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"The word 'health' comes from the
Anglo Saxon 'häl', whence also
come 'heal' and 'whole'. Perhaps
the simplest definition of healing is 'to make
whole'. Holistic healing requires that the way
we achieve wholeness not only makes us more
complete as individuals, but also reintegrates
us into the whole of nature."
These words, from the book Radical
Healing, (Ballentine, R ., 1999, Three
Rivers Press), also point to a perspective on
psychotherapy with which not everyone is
familiar. There's a growing appreciation of
the fact that just as we learn ways of being in
our early relationships, so too we may have
different experiences and discover different
ways of being in other relationships later in
We're inherently impulsed to grow, to heal
and become whole. Our enquiry becomes
"What creates a sense of wellbeing, what
boosts my energ y, what brings clarity of mind,
what increases my capacity to accept and
connect with myself and with others?"
As we give attention to our experiences,
tuning into internal and external cues,
awareness increases, and transformation
occurs. We move towards fulfilling our
potential. We become more whole.
Bringing awareness to our own being,
to our unique reactions and processes, our
experience of our self in relation to others
and environment, and to our challenges and
strengths, sets us up for insight and growth.
The places where we flounder, where our
ways of being no longer work so well, provide
valuable clues to what needs to change in our
life. Working from this perspective, a process
of discovery permits us to approach a time
of difficulty or discomfort with curiosity
instead of fear, with optimism instead of
We women often care for others, before or
instead of attending to our own needs. Caring
well for ourselves, with our cycles and circuits
of nourishing and being nourished and our
need for balance and rhythm in life in fact
allows us to most fully care for others too.
Individual and group therapy both provide
a circumstance in which we can care for our
self in this way. After Hours Counselling
at ACON offers medium term individual
counselling, as well as a calendar of therapy
groups, across a range of themes.
Intake for the next Exploring Intimacy
group for women opens on the July 12.
For more information please visit: acon.
org.au, or phone 9206 2000.
Ann-Maree Rundle is Team Leader of ACON After
By Ann-Maree Rundle
to grow, to
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