What Is Integrative Therapy? Learn Its Types, Techniques, How It Helps & More
Unlike other therapies, integrative therapy is an approach that involves employing selective techniques from other therapeutic approaches to tailor an individual’s specific issue. By customizing the therapy, integrative therapists create a plan to effectively help their clients.
The best part of integrative therapy is that it is not limited or restricted to a structure or method. Instead, in this unique therapeutic approach, therapists draw techniques from other approaches, as needed. The aim is to improve the effectiveness of the treatment and adapt to a person’s needs.
Let’s take a look at what is integrative therapy, its types, techniques, benefits, and how integrative therapy works. Read till the end to know what tips you need to keep in mind before starting integrative therapy!
What Is Integrative Therapy?
Integrative psychotherapy or integrative counseling is an innovative form of psychotherapy that incorporates different therapeutic approaches to create the best possible treatment plan, suitable to the client’s needs.
By combining the different approaches and tools, an integrative therapist strives to make the therapy flexible and inclusive, unlike the other more structured and rigid therapy approaches.
Types Of Integrative Therapy
There are many types of therapy but the most effective one often depends on the issue that needs to be addressed. Some common therapeutic approaches an integrative therapist may draw from can be:
- Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy: Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is the therapy approach that centers on reframing the way an individual thinks.
- Psychoanalytic Therapy: Psychoanalytic therapy includes techniques to help an individual understand the suppressed motivations that affect their current behaviors.
- Humanistic Therapy: This method of humanistic therapy aims to help an individual reach their full potential and improve their understanding of experiences that make them feel happy.
- Mindfulness-Based Therapy: Mindfulness is one of the most popular approaches that include learning to focus on the present rather than linger on the past or worry about what hasn’t happened yet.
Integrative therapy aims to adjust various therapy approaches, ones that are proven to help treat a particular mental health issue. In this integrative approach, no method is superior or inferior to the other.
Integrative Therapy Techniques
Integrative therapy techniques may vary as it involves combining other approaches and tools to create an effective treatment plan. Usually, an integrative therapist adapts various techniques and tools to suit their client’s needs.
For example, if an individual needs to overcome behavioral issues, an integrative therapist may use:
- Behavioral techniques such as reinforcements
- Techniques such as transference
- Cognitive restructuring, etc
Other factors that guarantee a positive outcome from integrative therapy can be:
- Healthy therapeutic alliance
- Client’s expectations
- The therapist being able to help the client maintain hope
- Having a therapist with qualities such as empathy, attention to detail, etc.
Issues Addressed By Integrative Therapy
While integrative therapy can be effective in treating many mental health disorders and related issues, some of the common psychological issues that integrative psychotherapy can help address can be:
- Poor self-esteem
- Stress and related issues
- Grief or loss
- Substance abuse
- Trauma and trauma-related issues
How Does Integrative Therapy Help?
Here are some of the benefits of integrative therapy:
1. It Is Altered To Meet Your Needs
One of the benefits of integrative therapy is that this approach is altered or customized to meet your needs, goals, and expectations. It can be used in individual therapy, group therapy, or family therapy. This approach can also be used when working on treating children, teens, and adults.
2. It Is Flexible
In other therapy approaches, change is not easy as many of the approaches are rigid and structured, however, integrative counseling or therapy is a flexible approach that can change if the need arises. The treatment in this therapy can be changed based on any experiences or events that occur during the treatment.
3. It Is Adaptable
Another benefit of this therapy is that it can be adapted depending on your disorder or issue that needs addressing. An example; if you’re struggling with clinical depression, then an integrative therapist may combine several treatment options that are effective in treating your particular symptoms.
4. It Includes A Holistic Approach
Integrative therapy is not limited to scientific approaches only. This therapy can help you learn more about your body, mind, and spirit connection to help in the healing. Rather than only focusing on a single issue, this approach promotes a holistic view that addresses spirituality, relationships, and much more.
There are other types of therapies that can be considered integrative including eclectic therapy, interpersonal psychotherapy, and schema therapy. In some studies, it was found that integrative techniques can treat many conditions including depression, social anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and personality disorders.
Before Getting Started…
Before you get started with integrative therapy, here’s what you need to know and understand:
Integrative therapy requires active participation from your end as well as the therapists’. In integrative therapy, your therapist may ask you to share your experiences, expectations, and needs to create a suitable treatment plan, so you need to be ready to share.
Integrative therapy is more flexible, so the duration of the treatment may not be structured. Since multiple tools and techniques are employed in a session, your goals and treatment approach may change as the therapist deems based on your progress.
To get started, you need to find the right therapist, one who is qualified and uses an integrative approach. You can find the right therapist by consulting your physician for recommendations. You can also consult your local mental health service providers to find the right integrative therapist.
Once you find the therapist, ask them about their qualifications, experiences, and their idea of combining the approaches. Asking questions is OK, so don’t feel awkward or embarrassed.
If you can’t find an integrative therapist near you, you can also consider online therapy. Online therapy platforms such as BetterHelp works on matching you with the right therapist based on your needs and goals. You can sign up with BetterHelp by clicking the link below!
I hope this article helped you understand what integrative therapy is and how it helps. You can write to us at email@example.com to share your views. Or you can comment below your thoughts and opinions!