7 Steps to Wholeness – Holistic Approach in Treatment of Mental Illness and Addiction

by Neseret on February 27, 2013

Everything living dreams of individuation, for everything strives towards its own wholeness.

~ C.G. Jung (1875-1961), Swiss depth psychologist, from The Wisdom of Carl Jung,

It seems that it is the purpose of evolution now to replace an image of perfection with the concept of completeness or wholeness. Perfection suggests something all pure, with no blemishes, dark spots or questionable areas. Wholeness includes the darkness but combines it with the light elements into a totality more real and whole than any ideal. This is an awesome task, and the question before us is whether mankind is capable of this effort and growth. Ready or not, we are in that process. ~ Robert A. Johnson (1921-present), American Jungian Analyst, from He

The work of healing and returning to our wholeness is indeed “…an awesome task,” and I believe we are absolutely capable of progress and growth. The first step in embarking in this sacred journey is our willingness to make it a priority. Are you willing to grow and expand?

The truth is you are already whole.

The work of healing is simply undoing the false conditioning, limiting beliefs, and dysfunctional patterns you’ve picked up along the way (as a result of living on planet earth and likely around people who were unconscious.) The work of healing is remembering. Remembering who you truly are.

You are whole. You are beautiful. You are magnificent. You are a spiritual being. You are a human being. You are powerful. You are perfect and imperfect. You have potential for great good as well as destructiveness. You have a dark side and light side. All of this is you and it is all acceptable and wonderful.

“So why do I continue to struggle and suffer?” you ask.

The short answer is that you have forgotten how powerful you are. You have bought in to many lies you’ve been told by others who did not know who they were. Being born in to this “spiritually hostile environment” we call home you’ve developed certain coping mechanisms that allowed you to survive.

However those same mechanisms that have allowed you to survive have become obstacles. As an adult (often still a child in an adult body) you have felt lost, and confused. You have attempted to find yourself in all the wrong places. All in things outside of yourself.

Finding your way HOME is the “awesome task”…This is the work….

I believe in a holistic approach to healing. It is critically important to combine conventional treatment with complementary and alternative healing modalities. Medication and therapy alone are not going to “fix” you. I believe there are 7 steps to creating effective and lasting treatment of mental illness and addiction.

These are the steps I take my clients through as I support them in their journey of healing and returning to their wholeness.

Step 1

Learning Self Acceptance, Self Love, Positive Coping Skills while Processing Past Unresolved Trauma and effects (Shame, Anger, Guilt)

If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you. ~ Jesus in the Gospel of Thomas, translated by Elaine Pagels, scholar, from Beyond Belief

Real liberation comes not from glossing over or repressing painful states of feeling, but only from experiencing them to the full. ~ C.G. Jung (1875-1961), Swiss depth psychologist, in Collected Works, Vol. 9, edited by Edward Hoffman, Ph.D.

Accepting the whole range of one’s feelings, expressing them and gaining self-possession are the signposts along the road one travels on the voyage of self-discovery. ~ Alexander Lowen, M.D. (1910-2002???), American founder of Bioenergetic Therapy, from Joy

Self acceptance and self love as well as processing past unresolved trauma are the cornerstones of the work of healing. As far as I’m concerned trauma is the only real diagnosis. Everything else is an after effect. Trauma is also the one thing that is not addressed within families, society, and in psychiatry today.

Trauma is the most avoided, ignored, denied, misunderstood, and untreated cause of human suffering. ~ Peter A Levine, from Healing Trauma: A Pioneering Program for Restoring the Wisdom of Your Body ~

Ignoring people’s past, the traumas they’ve suffered, and the impact of those traumas is revictimization. It is simply ignorant and unethical. For those who carry the burden of past unresolved trauma, nothing is as toxic and draining as carrying the effects of trauma – chronic shame, anger, guilt, self loathing, self hatred, and a host of other destructive emotions and behaviours.

In my work with clients addressing past trauma is always the first order of business. I do this through very simple and natural techniques called “focusing” as taught by Eugene T Gendlin, PhD and “Somatic Trauma Resolution” as taught by Peter A. Levine Ph.D.

Processing past trauma is always done at the pace of the client. You get to set the pace at which you want to work on your healing. At the same time we will build your positive coping skills and on learning to accept and love yourself. This is the first step.

When you face your past and release those energies you’ve been carrying for years you are going to feel so much better. It will be like having a huge burden lifted from your shoulders. You’ll then have more energy to start tackling the more pressing matters in your present reality.

Step 2

What are subconscious limiting beliefs?

I’m going to let the brilliant Bruce Lipton explain this one to you. I believe it is critically important to work on identifying and replacing your negative subconscious beliefs as these beliefs/tapes are what run your life and what create your reality.

