#193 – Holistic Psychotherapy with Sarah Chana Radcliffe

photo of Sarah Chana Radcliffe


Sarah Chana Radcliffe, M.Ed., C.Psych.Assoc. is a registered Psychologist in Ontario, Canada. Over the past 30 years, she has counseled thousands of parents, couples and individuals in her full-time private practice in Toronto, Canada. She practices Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples, Process Experiential Psychotherapy, Energy Psychology, EMDR and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for parents. She is the author of Raise Your Kids without Raising Your Voice. She conducts parenting classes, keynote lectures and workshops locally and internationally. Her articles and comments appear in numerous print and on-line journals including The New York Times, The Toronto Sun, and The National Post, She can be found on YouTube answering parenting queries and on iTunes with her own bi-weekly parenting podcast. Sarah Chana has been a guest on radio and television shows in the United States and Canada. Her web site http://www.parenting-advice.net offers education and practical advice to the international community on all aspects of parenting. She was also interviewed on Shrink Rap Radio #148 as well as on my Wise Counsel Podcast.

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A psychology podcast by David Van Nuys, Ph.D.



  1. Rick V.
    Posted February 9, 2009 at 4:00 am | Permalink

    I think Dr. Dave is correct that Sarah is too great a confound to overcome when measuring the validity of some of the treatment methods she utilizes. Sarah is so darn likable you start feeling better the moment she opens her mouth. Oh and until just now I didn’t realize she’s cute too, I would marry her if she were available and I have sworn off marriage. You can bring Sarah back as much as you like and I’ll be there to listen. Great show great fun!

  2. Ben
    Posted February 15, 2009 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    While I appreciate hearing about different views, I think these treatments deserve a bit more of a critical eye. Has anyone even bothered testing these things in a scientific manner?

  3. Posted February 17, 2009 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    Ben I actually forgot to address this question on the interview and I’m glad you asked it! While we’re waiting for research on these healing modalities, I like to think of these interventions more the way we think of food. Let’s say someone has a headache. You offer them some tea and ask them if their headache feels any better. If they say it does, then you’ve helped them heal their pain. If they said it doesn’t, then you didn’t hurt them but you didn’t help them either. For now, the client him or herself judges the effectiveness of these new-fangled interventions (although there is research being conducted on Energy Psychology techniques). I’d trust you to know if you feel better or not. A client only has to try an Energy Psychology technique for a few minutes to see if it is effective for them and a couple of weeks, for Bach Flower treatment. They can try holosync for as little or as long as they want to (remember, it’s free for a year!). There’s no big risk. If placebo is at play, that’s fine with me because placebo can play a major role in healing serious disease.

  4. ken
    Posted March 7, 2009 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

    Drugs aren’t for me. I really hope these treatments work, because I really need help with my depression.

    Thank you, Dave, for what seems like your most inspiring episode ever.

  5. ken
    Posted March 18, 2009 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    Dave and Sarah, I’m giving the holosync cd’s a try. I’d be happy to give you and your listeners honest feedback about my results, if any. Wish me success, I need all the help I can get.

    Thanks again for inspiring episode.


  6. Posted March 20, 2009 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    That’s great Ken! Can you contact me through my site at http://www.parenting-advice.net (just write to me in the “ask SarahChana” box). I’d love to be in touch with you about this and I may have another suggestion for you as well.

  7. Russ
    Posted June 29, 2009 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    While I found this interview very interesting, I have a hard time believing that tapping or Bach flowers could really help someone who’s in the grips of a major depression or who has a serious anxiety disorder based on long-standing internal conflicts.

    If someone has internal conflicts raging within them, causing acute symptoms, how would these energy therapies help to bring these conflicts into consciousness so they can be addressed?

    I’m not saying these therapies have no worth, but I’m skeptical that they can work miracles or “change genes.”

  8. Posted September 15, 2009 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    I’ve listened to two of your podcasts with Sarah–she IS exceedingly likable. I too am looking to try holosync. Sarah, can we use it at bedtime if we fall asleep to it?

    Thanks Dave, you are really doing a terrific service with this podcast!

  9. Posted September 15, 2009 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

    One more question, Sarah. I went looking for holosync and found all of the competitors also. Are they all the same? Would you recommend any of the others?
    Thanks Sarah!

  10. Posted September 15, 2009 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

    I’d like to respond first to Russ’s skeptism: the best way to learn about the power of tapping or Bach Flowers is to try them on yourself and/or your clients. Rationality and logic don’t help here – you need first hand experience! Of course, you can also talk to the many therapists who use energy psychology and see what they say about its effectiveness. None of us “believed in it” until we saw the results for ourselves.

