How to Become a Holistic Health Counselor

Overview

Holistic healthcare and healing has been around for thousands of years – it is one of the oldest forms of healing and only recently has it gained recognition by mainstream medical practices. It draws its belief on the principle that there is more to humans than just the body – in fact, humans are the amalgamation of their body, mind and spirit. Each component shapes a person and ultimately affects their health, for better or for worse.

A holistic health counselor uses their understanding of the mind, body and spirit in order to improve the wellness and health of patients. The focus of the treatment lies on the individual as an entire self, not just the illness or the disease. If you are an advocate of this approach to health and wellness and if you wish to see people benefit from it then you will find satisfaction and reward in becoming a holistic health counselor.

Job Duties

Listed below you will find job duties that are common to most holistic health counselors. It is important to note that holistic health counselors are not exactly medical professionals and so do not have any rigid job duties. Their duties and responsibilities at work largely depend on the nature of the organization and scope of duties when dealing with either a community or an individual.

  1. Discover and understand the client’s troubles and worries by taking their history and collecting relevant information
  2. Conduct interviews and fill out questionnaires that will help record the client’s information pertaining to treatment
  3. Work along-side conventional health care provides so as to form a sound opinion and treatment plan
  4. Familiarize and educate clients with holistic treatment plans and philosophies so that they are aware of the methodology
  5. Study the client’s behavior over the course of time to understand their psyche and thought process
  6. Study the client’s lifestyle, schedule, diet and  patterns to gain further insight on variables that may affect them
  7. Develop comprehensive programs to address client issues and put them on the path of healing and recovery
  8. Suggest lifestyle changes by removing the negative variables and introducing positive energy inducing variables
  9. Promote actions and behaviors that bring about positive emotions in people and in communities
  10. Suggest exercises and activities to help clients relax and develop a positive frame of mind and outlook to life
  11. Suggest natural remedies to healing physically which may include food items
  12. Develop self-help tools so that clients can practice and exercise healing and other treatment techniques in the comfort of their homes

Career Outlook

There is not much conclusive data that can give evidence to the career outlook of holistic health counseling. However, it cannot be denied that holistic healthcare and treatments are gradually making a name for themselves globally. As a holistic health counselor, you might find opportunities in the psychology and mental health fields where patients need help with emotional problems, stress and addiction. It is possible to align with traditional medical professionals in hospitals, clinics, mental institutes and so on.

Salary Prospects

As a holistic health counselor you can earn an average annual salary of around $45,000 (simplyhired.com). According to another source, the average annual salary for holistic health counselors is $47,000 (indeed.com). As with most healthcare fields, experience plays a vital role in determining your market value. As you gradually gain more experience in this field by working on a number of cases and clients, you may enjoy increased compensation.

Education Requirements

There are not many formal degrees or structured programs that provide academic exposure to holistic health counseling. Due to the fact that holistic healthcare is somewhat new and does not have much research or quantifiable data there are not many detailed or comprehensive academic programs that offer it.

Nonetheless, you will find a few programs and courses in holistic health from select educational institutes. These programs may provide you with knowledge on various holistic health philosophies, techniques and so on. Some degree programs that focus on natural medicine may offer bachelor’s or associate degrees on holistic healing. These programs should help you start your career in holistic health.

Depending on the line of work you wish to enter, other holistic health fields such as massage therapy, stress management, acupuncture and the like are also quite popular. Each field would have its own set of academic requirements. Hypnotherapy, frequency vibrational shiatsu, shamanism, energy therapy, and tuning forks therapy are some of the other sub categories that fall under holistic health.

Employers prefer candidates who have some exposure and academic knowledge in holistic health. With basic knowledge additional training can be received on the job. Before beginning to work or practice, you should look up the state laws and policies as they may vary across the country.

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