Working with the conscious mind alone (as is in the case of the many of the therapy modalities in psychiatry today – ie: CBT, MI, Solution Focused therapy etc.) is simply not enough nor effective. Our subconscious mind is far more powerful than our conscious mind.

The ability to work with the subconscious mind is critically important in allowing you to change and replace your limiting beliefs about yourself. This is what will unleash your true potential. This is what is going to allow you to truly achieve your highest potential as human being.

I could not emphasize further the importance of this step.

Tapping in to the power of your subconscious mind is essential to your healing. It is also closely related to the first step in that along the way you have picked up many dysfunctional and unhealthy beliefs about yourself and the way the world works.

As a certified Theta Healer, I help my clients early on identify the root cause of their dysfunctional behaviours and habits. I do this through an energy healing modality called Theta Healing.

Learn more about why it is working with the subconscious mind is a critical step in moving forward in your life.

Click to watch video…

Step 3

Exploring Spirituality – Acceptance, Compassion, Peace, and Love

Spirituality is another hugely neglected area in psychiatry. Exploring spirituality can be and is one of the most powerful catalyst for change, growth, and transformation. To me not exploring spirituality with a client is like leaving a huge resource unused.

I do not subscribe nor am I affiliated with any particular religion. I respect people’s right to define spirituality as it makes sense to them. However, many of the spiritual paths and teachings agree on a few things. In my work with clients I tend to focus on the commonalities that bring all of us together.

I believe it is important to recognize our oneness and interdependence.

It is essential for our individual and collective evolution to embody as much as possible the qualities of acceptance, compassion, peace, and love. Ultimately I believe the positive energies of compassion and love are the most powerful healing energies.

I encourage my clients to reflect on and explore spirituality in ways that feel comfortable for them. I am a huge advocate of mindfulness teachings and practises such as meditation and Yoga. I have found great benefit in these practises in my own life and hope they’ll benefit my clients.

Step 4

Working with Lifestyle factors – Sleep, Nutrition, Exercise.

Creating a positive lifestyle through proper rest, healthy nutrition, and exercise allows us to have a great deal of control over our general health and wellness. Our health and wellness is one of the most important thing we have in life.

Our bodies are the way we experience life on this planet. Having a healthy body and furthermore a healthy mind is of critical importance. It affects every aspect of our life experience. Many people feel like they’re victims of their genetics but the truth is our environment and the thoughts we think are far more powerful in creating our reality.

Taking care of the body through proper rest, healthy nutrition, and exercise is a way we can influence our overall health and well being. I support clients in creating and maintaining a good sleep schedule, proper nutritional intake, and exercise so that they will have plenty of energy and the concentration and focus to work on creating a life they’re excited to live.

Self care is at the basis of healing.

A good feeling and working body is essential as the foundation of your overall health and wellness.

Step 5

Self Development

Every person naturally wants to become all that they are capable of becoming, this desire to realize innate possibilities is inherent in human nature, we cannot help wanting to be all that we can be. Success in life is becoming what you want to be. ~ The Science of Getting Rich by Wallace D. Wattles ~

Often people feel “stuck” in their life and report feeling “powerless” to change their life. They feel like they’re victims of their situation and circumstances. Self development is about being willing to take responsibility. It is being willing to let go of the victim identity and claim your power back.

Regardless of who you are  and where you come from, regardless of what has happened in the past – you can change your life. You can slowly start moving in the direction of your dreams and goals. And it is never, ever too late.

Self development requires the willingness to step out of your comfort zone and try new things.

It requires you to confront and face your fears. It is about being willing to change and grow.

I often recommend to people various inspirational, transformational reading materials  as a way of enhancing their self development. I also challenge my clients to step out of their comfort zones. I hold them accountable in ways that helps them grow and expand.

Steps 6

The process of extending one self is an evolution process, where you grow as a human being. When a person is willing and successfully extending one’s limit, even for other people’s spiritual growth, they themselves have grown to be a larger state of being. The process is never ending and very satisfying. As we’ve heard, one can’t love others unless one learns to love oneself first. We can’t be a source of strength unless we established our own strength. So self-love and love for other has to exist together, not as a separate function. ~ Dr. Scott Peck from The Road Less Travelled ~

Relationships – relationship to self as a foundation for all other relationships through Self Acceptance and Self Love

The reason there is so much turmoil in relationships is often because the people within the relationships are not at peace within themselves. When you take the time to heal your own wounds and connect to your own true self it becomes easier to connect with others.

The basis of healthy relationships is healthy relationship with one’s self.

