G-0LXZDGBNQ6 How to Integrate Holistic Strategies Into Clinical Practice Safely and Effectively - The Holistic Counseling Podcast

Episode 3

Published on:

30th Mar 2021

How to Integrate Holistic Strategies Into Clinical Practice Safely and Effectively

Are you a new holistic therapist working in the traditional clinical field? How can you safely integrate holistic strategies into a clinical setting? Which clients can you introduce to holistic therapeutic practices in a way that is best for you and for them?


  • How to overcome the nerves
  • Getting started with holistic strategies in your clinical practice
  • Which clients to introduce to holistic strategies


Something I learned from my yoga practice, which applies to any new strategy, is to become comfortable with it, and that means practice.

To make it the most effective treatment you need to develop a personal practice with it to get comfortable with it to do it right early.

The best way to become accustomed and confident with any new skill is to practice it. Spend time working on it alone and then practice it alongside people close to you such as family members, partners, friends, and even colleagues.

Working on your new skill with people who are unfamiliar with it is an incredibly good way to learn how to introduce it to a new class or client one day, and to prepare yourself for the kinds of potential struggles and issues a brand-new client may have.

Another bonus of practicing often is that you can inform your clients of the benefits that you have experienced firsthand due to your daily routine, meditations, yoga, and so forth. Your clients will be more willing and optimistic to follow your advice and wisdom when they see that you practice what you preach.


I learned the importance of building on the trust and the relationships you have with your client first before recommending different kinds of practices and treatments.

Ease into it, take your time to get to know your client and for them to become accustomed to you before jumping into any strategies that would be completely new for them.


  • If you are practicing in person, make sure that your counseling space is welcoming, soothing, and comfortable for your client to try new things in. If you intend to incorporate movement-based practices such as yoga into the treatment, make sure to inform your clients to wear comfortable clothing.
  • If you are practicing over telehealth, be aware of the space behind you and make that space as visually pleasing or soothing as possible. Keep your space clear, clean, and together.

When you are starting your sessions, whether in-person or over telehealth:

  • Start your counseling session with some kind of ritual such as lighting a candle, using essential oils, or starting with some grounding and breathwork before diving into whatever it is they would like to talk about. Explore this idea with your clients and see who is more interested in adding this into their practice.
  • You can gently explain the benefits of a ritual before each session, and what to expect such as the timeframe of the ritual.
  • Follow their non-verbal clues to see how they are interacting with the new practice.
  • Do not close your eyes: you want to be fully present and checking-in with your client.
  • After the ritual, tune-in with clients. See how they experienced it in their body or with their feelings. You can note whether or not to change anything in the future.


Look at that scale, the readiness-to-change scale. Those that are higher on there are willing to do anything are the ones you want to try it with …. Because some [other clients] may not be willing to do this … when you are starting out get those clients who are on a higher level of readiness to change.

In a way, working with clients who are more ready and open can also help you to build your confidence because you are working with a client who is more open to trying new things, who will ask some questions, and be excited to try something different.

Listen to those clients who talk about holistic practices they already do in their home or in their daily routines, because they may be open to trying new things or adding new things to their own routine.

Listen to the clients who feel stuck with their traditional talk-therapy because they may enjoy the different approaches to therapy that you can provide for them.

After the client leaves, check-in with yourself. Did you enjoy the practice? What can you do better or differently next time that is best for both you and the client?

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About the Podcast

The Holistic Counseling Podcast
Answering the call to build your holistic practice
The Holistic Counseling Podcast hosted by Chris McDonald, a Licensed Professional Counselor, inspires mental health therapists to explore treatment options outside the realm of traditional therapy. Yes, Chris knows all about the stigmas attached to holistic therapy, yet she also knows how the client benefits far outweigh the looks, what-ifs, and worries about what people will think of you as a Mental Health Professional.

With a 200-hour Yoga Teacher and Group Practice Owner to her name, Chris specializes in treating anxiety, depression, trauma, and grief in young adults. She has seen firsthand how beneficial mindfulness, relaxation skills, meditation, and yoga have been in supplementing traditional therapy - especially in today’s world.

If you’re a Mental Health Therapist looking for the most up-to-date holistic treatments and wanting to learn how to integrate them into treatments, The Holistic Counseling Podcast is just for you! Chris helps you take your practice to the next level with a thriving holistic counseling service that you can give with confidence. Are you ready?

About your host

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Chris McDonald

Chris McDonald is a Licensed Professional Counselor and holistic provider with a group practice, “Path to Hope Counseling” in North Raleigh. She is a 200 hour Registered Yoga Teacher and offers gentle yoga classes, workshops and private yoga sessions. She specializes in treatment of anxiety, depression, trauma and grief in young adults in transition. She teaches clients relaxation skills, mindfulness, meditation and uses Brainspotting in treatment of trauma. Chris also offers Therapy for Therapists and wrote the book “Holistic Self-Care for Counselors.” She is passionate about helping other Mental Health Therapists and created “The Holistic Counseling Podcast.” Her favorite holistic daily rourtines include yoga and meditation.