Holistic Approach is the Hallmark of Social Work

Since the inception of social work in the late 1800s, providing help to those in need, took shape by treating the whole person.

Today we are learning that the Holistic approach to healing has truly taken hold. In fact, it is expanding into an Integrative and Multidimensional wave of the future. What was once considered too “woo-woo” or alternative, is now being recognized as here to stay.

The Holistic Approach to healing is the Hallmark of Social Work. Treating the whole person, body, mind, and spirit is a social work credo. This is discussed in an article titled: The Face of Social Work: Celeste Mattingly, LCSW, written by Ann-Marie Katzer, MSW. It was posted in the March 2010 issue of the Hartford Courant, in honor of National Social Work Month. Celeste and Ann-Marie point out the value of Social Work and this very important holistic approach. Ann-Marie wrote:

While social workers are integral parts of all communities, the general public’s understanding of who they are, the contributions they make, and the services they provide are still limited. Since its inception, the social work profession has worked to improve life for millions every day. Social workers operate from values that recognize each person as relevant to society and believe that, when needed, society should help each person achieve his or her fullest potential. Social workers work in many capacities, including but not limited to: counseling, case management, providing children and family services, mental health services, advocacy, administration, policy, and community organization.

National Social Workers Month of March celebration honors social workers all over the nation. Connecticut is proud to participate in this celebration by honoring the social workers in our state who work hard every day to serve our residents. Celeste has been serving the Greater Hartford area insured and uninsured adult mentally ill and substance abuse populations. She has always provided a sliding scale, thus helping many well into any dissolution of their insurance benefits, and “there have been many” she exclaimed. Celeste Emelia Mattingly, LCSW believes that continuing to serve the insured, in spite of low-paying contracts and the increasing costs of operation, is in true keeping with the nature of social work. She remains committed to the middle-to-lower class who need to use their insurance for help with their mental health. Celeste states that “the basic credo of social work—treating the whole person, body, mind, and spirit is the most gratifying aspect of her work in this field.” She went on to say “this holistic approach to helping people offers us infinite opportunities to creatively grow and change” and that “treating the whole person allows us to evolve as helpers and as helping organizations. No other discipline can change hats so readily; clinicians, policy-makers, administrators, authors, theorists and now branching out as energy healers; social workers have the best of all worlds.” Lastly, Celeste stated about her successful career “None of this would have been possible without the training, experience, and overarching nature of social work.”

Celeste's portrait for 2009

Celeste’s 2009 portrait for Social Work Month

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