The basis of accepting and loving others is self acceptance and self love. This is also part of the foundation of the work of healing. Learning to accept, love, and have compassion for yourself is what will enable you to extend the same courtesies to others.

I often tell my clients that the best gift they can give themselves, those they care about and the world at large is to engage in their journey of healing. When you make self development and healing a priority in your life every person and every relationship you’re involved in automatically benefits.

I support my clients in getting to a place of feeling whole and complete within themselves. I show them how to let go of and transmute the lower vibrational energies of fear, shame, and anger to the higher vibrational energies of peace, joy, and love.

This way they’re able to improve their current relationships and create more loving, nurturing, and fulfilling relationships.

Steps 7

Your life’s journey has an outer purpose and an inner purpose. The outer purpose is to arrive at your goal or destination, to accomplish what you set out to do, to achieve this or that, which, of course, implies future. But if your destination, or the steps you are going to take in the future, take up so much of your attention that they become more important to you than the step you are taking now, then you completely miss the journey’s inner purpose, which has nothing to do with where you are going or what you are doing, but everything to do with how. It has nothing to do with future but everything to do with the quality of your consciousness at this moment. The outer purpose belongs to the horizontal dimension of space and time; the inner purpose concerns a deepening of your Being in the vertical dimension of the timeless Now. Your outer journey may contain a million steps; your inner journey only has one: the step you are taking right now. As you become more deeply aware of this one step, you realize that it already contains within itself all the other steps as well as the destination. This one step then becomes transformed into an expression of perfection, an act of great beauty and quality. It will have taken you into Being, and the light of Being will shine through it. This is both the purpose and the fulfillment of your inner journey, the journey into yourself. ~ Eckhart Tolle ~

Connect to Your Inner and Outer Purpose – Experience beauty, creativity, and passion.

When you have taken the time to work through the first 6 steps you will gain more clarity about your purpose in life. There is nothing more powerful and beautiful than discovering your true purpose in life and living it each and every moment with such clarity.

There is a reason and a purpose to why you are here.

There are things that you and you alone can bring in to this world. Your very existence is a gift. Being willing to embark on the journey of healing will allow you to live in peace, joy, and with passion and excitement.

Life is suppose to be a beautiful learning adventure. When you take the time to discover who you really are and get back to being your true self life becomes magical. You are whole and complete as you are. The work of healing is coming to a place of truly understanding and embodying that truth.

I believe healing is possible for you. I believe you are capable of change, progress, and growth. I feel truly blessed to be able to support you and others in their journey of healing. I believe in doing so I am living my true calling and purpose in life.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. Feel free to leave me your questions and comments below. Share this on Facebook and Twitter.

Peace, Love & Gratitude,


PS: If you are ready to take control, feel better, move forward, and create a life you’re excited to live – schedule a complementary consultation. Click HERE.



{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

marquis June 14, 2013 at 12:17 am

Great article. I feel I can’t seem to achieve everything because of a lot of lies being told to me and I still self-doubt myself on many things. I live at home in an negative environment and told my therapist how I don’t feel like I can actually grow, prosper, and do whatever I want to learn.

I’ve been asking my therapist on doing things out of the norm yet can’t seem to get a direct answer. I don’t have answers to everything about myself as I have no identity/skills and have to relearn everything that wasn’t taught to me.


Neseret June 14, 2013 at 4:24 pm

It sounds like you’re feeling quiet frustrated and that your work with your therapist is somewhat at a standstill. When you’re operating from a limited perspective your result are going to be limited.

Understand that your therapist has helped you to come to this point in your healing journey and that is wonderful. However the same therapist may not be the right person to take you to the next level in your healing journey and that’s o.k.

You obviously have a great desire to continue moving forward. Know you can be, do, and have whatever it is you want. You’re not alone in this journey and help and support are available for you.

Sending you Light & Love.



marquis June 20, 2013 at 1:43 am

She (therapist) says to me all the time you have to take responsibility for yourself. She says it like I am suppose to get what she is saying, not anybody else has told it to me like that and if I had a lot of answers for myself, I’d pick up on what I need to do it and go from there. I’ve been sitting here thinking for a long time ‘well, what is it I need to do? What do I do to take responsibility?’

I told her what sacrifices should I be making? I think when your not put into a situation at a breaking point, you really don’t know how to overcome obstacles.


Dee Doanes of Health Plus Style April 12, 2014 at 2:31 am

Neseret, I love your approach to treating mental illness and addiction. It’s good to see an article highlighting alternative ways to treat mental illness that doesn’t include prescription drugs. I wrote a three part article talking about alternative treatments for mental illness. Eating naturally fermented foods, taking B12, boosting folate levels, and not taking birth control pills are some of the ways to help treat mental illness.


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