  11. Posted September 15, 2009 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

    In answer to your questions Laura, some people find they can use holosync before going to bed. Others find they just fall asleep at that time due to natural fatigue and some people complain that it opens their psyche a bit too wide and they are bothered by an overactive dream state. In fact, that was my personal experience and so I switched to getting up an hour earlier every day and that has worked really well for me and for so many others. As for the competitor products – I tried a few myself and found holosync to be the best. But more importantly, holosync does not just send out a CD and leave you to it. It is a highly responsible program that is designed to really guide a person on their evolutionary path. Centerpointe maintains a twelve hour hotline for users to provide support and guidance on their journey. Many users never have had therapy or any other deep exploratory process and they, especially, need to be able to speak to a live guide. Centerpoint also provides intensive support via letters and emails for the first six months of the program and they give you excellent explanatory resources, CD packages and all kinds of useful aids to ensure that you will move along correctly. I don\’t know of any other competitor who does anything other than provide the product itself. If you do decide to try holosync, let me know! Sarah Chana

  12. Laura
    Posted May 8, 2010 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    Hi Sarah,
    I started holosync last year in October. I’ve been using it faithfully since then and am finishing Level 1. I don’t think I will continue. I’m nervous about the very spacey way I’ve been feeling lately and the fact that I can’t find any peer reviewed research on holosync concerns me. I am afraid of doing damage to myself. Aside from holosync’s company (Centerpointe), I haven’t been able to fine anyone else (except you) that I’ve trusted and who has been positive. Since I find Centerpointe’s tactics very unsavory, I am leaving the program. I did find it very enjoyable but without some scientific reasurrance, I’m nervous. There are other sites on the web that talk about the dangers of the program.

  13. Posted February 22, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    Hi Laura,
    I know this is so late in coming – I’ve forgotten to check the comments on this podcast! Anyway, I certainly understand your hesitations. I’m kind of a voice in the wilderness, I guess. I’m on my last level of holosync now, after many years of daily use. Nothing bad has happened to me! In fact, I feel I have a new, fresh, young, happy, peaceful brain! I don’t work for holosync. I have no financial interest in their success. I’m just a contented user and I like to share the good word. However, I believe that each one of us can find wonderful tools that work for us and we don’t all have to travel the same road. I introduce holosync to people because I believe that some of them will get the same wonderful results that I did and that many of my clients have reported. But there is certainly no “one size fits all” healing path.

  14. Mark
    Posted November 17, 2012 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    This was a wonderful interview. However, I have some confusion about bach flowers.

    On Sarah’s website, she says, “While Bach Remedies can help ease any negative emotional state, intense emotional distress is best assessed and treated by a mental health professional.”

    This makes total sense to me, but then in the list of symptoms she cites as being treatable with bach flowers, she includes despair, hopelessness and rage, which to me are intense emotions.

    Also, Dr. Edward Bach himself states – in reference to the Sweet Chestnut flower:

    “For those moments which happen to some people when the anguish is so great as to seem to be unbearable. When the mind or body feels as if it had borne to the uttermost limit of its endurance, and that now it must give way. When it seems there is nothing but destruction and annihilation left to face.”

    To me, this sounds like severe major depression, which is about as distressful as human experience gets

    So I’m confused. Are these remedies for “minor” emotional or psychological problems? Or can more severe psychological symptoms also be helped with them?


  15. Sarah Chana Radcliff
    Posted November 17, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    I’d like to respond to Mark’s excellent questions about the use of Bach Flower Remedies for severe emotional distress. First of all, the comment on my website about seeking professional assessment for severe emotional states is not about Bach Flowers – it is a recommendation to those in great distress to get appropriate assessment and treatment and NOT rely upon self-assessment and self-help. As for the use of Bach Flowers for emotional suffering – the remedies can be used for very minor “off” states as well as for moderate states of emotional distress AND for extremely intense and disturbed states. The difference is that the they may be all that is necessary to ease a minor or even moderate state of distress while, in my opinion although not necessarily Dr. Bach’s opinion, additional treatment will often be necessary for more severe states. This might include such interventions as psychotherapy, additional self-help strategies like meditation, cognitive behavioral strategies or other emotional regulation strategies, pharmaceutical treatment, other alternative treatments such as nutritional, herbal and/or homeopathic treatments and so on – depending on the nature of the emotional problem, the preferences of the individual and the recommendations of doctors and/or mental health professionals. Bach Flowers do not interact with any other treatment and, as long as other treating professionals do not object, can be used along with any other treatment protocol. Unlike all other treatment modalities, they heal specific emotional states. They can often speed the course of emotional (and physical) healing and increase the effectiveness of other interventions. In summary, Bach Flower Remedies can be the sole treatment for emotional distress in some cases and an important part of a comprehensive treatment plan in other cases.

  16. Mark
    Posted November 19, 2012 at 6:31 pm | Permalink


    My sincere thanks for your response, and for clarifying the statement on your website. I’m finding the whole topic of flower essences very fascinating, especially the idea and prospect that such a benign substance could actually be so powerful in helping those of us who have hard-to-reach and hard-to-resolve issues get to a truly better place. I will continue my reading on Bach flowers and will most likely seek a consultation with a practitioner in my area.

    Thanks again!

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