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3 B.U. Pub. Int. L.J. 5 (1993)
Holistic Lawyering: A Comprehensive Approach to Dispute Resolution

handle is hein.journals/bupi3 and id is 17 raw text is: HOLISTIC LAWYERING: A COMPREHENSIVE
The term Holistic derives from concepts of holism. Being Holistic
embodies the understanding of our common Source, our undivided spirituality,
the inter-connectedness of all things, and the differences between us that gives
us our uniqueness or individuality. Holism includes viewing the whole; the
greater picture of people and events.
Being Holistic involves an awareness and understanding of one's self and
acting in accordance with this awareness and understanding. This action is
how we act Holistically. What we are doing at any given moment is rele-
vant only to the extent that we are aware of why we are doing it. When we
become aware of why we commit particular actions, how we do it and its
effect upon others becomes much more significant to our understanding of our-
selves and our environment.
But why Holistic? More than any other comment that I have received
about my practice has addressed my choice of the word Holistic. As popu-
larized in the medical field, Holistic means an understanding and engaging
the whole of what is presented. While the cancer itself is addressed, so too is
the diet and lifestyle of the patient. The patient asks the M.D. to heal me
and the doctor responds with I will help and guide, but you will have to heal
yourself. The complete healing of the patient is effected not only when the
presenting dis-ease is eliminated, but when the roots and causes of that dis-
ease are eliminated as well.
Holistic justice is the awareness and understanding of the cause and effect
of past behavior; the responsible acceptance of consequences; and personal
commitment to change. Like doctors, we are faced with an endless presenta-
tion of dis-ease. Our challenge is to not only understand the dis-ease in gen-
eral, but its particular manifestation in the individual client. The medical com-
munity has shown us that the healing process itself is much more rapid,
efficient and complete when the burden of the process is shifted to the patient.
So too must we shift the burden of the conflict and dispute resolution to our
The public does not seem to realize that they bear responsibility for their
* Mr. van Zyverden, a Vermont lawyer, is the founder and director of the Holistic
Justice Center, International Alliance of Holistic Lawyers, and the International Net-
work of Holistic Professionals located in Middlebury, Vermont. For information con-
tact: Holistic Justice Center; P.O. Box 753, Middlebury, Vermont 05753; (802) 388-

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