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Holistic Counseling, a natural form of psychotherapy

by jgraf

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Applying too much “expertise” in a counseling session can prevent an optimal outcome for a client.  Once a session is underway, the optimal way forward is to follow the client’s inner wisdom. An impulse may arise in the counselor to apply any of a number of techniques, but often it is wise to consider  - in the whole wide mystery of human nature and spirit  - what might be precluded if the counselor arbitrarily chooses, for example, a behavior modification approach.  Alternatively, the question to raise is, when honoring and facilitating the stream of spirit moving in the client’s heart, where might it be asking to go?


Many therapists assume that an issue derives from a childhood experience.  Sometimes it is so, or at least partly so.  Yet, often there is another avenue to more optimal results.  There are times when a client has already worked through childhood hooks, and needs a fresh approach.  The issue could have more to do with, for example, a former incarnation pushing through.  Or an off-kilter meshing of the four bodies/sheathes of the human spiritual constitution (physical, etheric, astral and egoic levels of our being)  - of which there can be several variations.


Over all, the human being, and life itself, is predominantly mysterious  - and a genuine quest becomes, how to hold that mystery as a doorway to invite new exploration.  We use only a tiny part of our minds and souls in the living process. The time is upon us to increase our level of engagement.


It is useful to view “evolution” from the anthroposophical indication.  Rudolf Steiner asserts that, contrary to the popular conception, evolution does not follow a steadily rising line of complexity (picture a graph with the line rising from bottom left to top right, representing degree of complexity)  - but, rather, a curve that drops back down as time progresses.  The example Steiner cites for this is the difference between an animal eye and a human eye.  Most animals have a more complex eye, but the human eye is more evolved.


Modern counseling can become too convoluted, or require a degree of “expertise” that doesn’t feel right. I don’t really want to become one of those professionals who charge high fees, and extend a series of counseling sessions beyond the client’s need. My approach, rather, is to entertain the central question, how can I maximize empowerment of the client, and as much as possible remove myself from the process, as soon as possible. In the end, the client learns practical skills and transformational tools that can serve through their life.


I believe that we all harbor inner resources and abilities that are, as yet, still sleeping, and that the time is upon us now to increasingly waken these resources.  These resources extend far beyond what we are currently using, both generally in society, and within the field of counseling.  To induce the awakening of these latent resources, we need to practice engaging some open-ended arenas, including leaving doors open, and using the power of silence, and coming to places where we are not actually clear about how to proceed.  To program for clarity to soon, at the expense of opportunities to wait it out at the gates of the mystery we call the human being, is to fall short when crucial moments arrive.  Process, so to speak  - is to engage a willingness to explore and discover, from a place of not-knowing.


Increasingly, the time is upon us when counselors who are not rigorously grounded in spiritual reality will be considered redundant, of little value to client needs.  This is because the world is becoming increasingly spiritualized in its focus.  It is simply time to awaken, to take off the blinders of materialism, and get on with true life.

           The increase in nervousness, and types and incidence of pathologies, the rise in disorders  - these phenomena are principally about humanity’s need to engage on a spiritual level.  We either empower our genuine (spiritual) nature, or risk falling into the abyss.



For more on holistic counseling and the wisdom of anthroposophy, or Josef Graf, MSW, MHS in clinical counseling, or to book a free initial consultation, visit the Josef Graf Holistic Counseling project  - -  or email at Counseling sessions include in-person, by phone or Skype.

Another key resource to explore can be found in one of the most dynamic methods of inner therapeutic exploration, that of Eugene Gendlin’s focusing:


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