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TheScientificWorldJOURNAL
Volume 3 (2003), Pages 1388-1400
http://dx.doi.org/10.1100/tsw.2003.124
Research Article

Holistic Medicine IV: Principles of Existential Holistic Group Therapy and the Holistic Process of Healing in a Group Setting

The Quality of Life Research Center, Copenhagen K, Denmark

Copyright © 2003 Soren Ventegodt et al.

Abstract

In existential holistic group therapy, the whole person heals in accordance with the holistic process theory and the life mission theory. Existential group psychotherapy addresses the emotional aspect of the human mind related to death, freedom, isolation, and meaninglessness, while existential holistic group therapy addresses the state of the person�s wholeness. This includes the body, the person�s philosophy of life, and often also love, purpose of life, and the spiritual dimension, to the same extent as it addresses the emotional psyche and sexuality, and it is thus much broader than traditional psychotherapy.Where existential psychotherapy is rather depressing concerning the fundamental human condition, existential holistic therapy conceives life to be basically good. The fundamentals in existential holistic therapy are that everybody has the potential for healing themselves to become loving, joyful, sexually attractive, strong, and gifted, which is a message that most patients welcome. While the patient is suffering and fighting to get through life, the most important job for the holistic therapist is to keep a positive perspective of life. In accordance with these fundamentals, many participants in holistic group therapy will have positive emotional experiences, often of an unknown intensity, and these experiences appear to transform their lives within only a few days or weeks of therapy.An important idea of the course is Bohm�s concept of �holo-movement� in the group, resulting from intense coherence between the group members. When the group comes together, the individual will be linked to the totality and the great movement forward towards love, consciousness, and happiness will happen collectively � if it happens at all. This gives the individual the feeling that everything that happens is right, important, and valuable for all the participants at the same time. Native Americans and other premodern people refer to this experience as �the spiritual design�. This design is actually an underlying regulation that appears when people, through their feelings and engagement for each other, tie the group together and engage their complex emotional intelligence. Practically, this means that all participants are sunk in the same information matrix, so that everybody learns from each other. Everything that happens in the perception of each trainee has immediate and developing relevance for him.Spontaneous healing happens far more effectively in a group setting, where all the participants stand together and support each other, than it does in the clinic, where the therapist is alone with the patient. A 5-day course in personal development can be compatible to a half year of holistic individual therapy.