Holism is a psychological approach emphasizing the importance of considering a person as a whole rather than a combination of individual characteristics, habits, beliefs, and chemicals. A holistic approach at a holistic rehab center considers behavior to be a contextual and integrated experience rather than a simple combination of biology and environment.
What Is a Holistic Approach to Addiction Treatment?
To a person with a holistic outlook, someone struggling with substance use disorder will be more likely to heal if their treatment addresses their whole being rather than solely acknowledging individual isolated components. The word holism is derived from ancient Greek, with holos meaning entire, full, total. A holistic therapeutic approach can be described as:
The important premise of the holistic approach is the idea that the whole is more than just the sum of its parts. In holistic thinking, context matters; therefore, changing a specific thought pattern or emotional misconception needs to acknowledge our whole self rather than individual characteristics. A holistic approach is more likely to include varied approaches, environments, and schools of thought during treatment.
Holism vs. Reductionism
Reductionism involves the belief that human behavior and characteristics can be explained by breaking them down into simpler parts: biological, psychological, cultural, etc. To someone who leans toward a reductionist standpoint, the best way to treat addiction is to address biological, environmental, cognitive, and emotional concerns. At Crestview, we believe that long-term healing is more likely to occur when people have access to a combination of holistic and reductionist approaches.
Holistic Therapy in Drug Rehab
Holistic therapy is based on the assumption that health is determined through a series of complex interactions within a person’s mind, body, soul, and spirit. Holistic therapy encourages balance in opposing systems, but how can a patient achieve this balance? Holistic therapy provides a number of different methods to get to a state of balance, including:
- Open dialogue between client and therapist
- Meditation and mindfulness exercises
- Regular exercise and improved nutrition
- New experiences, people, and events
- An understanding of our history and culture
- Exercises to increase spirituality and balance
Holism has been practiced for centuries, but it didn’t become popular in the United States until the early 1900s. In many countries, the holistic approach has gained millions of ardent followers who see it as the answer to many of life’s problems. As of now, more than half of medical schools worldwide offer courses on holistic medicine.
The World Health Organization estimates that around 70% of the world’s population relies on holistic medicine to cure diseases. Moreover, the U.S. has spent more than 30 million dollars in recent years to finance research in holistic medicine. Holistic medicine relies on homeopathic remedies rather than prescriptions and procedures. Examples of holistic medicinal concepts involve:
- Physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual balance
- Making lifestyle choices that promote wellness
- Building healthy and respectful relationships
- Actively participate in health decisions and processes
Treating Addiction Holistically
A holistic approach to addiction rehabilitation involves more than helping a person adjust their thoughts, feelings, responses, and brain chemistry. According to holism, every aspect of who we are stands in a complex relationship with the other parts of our system as a whole; therefore, understanding a concept needs to involve an understanding of the person as a whole. In the medical area, it means a therapy method that looks at the entire body to cure a disease and not just at the affected parts of the body or mind.
Holistic Healing Starts Here
Consider attending a holistic rehab center if traditional approaches have not yielded successful results. At Crestview, we provide clients with a wide variety of holistic addiction treatment approaches, including meditation, dialectical behavior therapy, and nutrition counseling. Contact us by calling 866.262.0531 to start on the path of holistic healing.
Since 2016, Dr. Merle Williamson, a graduate of Oregon Health Sciences University, has been the Medical Director at Crestview Recovery, bringing a rich background in addiction medicine from his time at Hazelden Treatment Center. He oversees outpatient drug and alcohol treatments, providing medical care, setting policies, detox protocols, and quality assurance measures. Before specializing in addiction medicine, he spent 25 years in anesthesiology, serving as Chair of Hospital Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee and Chief of Anesthesia at Kaiser Permanente. This experience gives him a unique perspective on treating prescription drug addiction.