What Do You Mean By “Holistic?”

May 31, 2023

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Hannah House Spotlight: by Jessica Smith, Hannah House Supervisor

If you’re like me, the first time I heard the word “holistic,” I basically tossed it aside because I had no idea what
it meant. 

By definition, holistic means to be characterized by the belief that the parts of something are interconnected and can be explained only by reference to the whole. When talking about the whole person, it refers to the physical, emotional, and spiritual components. 

I’ve only been able to embrace the understanding of this definition since working for CLDI over the last 2 years. As a community, we take a holistic approach to reaching the messy and broken. On a daily basis, we work with people and the repercussions of the trauma they have endured throughout their life. 

Often, the general public will look at the person for their diagnosis. But underneath all of that, there is a lifetime of hurts such as abuse, neglect, addiction, etc. It’s much easier to see a person’s actions, rather than the reasons
for those actions.

When approaching trauma at the Hannah House, we first have to start by laying a foundation for the women. We start by simply getting to know them. We just listen. As I’ve come to learn about addressing trauma, connection is a big part of it. So by connecting with each woman and child individually, we can build a relationship of trust. 

The next step to healing their trauma is empowerment; Letting them know that their trauma doesn’t define them and that they are not alone as they go through this healing. We point them in the right direction to get help with counseling and therapy so that they can physically and emotionally heal from the past. We directly work with the women, spiritually, to help them heal. We hold small group Bible studies, offer discipleship programs, and have our Thursday night Bible study for them to attend. 

We also require them to work through a relapse prevention book called “The Genesis Process”. In the duration of five months, the process helps women work through their past and all the lies they believe, and instead, they begin to embrace the spiritual truths that God promises. Recovery is about a complete lifestyle change, meaning it must be
approached holistically.

I’ve recently been doing a Bible study on Ephesians. In Chapter 4, it talks about the body of Christ and all the gifts that God gives to people to equip them for works of service. Every role at CLDI is important and needed for us as a community to work together.  When we look at the actual body, every part and piece plays an important role. 

The same applies in ministry; we all holistically have something to add to our community. Whether it’s spirit, mind, or body, we are all important when working together to glorify God and His good work.

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