While dealing with a specific disorder, it is not always possible to deal with the distress of the client adhering to a single therapeutic method. Integrative therapy is a advanced form of psychotherapy which combines different therapeutic tools and methodologies to fit the requirements of the individual client. With the foundation of therapy being human development, an integrative therapist alters the standard treatments to fill up development deficits or gaps that affect each client in an unique ways. Integrative therapy combines elements from several schools of psychological theory and research, integrative therapy has become a more flexible and inclusive outlook to treatment than more any other traditional, singular forms of psychotherapy.
What to expect?
Integrative therapy is one of the most inclusive and flexible for of therapy where the client is accepted more readily traditional forms of therapy. In traditional form of therapy, clients usually play a less active role unlike in this system. Integrative psychotherapists takes under consideration the individual characteristics, needs, physical abilities, preferences, spiritual beliefs, and motivation level of their clients and utilize their professional and expert judgment to make the choice of the best approach to therapy for every client. Several approaches may be employed simultaneously and consecutively throughout different stages of the therapeutic process or they can be used as a single inclusive form of therapy throughout.
How does it work?
There are several types of therapies, almost 400 in number, used in different parts of world to help individuals who are experiencing psychological distress to deal with them successfully and effectively. Researches have depicted that even though each of these approaches vary from one another, they can all result in similar outcomes. It has also been found that all clients do not respond equally to a form of therapy, in other words, every client responds in uniquely to a certain type of therapy. Therefore, a single approach to psychotherapy does not always provide the best result to the client. Hence, therapists who have received training in one particular therapeutic model like the cognitive-behavioral, family, or gestalt therapy, frequently use tools borrowed from other therapies to design an effective and a unique form of treatment which is suitable and effective for individual clients. This the reason why some psychotherapists simply refer to themselves as integrative therapists, rather than attaching their identify with any specific therapeutic model. Integrative therapy differs from eclectic therapy, in-spite of being similar in style. Integrative therapy employs techniques founded upon scientific research and proven to treat specific disorders, whereas eclectic therapy draws more upon the effectiveness of a technique and is less critical with whether or not scientific evidence has proven its effectiveness for specific problems.
When is it used?
Integrative psychotherapy techniques are often incorporated into almost any type of therapeutic work with children, adolescents, as well as adults, in individual practice and also in group settings. An integrative outlook towards therapy can be used to treat any number of psychological problems and disorders, which includes range of neurotic problems like depression, anxiety, and types of personality disorders. The therapist analyses each case and tries to match the treatment based on evidence for each client and each disorder.
Role of an Integrative Therapist:
There are several training programs for integrative therapists, but since integrative therapy follows a combined methodology within the general practice of psychotherapy than a form of psychotherapy in and of itself. Therefore, any licensed, professional psychotherapist can take up an integrative approach of treatment. The therapist and the client together forms a therapeutic plan and proceeds accordingly.
Norcross, J. Integrative therapy. American Psychological Association