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The Whole Person Approach

A whole person approach is a methodology I use when working with stressed out individuals. It encompasses both the interior and exterior elements of a person.

Antoinette Barnardo
Antoinette Barnardo
3 min read
The Whole Person Approach
Photo by engin akyurt / Unsplash

A whole person approach or the BioPsychoSocial Model is one that includes the inner and outer experiences of a person. Thoughts, emotions, memories, states of mind, perceptions and sensations are what you experience interiorally and the exterior refers to your material body (and brain) - what you see, touch or observe or any other external influences in your life like the culture you grew up in and the foods you subsequently eat.

The Biopsychosocial Model

Biology - refers to our how bodies work and includes our age, biological sex, genes, metabolism, hormones, how we move and recover, our digestion, skeletal muscle, immune, lymphatic systems, etc.
Psychology - refers to our mindset and includes our feelings, thoughts, perceptions, anxiety or worry, values, priorities, goals, aspirations, memories, etc.
Social - refers to external impacts like our family, work, university, community, society or culture, finances, etc.

If you are stressed or burnt out, you will experience challenges in all of these domains when things go array in your life. It's impossible not to because of the overlap in these areas or contexts. Your are not just your thoughts, and not just your physical appearance and not just the culture you were born into.

A healthy or unhealthy body houses a healthy or unhealthy mind, which affects all areas of your social structures.

Prolonged stress results in a disruption to the function of your physical body, while impacting your mental and emotional health and spills over into your social environments and relationships.
  • You may struggle with your thought processes, or mood changes - which when left unchecked - can result in excessive mental chatter, depression and anxiety, unexplained sadness, or apathy towards most situations in your life.
  • Disordered hormones, accompanied by pains and aches, weight fluctuations, poor immune function and digestive disorders like bloating or constipation may develop and play havoc with your physiology and your psychology.
  • The worry and anxiety will eventually get to you. You may even develop allergies and intolerances to certain foods or substances out of the blue and for the first time in your life.
  • The exhaustion will set in and so will flying off the handle when someone remarks how senstive you are of late.
  • You will find it challenging to maintain healthy relationships and find yourself in regular conflict with family, friends or colleagues and bosses, etc.

Focusing on only one domain, e.g., body aches, brain fog, lack of concentration, or troubled relationships won't fix the problem.

Single complaints are part of a larger interconnected system and when you tweak one area, a result is almost always felt in another or in several others.

When you don't experience life in harmony or flow, you can be sure that there is disharmony within and without.

Until this is resolved, or you find a way of calming the chaos, you will not function optimally or thrive fully, and your problems will escalate and become all consuming, leaving limited capacity for anything else.

Chaos from acute or prolonged stress leads to burnout!

When my clients present with symptoms or complaints, these may point towards a specific area, but the underlying hidden factors may be coming from elsewhere, so it's pointless to focus on only alleviating symptoms or concentrating on one possible root cause.

It takes a detective lens to shine a light on all three domains of your life to understand what could be a cause and what or how to make tweaks for a desired outcome or result.

A whole-person approach considers all aspects of you and leaves nothing to chance.

Anything that is disruptive or stressful and is allowed to continue indefinitely, will disrupt your life and needs to be addressed as part of the greater whole.

How I Work With You:

  • We identify your hidden stressors and personal obstacles
  • We run some functional tests that help us understand what is going on
  • We assess your habits and behaviours and make changes that suit YOU
  • We build your resilience so you can grow and bounce back from setbacks
  • We address your attitude and openness to change or how you can and want to be challenged safely
  • We audit your nutrition, sleep, rest, exercise and recovery routine
  • We use tools to help you slow down and soften 😊 so you can take informed actions
  • We evaluate what is most important to you
  • We explore your deepest commitments and purpose so you can find meaning, value and joy in your life
  • We help you prioritise what is important to you so you don't become overwhelmed
  • We talk, feed back and course-correct so you can continue with confidence

Schedule A Chemistry Call

If you are interested in healing all aspects of yourself, click the button below for a clarity session with me to explore further what steps you can take next.

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Antoinette Barnardo Twitter

FDN-P, CHPC, PN & CCI Coach, Psychological Stress Specialist & Yoga Teacher. Helping people reclaim health, vitality for max energy! Love yoga, adventure sports, meditation, philosophy & reading 😊