Embracing Alternative Health and Wellness Practices in Social Work By Gena Golden, LCSW Picture By Unsplash

By | May 20, 2024

In the ever-evolving landscape of social work, the quest to find innovative ways to support and uplift clients is ongoing. Traditional methods undoubtedly have their place, but as the world progresses, so must our holistic well-being approach. It’s time for social workers to think outside the box and consider alternative health and wellness fields, including hypnotherapy, as valuable tools in their arsenal.


While the idea of hypnotherapy might seem unconventional to some, its efficacy in addressing a wide range of issues, from anxiety and trauma to addiction and chronic pain, is increasingly supported by research. By tapping into the subconscious mind, hypnotherapy offers a unique avenue for healing and transformation, complementing more traditional therapeutic modalities. Moreover, diversity within the field of hypnotherapy is a notable strength. In 2013, I began my hypnotherapy training. Back then, I was the only black woman in hypnotherapy spaces or one of a tiny minority. Now, however, statistics reveal that a significant majority of hypnotherapists are women, with a growing representation of individuals from Black and other marginalized communities.


Black women in hypnotherapy provide a crucial intersectional perspective and cultural humility that can resonate deeply with clients from similar backgrounds. Furthermore, integrating alternative health and wellness practices into social work expands the profession’s scope and fosters a more holistic understanding of human flourishing. True well-being encompasses not just the absence of illness but also the presence of vitality, purpose, and connection. By embracing diverse approaches to healing, social workers can help clients tap into their innate resilience and capacity for growth. By embracing alternative healing methods like hypnotherapy and actively working to diversify their ranks, social workers can better connect with clients from various backgrounds and offer more inclusive and culturally responsive care.


Representation matters not only in terms of race, gender, and sexual orientation but also in lived experiences and perspectives. In addition to hypnotherapy, social workers can explore various alternative health and wellness practices, such as acupuncture, herbal medicine, mindfulness-based therapies, and energy healing modalities. While these approaches may only be suitable for some clients or situations, having a diverse toolkit ensures that social workers can tailor their interventions to meet the unique needs and preferences of those they serve.


Let’s use Mental Health Awareness Month for social workers to stretch conventional norms and embrace the richness of alternative health and wellness practices. Whether incorporating hypnotherapy into therapeutic interventions, diversifying the profession’s ranks, or exploring a range of holistic modalities, the goal remains to empower clients on their journey toward wholeness and healing.


About The Author

Gena Golden, LCSW, NBCFCH, is an integrative, anti-oppression clinical social worker and a culturally attuned, board-certified fellow of clinical hypnotherapy. She practices from a holistic, intersectional, liberation-focused lens that seeks to validate your humanity, cultural nuances, and lived experiences.



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