Using Mandalas – An Holistic Approach to Practice

Contributor: Ellen E. Swanson
See related Education Exemplar

The mandala emerged while I was working to release the lifelong power of hierarchical influences.  For fifteen years I was determined to come up with a non-hierarchical way of organizing information.  As this emerged, I needed help to know how to interpret the template drawing that finally came forth, so I asked a number of people what they saw.  Hence the template name and interpretations are a compilation of what others contributed, demonstrating the mutuality and inclusiveness the mandala represents. Also see the list of resources below that informed this work.

A colleague noted how this related to Modeling and Role-Modeling Nursing Theory, about which I had no knowledge at the time.  After reading about the theory and other holistic nursing theories, a Holistic Nursing Mandala was created.  Concepts from the seven holistic theories prevalent at the time were included.  This poster was presented at a Society for the Advancement of Modeling and Role-Modeling Conference.  It was gratefully embraced.  The Society then created a mandala for the Society as well as a mandala for MRM Theory itself (see below).

There are twelve exemplars illustrating the application of mandalas in nursing:

  1. Nursing Organization
  2. Child Development
  3. “Know Thyself” 
  4. Felt Sense Knowledge Application
  5. Dual Organizational Application
  6. Client Assessment
  7. Nursing Department and Neuro Unit
  8. Annual Appraisals
  9. Corporation
  10. Healing the Hierarchy
  11. Miscellaneous Responses to the Mandala
  12. Connecting Theory and Practice

Modeling and Role Modeling Theory Mandala

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Resources

American Holistic Nurses Association (AHNA), & American Nurses Association (ANA). (2013)  Holistic nursing:  Scope and standards of practice (2nd Ed.)  Silver Springs, MD:  NursesBooks.org.

Arguelles, J. & M. (1972).  Mandala.  Boston and London:  Shambhala

Artress, L.  (2006). Walking a sacred path.  New York, NY:  Riverhead Books.

Baines, B.K. (2002). Ethical Wills: Putting your values on paper.  Cambridge, MA:  Da Capo Press.

Buchbinder, A.  (2013). Out of our Heads:  Philip Shepherd on the brain in our belly.  The Sun, 448, 7-14.

Capacchione, L. (2001). The Power of Your Other Hand.  Franklin Lakes, NJ:  Career Press.

Covey, S. R. (1989, 2004).  The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People:  Powerful Lessons in Personal Change.  New York:  Free Press.

Covey, S. R. (2011).  The 3rd Alternative:  Solving Life’s Most Difficult Problems.  New York:  Free Press.

Dossey, B. (2013).  Nursing:  Integral, integrative, and holistic – local to global.  In B. Dossey & L. Keegan (Eds.) Holistic nursing: a handbook for practice, 6th Ed. (pp. 3-57).  Burlington, MA:  Jones and Bartlett Learning.

Eisler, R. (1987). The Chalice and the Blade.  San Francisco:  Harper.

Eisler, R. and Loye, D.  (1990). The Partnership Way.  San Francisco:  Harper.

Erickson, H., and Tomlin, E., and Swain, M. (1983).  Modeling and role-modeling:  A theory and paradigm for nursing.  Cedar Park, TX:  EST Company.

Fox, M. (1979, 1990).  A Spirituality Named Compassion.  San Francisco:  Harper.

Frisch, N. (2013).  Nursing theory in holistic nursing practice.  In B. Dossey & L. Keegan (Eds.) Holistic nursing a handbook for practice, 6th Ed.  (pp. 117-128).  Burlington, MA:  Jones and Bartlett Learning.

Gendlin, E. T. (1978).  Focusing.  New York:  Bantam Books.

George, B.  (February 27, 2011).  Leadership skills start with self awareness.  Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Hogan, E. E. (2003). Way of the Winding Path:  A Map for the Labyrinth of Life.  Ashland, OR:  White Cloud Press.

Jung, C. G. & von Franz, M.-L. (Eds.). (1964). The Process of Individuation.  In M.-L. von Franz (Ed.), Man and his Symbols (pp. 158-229). Garden City, New York:  Doubleday & Co. Inc.

Levine, P.A. (with Frederick, A.)  (1997). Waking the Tiger:  Healing Trauma.  Berkeley, CA:  North Atlantic Books

Mackay, H. (October 1, 2012).  Difference between self-serving leaders and servant leaders.  Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Manaster, G. J. & Corsini, R. J. (1982).  Individual Psychology:  Theory and Practice.  Itasca, IL:  F.E. Peacock Publishers, Inc.

Nair, K. (1994, 1997).  A Higher Standard of Leadership:  Lessons from the Life of Gandhi.  San Francisco:  Berrett-Koehler Publishers.

Rohr, R. (2013).  Immortal Diamond: The Search for our True Self.  San Francisco:  Jossey-Bass.

Rome, D.I. (2014).  Your Body Knows the Answer: Using your Felt Sense to Solve Problems, Effect Change, and Liberate Creativity.  Boston and London:  Shambhala.

Roth, T.  (2007). StrengthsFinder 2.0. New York:  Gallop Press.

Schaef, A.W. (1987).  When Society Becomes an Addict.  San Francisco:  Harper & Row.

Schaef, A.W. (1988).  The Addictive Organization.  San Francisco:  Harper & Row.

Shepherd, P.  (2010). New Self New World.  Berkeley, California:  North Atlantic Books.

Townsend, M.  (2013). Holistic leadership.  Beginnings, 32(6), 2, 17.

Twelve Steps: A way out.  Rev. ed. (1989).  San Diego, California:  Recovery Publications, Inc.

Webster’s Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language: New Revised Edition (1996). New York:  Random House Gramercy Books.

About the author

Ellen Swanson

Ellen E. Swanson, MA, RN, BSN, PHN, HNB-BC (Retired) had a 46 year career that included ortho-rehab, mental health, operating room, management, teaching, care managing, and consulting. For fifteen years she had a private practice in holistic nursing, focusing on health and wellness teaching and counseling. She served on the leadership council for the Minnesota Holistic Nurses Association for ten years.