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What is Integrative Psychotherapy?

As the name suggests Integrative therapy combines (integrates) different forms of psychotherapy.

What are the main ideas behind Integrative Psychotherapy?

The Integrative approach works with you in your uniqueness. The Integrative approach allows for flexibility and can offer something tailored specifically to meet your needs and issues.

The Aim of Integrative Therapy?

The Integrative process aims to identify and explore the issues to that causing you problems in your life and from this to create a personalised program to help you move through your life in a more productive and open way. The Integrative aspect also extends to you as a whole person and it is about integrating those various parts of your personality. The aim is to help you function in a balanced way at all levels including the mental, physical, spiritual and emotional aspects of you.

How does at therapist know which technique to use?

The approaches used by an integrative therapist will depend on you and the challenges you are facing. If you come to see an integrative therapist because you are distressed by childhood trauma a therapist might use a combination of psychodynamic theory and mindfulness. Psychodynamic therapy will look back and help you remember those experiences and assist you in interpreting your past. Mindfulness might be used in session and/or taught to help you manage the overwhelm that sometimes comes with the pain experienced from these past events. In the same instance Cognitive Behaviour Therapy might be used to examine, monitor and challenge some of the negative thinking/behaviours that you engage in now as a result of past experiences.  The approaches are well thought out and are combined in a way that lends itself to a bespoke plan for the challenges you face.

Is there a structure to Integrative Therapy?

Although an Integrative therapist uses different schools of therapeutic thought, they their knowledge base and their training to structure and develop the best ways to combine the different techniques. While there is room for flexibility, structure is also key when making a bespoke program for a client.

The beauty of an integrative approach is that it is fitted to you (and not vice versa). It is less structured and rigid than other forms of therapy. The flexibility allows for change mid-process as it less structured and rigid.

What are the benefits of an integrative approach?

  • You will gain understanding about what causes you to feel challenged in your life
  • You will learn to identify things that trigger you and learn how to respond in a healthier way.
  • You will get a chance to integrate all the different aspects of yourself in relation to your emotions, body, mind, spirituality and relational self
  • You can learn to set goals and challenge the barriers to achieving those goals

Some issues Integrative therapy help with (this list in not exhaustive)

  • Anxiety/Stress
  • Childhood Trauma
  • Low Self-Worth/low Self Esteem
  • Depression
  • Loss/bereavement
  • Isolation
  • Relationships
  • Addictions
  • Phobias

This blog was written by Anne Devlin (Humanistic and Integrative Psychotherapist) working at City Therapy, Dame Street. To get in touch leave a message below.