There are hundreds of different forms of psychotherapy and counselling, which are usually grouped into three main ‘traditions’ – psychodynamic, humanistic, and cognitive-behavioural. Integrative psychotherapy is psychotherapy which draws on more than one of these traditions. My own psychotherapy practise is based mainly on humanistic and psychodynamic principles.
Integrative psychotherapists hold a pluralistic outlook, which means believing that there is value in looking at things from more than one point of view. The integrative psychotherapy movement is also concerned with understanding the common forces of change across different forms of psychotherapy and counselling. For example, there is considerable research which suggests that the individual relationship between therapist and client is more important to the success of the therapy than the particular ‘brand’ of therapy being practised.
From an integrative perspective, some of the ways in which psychotherapy can help people are:
- To gain a clearer and more subtle understanding of your own internal world.
- To take a more compassionate and open-minded attitude towards yourself and others.
- To become more skilful at getting your needs met within relationships, while also taking account of the needs of others.
- To be more emotionally resilient.
- To be more comfortable with change and uncertainty.
- To become more skilful at adapting to change.
- Where necessary, to endure suffering, and creatively transform it.