Sometimes, improving your mental health requires looking a bit deeper – at your spirit and what you are struggling with as a whole. This is where holistic psychotherapy comes in.
Holistic therapies involve a range of different treatments, ranging from mindfulness to yoga, hypnotherapy, transpersonal and spiritual counseling.
In this article, we will look at three of the best websites to find holistic therapy providers, to help you find the right therapist for your specific needs.
Quick summary table
Best spiritual counseling providers
Below, we’ve looked at three of the best holistic counseling services, to help you find a spiritual therapist near you or online.
BetterHelp is one of the leading psychotherapy and counseling websites worldwide. Their therapists help people deal with a number of common mental health issues, such as anxiety, depression, relationship and family problems, and recovering from trauma.
A large number of therapists on BetterHelp deliver holistic therapy. Many offer meditation techniques, including loving-kindness meditation and self-acceptance therapies, as well as coaching on how to maintain the benefits of these techniques outside of each therapy session. They will use holistic elements in conjunction with modern psychology to help you and your spirit.
To get started with BetterHelp’s counseling services, you first complete an online questionnaire that looks at your physical health, your needs in a therapist, and the psychological symptoms that you want to tackle. One set of questions asks about religion and spirituality. Once you’ve answered these questions, BetterHelp will match you with the perfect holistic therapist.
Should you lack connection with the chosen therapist, or wish to practice a different technique on your path to recovery, you can easily change therapists at any time in the future.
One major strength of BetterHelp is that as part of its standard package you will get four, 30-45 minute live sessions a month, which can be carried out through a video or phone call.
In addition, you can touch base with the therapist by text message through the BetterHelp website as often as you like. You might like to contact your therapist as you do the activities you’ve been assigned, or just to unload your worries and challenges without having to wait for the next scheduled counseling session.
With regards to pricing, BetterHelp has a comprehensive financial aid system, meaning they charge according to what you can afford to pay. If you fall into one of five or so socioeconomic groups (such as students or unemployed persons) you may be offered a cheaper price, which is great.
Like BetterHelp, Online-Therapy.com is a website that provides online counseling through a secure platform, helping you connect with a range of licensed therapists.
Many of Online-Therapy.com’s therapists offer meditation techniques and other spiritual treatments as part of their therapy services. They will also look at your mind-body situation to help you fix your core problem, and not just the symptoms you’re displaying externally.
As well as offering access to a range of holistic therapists, Online-Therapy.com also offers a free yoga and meditation course, available to everyone – including those who aren’t paying clients through the platform. Yoga and meditation are a proven means of treating anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem. Though the video course is quite short, it is a nice add-on to a course of psychotherapy with the platform.
Again, as with its competitor above, you sign up to Online-Therapy.com through a questionnaire. This online form is far simpler than the questionnaire used by BetterHelp. It is also easier to switch therapists with Online-Therapy.com compared to BetterHelp, with near-instant changes possible. Simply click a button to say you wish to change counselor, and then another to select the one that you’d like to switch to.
As with BetterHelp, the professionals offered to you will have been heavily vetted, and are required to have excellent track records in order to be able to work with the platform.
3. Holistic Therapies Directory
Unlike the two online therapy platforms discussed above, as the name implies, the Holistic Therapies Directory is only a directory. Rather than offering the actual therapy service as a complete package, this website allows you to find and contact a holistic therapist near you for in-person or online therapy.
The therapies offered include a range of traditional holistic psychotherapy treatments, such as hypnotherapy, yoga, mindfulness, and transpersonal therapy. Non-traditional treatments that haven’t been scientifically vetted to the same extent are also included, such as reiki massage.
The range of therapies and mental health providers on the Holistic Therapies Directory is the most complete of all three options in this guide. Neither BetterHelp nor Online-Therapy.com offer any in-person therapy for example, and this does limit the support you can get from them.
However, something else that sets the directory apart from the two other platforms we’ve compared is that the counselors and therapists are not vetted. To be approved on the website, counselors have to fill out a form, agree that they will include a link to the site on their business website, and pay a fee of around $600 for lifetime membership. You must take care to make sure that the therapy you are receiving is safe for you, and you need to verify that the professional you choose is up to the standard required to help your mental health.
A final thing to note is that while there is a standard fee that you pay to access BetterHelp and Online-Therapy.com, on the Holistic Therapies Directory you will pay the holistic therapist direct for their services. This fee can vary considerably from therapist to therapist, and you’ll need to get in touch with them to find out the exact cost of their counseling services.
What is holistic therapy?
