Integrative Psychotherapy & Counselling

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Integrative Psychotherapy

The Philosophy

Our practise has its roots in humanistic philosophy. We are a client-centred practice, offering the opportunity for clients to become involved in choices throughout the assessment, therapy and evaluation process. Our aim is to return control to our clients, and to equip them with the tools, skills, knowledge, insight and experience to maintain their own health. Like many things, maintaining mental health is a skill that can be learnt, and we aim to provide people with the opportunity to do just that. As therapy progresses we see our clients becoming more and more equal in our partnership. In the end, the idea is clients no longer need us!

The Integrative way of working

In this practice we use Integrative Psychotherapy. This is a way of working which combines several approaches into a flexible and cohesive whole within the humanistic school of psychology. In this practice we draw on Transactional Analysis, Gestalt Therapy, Psychodynamic Therapy and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. Nevertheless, our practice continues to grow as we encounter new research and ideas which could prove helpful to our clients – for example the use of mindfulness techniques both to enhance therapy and to empower people to maintain good mental health: the use of Equine Assisted Therapy.

The humanistic philosophy underpinning our approach stresses the resilience and capacity of people to find their own unique ways of regulating their lives and achieving their potential. Above all this approach is designed to create awareness and through this awareness allow clients the fullest choice they can have when responding to their life experience.

Just as there are a range of approaches to choose from, so there are a range of therapeutic techniques. Not all of these techniques suite every person, and so, again, a process of selection between therapist and client is key. Some examples are:

Talking: exploring issues with the therapist using techniques of enquiry, reflection and listening
Creativity to explore thoughts and feeling which just will not emerge into language, but which can then be safely explored through paint, modelling or sculpture
Imagination and imagery: ways of using words to capture important experiences which seem beyond the logical or rational mind
Metaphor: stories which capture the patterns of life
Role play: trying things out differently in the safety of the therapy room

None of these are obligatory, and therapists are trained to use them sensitively, and only at a time when they are helpful to thier client. Integrative Psychotherapy allows for flexibility and choice in the use of such techniques, and the humanistic approach allows the client a key role in choosing.

For more information you may be interested to look at the Humanistic and Integrative Psychotherapy College of the UKCP. Or, Richard Irskine, a well known psychotherapist whose background is Transactional Analysis, who runs the Institute for Integrative Psychotherapy, and has an interesting summary of his view of Integrative Psychotherapy on his website here.