know her to be very bright, competent and caring. I was interested in hearing what she had to say.
As the conversation turned toward her clinical experience and her forthcoming practice she began to talk about working with people with specific diagnoses. I was startled. As a nurse I am not allowed to make a diagnosis and as a hypnotherapist I may know that a client has a certain diagnosis but I want to work with them as a person who is having a certain life challenge. We work to find what is underlying the physical, spiritual, or emotional symptoms they are experiencing.
I realize that physicians of all kinds have to make a diagnosis that can be presented to insurance companies so the bill can be paid. However, I find that a diagnosis often chops us up into parts. In a hospital, for instance, you often hear medical personnel refer to “the gallbladder” in room 202 or the “anorexic” in room 421. We talk about the “bipolar” man or the “clinically depressed woman.” Some medical personnel tend to forget that the “gallbladder” has a name, much more body than a just a gallbladder, a family, a job, talents, emotions, sexuality, personal preferences and so on.
The medical specialists see us a heart, lungs, stomach, intestines, brain, nerve, bones, liver, kidneys, blood, reproductive organs and skin. Sorry if I left something out. The exception sees us a person with symptoms that require his or her expertise.
The psychologists and psychiatrists see us bipolar, clinically depressed, obsessive-compulsive, psychotic, schizophrenic, addicted, a personality disorder or whatever is the psychiatric buzzword diagnosis of the time. The exception, again, may see us as a person who is suffering from one or a combination of mental or emotional challenges.
In any self-improvement program, it is essential that we consider ourselves to be whole. While we may not a have gall bladder any more we do have intellect, emotions, spirituality, and everything else that goes in to making us who we are. While we may be clinically depressed we still have an intellect, a body and a spiritual side of us that needs to be cared for as well.
Do not ever forget: There is nothing that impacts a part of us that does not impact the whole of us. Nothing!
Let me give you an example. A few years ago I found a company called Centerpoint (http://www.centerpointe.com) that had a program they said would help people attain a deeper level of meditation that the yogis attain. I was struggling with meditation at the time and decided to try their program. Now, some three years later, I realize that I got more than I paid for. Yes, my meditation is deeper and my mind quieter when I sit in meditation. And I am much calmer overall, handle stress easier, have a slower fuse and get angry less. I am rarely ill and I feel happier in general. I seem to have improved “across the board.” It had a holistic impact that I did not anticipate.
If you go an a program to lose weight and increase your physical stamina, you will find that your improvement is seen in many more areas than simply size and strength. You will probably be calmer, sleep better, feel more positive about life in general and have much improved self esteem. You are holistic.
If you are worried about money and how you are going to pay your bills and this continues over a period of time, you may experience both physical and emptional symptoms as a result. You are holistic.
If you have many joyful experiences – one after another – and your thinking becomes generally more positive about yourself, others and the world around you, your physical health will improve as will your overall feeling of well-being. You are holistic.
We are human beings. Not body parts or diagnoses. Yes, and we are holistic.
There is nothing that impacts a part of us that does not impact the whole of us.
We are, indeed, holistic.