The term holistic therapy (or holistic psychotherapy) refers to therapies that take a non-traditional approach to mental health. The term “holistic” literally means “whole” – holistic psychotherapy targets the entire problem, rather than just its symptoms.
The core concept behind these types of therapies is that conditions such as anxiety, depression, and substance abuse are a sign of a deeper problem that must be treated. This is similar to a doctor seeing a range of physical issues in a patient, and concluding that these issues point towards a root illness that must be addressed.
Holistic therapy treatments
Holistic psychotherapy treatments often take a spiritual and/or metaphysical approach, on the basis that in many Eastern philosophies, the belief is that the spirit’s natural position is in a state of bliss. Movement exercises such as yoga have been proven to help address physical symptoms, while meditation and mindfulness can help to relieve stress.
Modern psychology is often used to help, in conjunction with older traditional techniques. Over a number of sessions, your therapist may use a range of different holistic psychotherapy treatments (depending on the therapist) until the whole problem is addressed.
Below, we will look at four examples of treatments that holistic therapists often use.
Mindfulness is a form of meditation, where you come into the present and separate yourself from your thinking.
The approach has been tested in treating a wide range of mental and physical conditions. Where someone is suffering a major physical illness, mindfulness has been shown to help with the mental challenges of facing the battle they fight every day.
It has also been found that half an hour a day of mindfulness helps with anxiety, depression, and tackling our everyday problems, in that it makes us more grounded and less reactive to the world around us.
Yoga is an Eastern meditation tradition that has become extremely popular in the West. Using a range of stress-releasing stretches, poses, and breathing exercises, yoga sessions help strengthen the body and relax the mind.
Like mindfulness, yoga has been extensively researched, and has been shown to help with a wide range of health issues, in that it helps to ground and center the mind and body.
Advanced Meditation Practice
While mindfulness is a “Westernized” meditation practice, other meditation techniques from Taoism, Buddhism, and Hinduism are exactly the same as has been taught for thousands of years in foreign cultures. Transcendental Meditation involves essentially the same techniques that have been taught for 10,000 years or more.
These types of spiritual practices may not be the best choice if you are religious, as they often make reference to scriptures not taught in our Western faiths. They can however support you in achieving a better mind-body balance, helping you reach a more centered, calmer outlook on life.
Hypnotherapy is a less proven, less mainstream form of holistic therapy.
By bringing the client to a deep state of calm, a hypnotherapist tries to reach your subconscious and convince you to break a harmful habit – such as smoking. Hypnotherapy sessions are also designed to help you to overcome social anxiety and related issues.
Research isn’t as strong when it comes to the efficacy of hypnotherapy compared to other holistic psychotherapy treatments.
How to choose a holistic therapy treatment
The four holistic treatments we have described above are just a few of dozens that are available. As such, you need to decide on the right type of therapy to undertake. Speaking to a professional with knowledge of a portfolio of techniques can help make the decision easier, as can online research.
The first two types of counseling we discussed, namely mindfulness and yoga, are some of the most popular holistic therapy techniques. They also have a strong reputation, and have been shown to help to address problems such as anxiety.
However, you need to choose the right type of treatment based on the specific issue you’re trying to resolve. This is why speaking with a professional counselor can be helpful when comparing different types of spiritual counseling.
This is the end of our guide to holistic psychotherapy.
Remember, if you connect with a therapist using an online therapy platform, such as BetterHelp, they are much more likely to be a licensed professional. Although your choice of available therapists will be a bit smaller if you connect with a counselor online, you’re not limited to just those professionals located in the same state as you.
On the other hand, with a counselor directory, you will be able to see counselors for in-person sessions, which is important for some types of holistic psychotherapy. However, you need to take the time to research each professional, to ensure they are qualified and licensed if necessary.
Still not sure how to find the right therapy for your specific concerns? Leave us a comment below and we’ll get right back to you.
About the author
Richard Shrubb is an established health and social affairs writer based in West Dorset, England. He has authored and co-authored two books on mental health, and in the past been a national newspaper social affairs journalist as well as working with a number of nursing journals in the field.
He has lived experience of mental distress, using his time in treatment for a severe breakdown in the late 1990s to change direction to a career that suited him better, completing a Masters in journalism in 2005. Richard was recently diagnosed with autism too, and he brings a deep level of empathy for those he reaches out to in his work as a result. See examples of his work at www.richardshrubb.com
At home, Richard is a passionate social affairs activist seeking genuine change for the underdog through his work as a trades union officer and social media officer for a range of local campaigns. When not fighting the powers that be, he chills out by walking, gardening, and getting lost in the countryside on foot and by e-bike.