On the show today we talking all about The soul of the Helper.  Dr. Holly Oxhandler’s first and much-anticipated book walks helpers through 7 steps to tending to your soul.  When a helper is living refreshed seeing themselves as a beloved child of God, it allows them to see and support others at such a greater capacity.   

In this book, I felt validated, but I also was challenged, and even supported, because Holly not only shares the research behind these steps, but she also shares her own journey and how she implemented these practical steps in her real-life situation. 





Dr. Holly Oxhandler’s Book: The Soul of the Helper


Holly’s journey to becoming a professor, researcher and author

  • Was inspired by her own therapist as a child
  • Studied at St. Bonaventure University and the University of Houston with an undergrad in psychology 
  • Worked with older adults re: anxiety and depression 
  • Master’s of social work at University of Houston
  • Completed with a PhD and became a professor at Baylor University


How faith is impactful with support work

  •  Spiritual and faith experiences are unique to each individual
  • Many people use their faith in their coping 
  • Practitioners don’t often use faith as an element in their work.  
  • Helpers are not often trained in how they can utilize the strength of faith in working with people.  

Holding Space =  The way in which you as a helper/support offer a safe place for someone to wrestle with the full range of there their emotions and thoughts without judgement.


“Across our lifetime over 80% of us will qualify for a diagnosis of a mental health condition” 


The Soul of the Helper

  •  Dr. Oxhandler’s first written work that explores the intersection of faith and mental health 
  • The research identified that mental health care providers that were more deeply connected and live out their own faith, tend to be more open to, have more positive views of faith and integrate faith into the treatment of their clients. 


Namaste’s Theory

  • Comes from the Hindi term commonly translated as “the divine in me, recognizes the divine in you” 
  • When we are able to recognize the divine in ourselves, we are better able to recognize the divine in others. 
  • Namaste’s theory isn’t only applicable to clinicians but to all helpers.  When we are able to see the divine in ourselves it becomes easier to see and support the divine in others.



We have to wake up to the SPEED at which we have been operating so that we can SLOW down, and find ways to STEADY ourselves to become comfortable with a state of slowness.  So that we can get to a place of being STILL because it’s not until we become still that we can SEE the sacred within ourselves before we then SHIFT towards compassion and serve from the place of abundance and recognizing that we are loved as beloved.  And we can SERVE from a place of worthiness and abundance rather than hustle.  



    • Recognizing that we are living at an intense speed that is not sustainable


    • Exploring and challenging the messages that are provoking us to hustle and live at an unsustainable pace 


    • Once we begin to slow our pace we have been some steady structures in our life to support remaining at a slower pace. 
    • “An object in motion stays in motion unless met with resistance”


    •  Holly offers practices to help us be comfortable with stillness. 


    • We cannot see the sacred in ourselves or others without having stillness. 
    • Stillness offers us an opportunity to see deep below the surface and grow with reflection. 


    • How these practices for yourself can impact the support for others
    •  If I am chosen as a beloved child of God, then so are others.  
    • This does not a call to accept the behaviour of an abuser


    • As helpers we serve others, but we have to learn to serve from a place of abundance knowing that our worth is not attached to our service.


Website: https://hollyoxhandler.com/
Book: The Soul of the Helper 
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Websites: HopeMadeStrong.org
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