Integrative psychotherapy is an approach to psychotherapy in which elements from different schools of psychotherapy are used in combination.
Analyze the benefits of integrating various therapy approaches
Integrative psychotherapy attempts to look at many schools and approaches in order to see what can be learned and gained from each one. Psychotherapists who use an integrative approach are open to various ways of integrating diverse theories and techniques.
Integrative therapists use theory to drive their decisions on which techniques to use. In contrast, eclectic practitioners use what they believe or feel or experience tells them will work best, either in general, or to suit the immediate needs of individual clients.
There are four general routes to integration: Common Factors, Technical Eclecticism, Theoretical Integration, and Assimilative Integration.
Selecting a mixture of what appears to be best of various doctrines, methods or styles.
Integrating Therapy Approaches
Integrative psychotherapy is an approach to psychotherapy in which elements from different schools of psychotherapy may be used. Integrative psychotherapy attempts to look at many schools and approaches in order to see what can be learned and gained from each one. Psychotherapists who use an integrative approach are open to various ways of utilizing diverse theories and techniques .
Psychotherapy integration can be differentiated from an eclectic approach, in which a therapist chooses interventions because they work, without looking for a theoretical basis for using the technique. Eclectic practitioners are not bound by the theories or methodology of any one particular school. Instead, they may use what they believe or feel or experience tells them will work best, either in general, or to suit the immediate needs of individual clients. In contrast, integrative psychotherapy attends to the relationship between theory and technique. An eclectic therapist might experience a change in his or her client after administering a particular technique and be satisfied with a positive result. In contrast, an integrative therapist is curious about the "why and how" as well.
Integrative Psychotherapy in Practice
There are many approaches to integrating psychotherapeutic techniques. Those approaches are as follows:
Common factors approach: The advantage of a common factors approach is the emphasis on therapeutic actions that have been demonstrated to be effective. The disadvantage is that common factors may overlook specific techniques that have been developed within particular theories. Common factors theory asserts it is precisely the factors common to the most psychotherapies that make any psychotherapy successful.
Technical eclecticism: This approach is guided primarily by data that indicates what has worked best for others in the past. The advantage of technical eclecticism is that it encourages the use of diverse strategies without being hindered by theoretical differences. A disadvantage is that there may not be a clear conceptual framework describing how techniques drawn from divergent theories might fit together.
Theoretical integration: This approach requires integrating theoretical concepts from different approaches. These approaches may differ in their fundamental philosophy about human behavior. While assimilative integration begins with a single theory and brings together techniques from different approaches, theoretical integration tries to bring together those theoretical approaches themselves and then develop a unified theory.
Assimilative integration: This mode of integration favors a firm grounding in any one system of psychotherapy, but with a willingness to incorporate or assimilate, perspectives or practices from other schools. The therapist has a commitment to one theoretical approach, but also is willing to use techniques from other therapeutic approaches.