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  • February 1, 2021

The search for appropriate therapy can be confusing at first, as there are several options available.

Whether to deal with emotional issues or to face social challenges, the demand for therapy has grown exponentially in recent years, as life’s challenges have demanded greater maturity.

Some people have heard of the terms “psychologist” and “therapist”, but they don’t always know the difference between them.

Recognizing what each one does can help you find the perfect therapy to deal with the moment you are going through.

So, let’s see below three differences between a psychologist and a holistic therapist:


Psychology and holistic therapies, also known as complementary, are based on different paradigms.

Psychology is based on scientific research that gauges its concrete results, and the psychologist acts based on a view to a certain extent scientific of the human being.

The holistic therapist, on the other hand, is inspired and guided by the bases of oriental medicines and by the integral vision of the human being, without a scientific corpus approving their results.

In fact, the effectiveness of holistic therapies is highly questioned by the academic community, as they are not always able to quantify the results of these therapies, considered to be unscientific.


In Brazil, the professional psychologist guides his actions and his therapeutic intervention according to the Professional Code of Ethics of the Federal Council of Psychology.

Holistic therapy professionals, on the other hand, seem to develop their own ethics, based on previous experiences, under which they guide their actions and interventions.


Although there are approaches to psychology that seek to expand the boundaries of the integral conception of the human being, some dimensions are not traditionally addressed in psychological clinics.

Although it may be a patient’s demand to talk about his “energies” and his spirituality, the psychologist has no training to address such issues as the holistic therapist, who works with the energies in order to transform the disharmonious into balance and self-knowledge .

According to VIEIRA FILHO (2004), the holistic therapist “assesses energy imbalances, their predispositions and possible consequences, in addition to promoting the catalysis of the natural tendency of self-balance, facilitating it by the application of a sum of therapies with a holistic approach, with the goal of transmuting disharmony into self-knowledge.

In some places, such as the United States, there are statistics that in 2004 the search for holistic therapists was 30% higher than for medical professionals (Vieira Filho, 2004).


In their care, psychologists use intellectual resources, proofs, repetitions and repeated results.

Holistic therapists, on the other hand, value the focus on other facets of the human being, trying to rescue something that is not Cartesian, that is not proven, that has no logic and is not part of reason, that is, part of pure experience (MARTYNETZ & SERBENA, 2012) .

However, psychologists who also apply holistic therapies conceive the background of theoretical knowledge specific to Psychology as something that adds solidity to their practices.

Although the results of holistic therapies are not always scientifically proven, their benefits such as improvements in patients’ quality of life and greater response to clinical treatments can be easily verified.

For this reason, many professional psychologists end up indicating or also applying some holistic techniques in their practice, seeking to see the human being in an integral way.


Now it’s easy to choose!

When in doubt, seek therapies that make you feel good and feel that they are taking you forward, to that path you want to follow!


MARTYNETZ, D. & SERBENA, C. A. O significado da Psicologia e da Terapia Holística para terapeutas holísticos graduados em Psicologia. Revista Abordagem Gestáltica. 2012;XVIII:85-92.

Vieira Filho, H. (2004). Tutorial de Terapia Holística (Módulo I). São Paulo: SINTE/Sindicato dos Terapeutas.



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