When Do You Need Integrative Therapy?

In-depth look at integrative therapy – definition, how it works and its benefits. See if integrative therapy is right for you. Details on HealthyPlace.

Integrative therapy refers to therapeutic practice that draws upon a number of psychological theories, understandings, and associated techniques, rather than those attached to a single therapeutic model. It is the most widely practiced form of therapy in the United States, and, is sometimes referred to as “eclecticism.” So what exactly does integrative therapy entail, and when do you need it? Let’s explore what happens in integrative therapy, along with its benefits and uses.

Integrative Therapy: What Are the Core Beliefs?

At the core of integrative therapy is the belief that working with people within a single therapeutic approach will not always offer the best outcome. Here, there is no “one size fits all” approach. There is, however, an emphasis on the complex interplay of personality with emotional, psychological, social and spiritual needs, as well as on interlinked behavioral, cognitive and physiological systems. In other words, your therapist will devise a mode of therapy that works best for you, and it won’t necessarily fit neatly within an established framework.

Your therapist may either offer a series of “pure” approaches across continuing therapeutic sessions or employ a combined (integrative) practice throughout all sessions. Integrative therapy is practiced with adults, adolescents and children, and anyone can benefit. Work may be on an individual basis or within a group therapy setting.

Integrative Therapy: What Are the Benefits?

Integrative therapy recognizes the uniqueness of the individual. It takes into account your particular circumstances and experiences rather than fitting you into a category. It might be seen as more inclusive of the client than some other forms of therapy. One of the main benefits of integrative therapy, therefore, is that it helps you form a stable sense of identity and can be incredibly empowering.

Integrative therapy concerns itself with the whole individual and maximizes all aspects of
well-being, such as:

Therefore, you will receive many of the benefits of these approaches. Your therapist will explore your particular character-traits, motivations, needs, abilities and belief systems. Using the integrative approach to therapy, he or she can then tailor your sessions accordingly. Therapy may vary in response to changes and life-events that occur during the course of treatment.

Integrative Therapy Definition: What’s Included?

According to the Institute of Integrative Therapy, the definition of integrative therapy is a form of therapy that “embraces an attitude towards the practice of psychotherapy that affirms the inherent value of each individual.”

Your therapist will use a variety of tools and techniques from across the many other models, including:

It is the responsibility of the integrative therapist to offer a supportive, non-judgemental relationship. A clear contract, to include therapeutic goals, is agreed between you and your therapist as the basis for your sessions. In this way, you and your therapist work as equals.

When Do You Need Integrative Therapy?

The flexible, tailored nature and varied toolbox of integrative therapy means it is suitable for a diverse range of clients. It can be used to treat many behavioral and mental health issues. The egalitarian and empowering nature of the approach can be especially effective for people with low self-esteem.

Integrative therapy may be especially relevant in addressing and overcoming negative or self-destructive behavior patterns. It is often employed in work with individuals living with addiction, depression, bereavement, trauma, anxiety, and phobias. It may be useful in work with children whose lives are compromised at a number of levels by learning difficulties, including autism.

Integrative therapy relies upon the co-operation of the client. Therefore, if you seek this form of therapy, you are an active participant in the work. Its rich complexity requires a considerable investment of time, which is one of the only criticisms of this approach. Integrative work is therefore unlikely to suit those seeking short-term therapy and highly
focused, rapid solutions.

article references

APA Reference
Smith, E. (2019, October 10). When Do You Need Integrative Therapy?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 13 from

Last Updated: October 15, 2019

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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