Integrative Psychotherapy draws on several therapeutic approaches to understand each person's past experiences and their current position on their journey. It assumes that every human being has innate value and experiences life on cognitive (thinking), behavioural, affective (feelings) and physiological levels. These aspects are all relevant to how we experience and respond to life events. Distressing or traumatic life experiences can disconnect or numb these levels of our experience and this therapy helps re-integrate these aspects of the individual into a 'whole'. This allows a person to experience themselves and others more fully or authentically, in the moment, and consequently improve their functioning at each level.
Integrative psychotherapy therefore uses a range of frameworks and therapeutic techniques integrated from a number of other therapies, for example, Psychodynamic, Gestalt, Existential / Phenomenological, Humanist / Person-centred, CBT, Transactional Analysis, and so on.
Who uses it?
Integrative Psychotherapy is used by psychotherapists.
Why would someone use it?
Integrative Psychotherapy is used to treat a wide range of issues and psychological conditions, including depression, substance abuse, anxiety disorders, panic disorders, eating disorders, body-image issues, relationship issues, low self-esteem.
Strengths of the approach:
This therapy is less directive or prescriptive than some other therapies, such as CBT, ACT and MBCT which may suit some individual personalities more than others.
This therapy focuses on both past and current experiences and the therapeutic relationship to explore and address symptoms of psychological distress and deeper underlying issues.
Integrative Psychotherapy is a medium- to long-term treatment, and lasts anything from months to years, depending on the individual, the therapist and the issues being explored.