- Integrative psychotherapy
- Frontiers | Integrative Psychotherapy Works | Psychology
- Defining and delivering effective counselling and psychotherapy
The roots of psychotherapy integration go back to the s, at which point it was only a latent theme- Since the s, however, this theme emerged into a salient movement, due in large part to the formation of the Society for the Exploration of Psychotherapy Integration SEPI. Formed in , SEPI was established as a way of bringing together the growing number of professionals interested in this approach to treatment. An interdisciplinary organization that is now international in scope, SEPI holds yearly conferences at which many of the most active clinicians and researchers present their current work, and where the attendees are provided with the opportunity to discuss and exchange ideas.
It is this spirit of open dialogue, where professionals go to listen and learn, that is the strength of this approach,. As suggested above, the strength of psychotherapy integration is the desire to reach across boundaries and bridge the traditional gap between orientations. The field of psychotherapy has been characterized over the years by competing factions, each of which tends to go its own way. With its own unique jargon, any contributions that might be made are all too often available only to members of the particular school,. The very essence of the integrative approach is to enhance the development of the field.
SEPI, the organizing force behind psychotherapy integration, serves an educational function by having clinical workshops at its annual meetings held in Madrid in , publishes a journal and a newsletter, and supports the existence of Regional Networks worldwide. The long history of psychotherapy integration has involved considerable self-reflection over the years,, It has crossed theoretical boundaries, has encompassed various professional groups psychology, psychiatry, social work , and has been international in scope.
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In the UK. Dryden has dealt with with differences in therapeutic style across theoretical orientations. In Germany, Bastine has discussed the methods for accomplishing an integration of the therapies, as well as its theoretical and practical benefits. It is our distinct impression that there is a growing consensus that integrative approaches to treatment represent the future of psychotherapy. What is new and distinctive about psychotherapy integration is that it approaches the question of how people change from a vantage point that has not been taken before, namely the common factors that cut across different schools of thought.
To the extent that commonalities may be found across therapeutic orientations, it is likely that these will represent robust phenomena, as they have emerged despite the different theoretical starting points. In addition to looking at commonalities, however, psychotherapy integration also acknowledges the importance of technical eclecticism, whereby different intervention procedures coming from different orientations may be used, depending upon what is needed in any given case at hand.
A third theme within psychotherapy integration is work being done to achieve an integration at the theoretical level. It should be pointed out that these three approaches to the study of psychotherapy integration are not mutually exclusive, but rather are closely interrelated. For example, common factors inform us about what different theoretical models have in common and, as a result, highlight the areas in which more detailed empirical and clinical examination is required.
In looking for greater specificity in our clinical and research efforts, we thus move into a clarification of the parameters of these genera! This represents the technical eclecticism thread of the orientation, in which we examine the specific techniques that are effective in certain clinical situations.
Once we have obtained information of the effectiveness of several techniques, it is possible to engage in a bottom-up approach to theory construction. By looking at common principles e. Moreover, by translating theory-based jargon into the vernacular, we have at our disposal a common language for dialoguing across the orientations. Take, for example, the common principle of the corrective experience or new learning , which involves clients taking a risk in their lives by saying or doing something they have previously feared or avoided.
Therapists from different orientations recognize the importance of this phenomenon, but may implement it in different ways. Thus, within a psychodynamic orientation, this risk-taking may be more likely to occur in the way the client interacts with the therapist, whereas the corrective experience in a behavioural therapy may be more likely to take place between sessions, as when the therapist encourages clients to assert themselves to a significant other.
The overall principle is the same, but the method of implementing it may vary according to orientation hence the technical eclectism. The overriding research strategy for developing and confirming effective integrative interventions involves the comparative study of the therapeutic process and its relationship to outcome, In conducting such research, therapy sessions are evaluated using a transtheoretical coding procedure e. The process analysis may involve one or more different theoretical orientations, depending upon the outcome study that is the focus of the investigation.
For example, in a study of cognitive therapy for depression, a process-outcome analysis has revealed that the therapeutic alliance and client emotional experience level were both positively related to symptom reduction Castonguay, et al, It should be noted that the treatment manuals did not focus on these factors, even though they proved to be clinically important. This research strategy therefore is able to uncover effective aspects of a therapeutic intervention, regardless of whether or not it is derived from the theoretical underpinnings of the intervention procedure.
An excellent illustration of the relationship between the theory of human behavior and the success of the intervention within psychotherapy integration is the dialectical behavior therapy approach that Linehan has taken in the treatment of borderline personality disorder. On the basis of clinical experience and research evidence, it has been found that borderline patients are particularly sensitive to criticism.
In addition to their sensitivity to criticism, they also manifest unstable and conflictual interpersonal relationships. As most practicing clinicians well know, this makes them a most difficult patient population with which to work,. Upon this realization, Linehan developed an integrated intervention, whereby the therapy begins with a person-focused approach, accepting patients just as they are-This empathic.
This dialectic stance continues throughout the therapy, where the therapist maintains the delicate balance between acceptance and change. The available research findings are very promising, indicating that this integrated therapy is more effective than other available approaches in dealing with this patient population. As illustrated in the response to several of the earlier questions, an integrative approach to therapy lends itself most readily to research. Given the premise that psychotherapy integration is committed to using therapy procedures that are effective clinically-regardless of their theoretical origin-psychotherapy research is essential to the system.
Indeed, the development of integrative interventions may be readily derived from process analyses of clinically effective interventions, such as the finding that patient level of emotional experience is positively related to successful cognitive therapy for depression. What this suggests is that cognitive therapy procedures should be modified so that they include affect-arousal interventions, which might be integrated from experiential approaches to therapy.
Bastine, R. Ausbildungen in psychotherapeutischen: Methoden und Strategien.
Beutler, L. Systematic eclectic psychotherapy. R, Eds Handbook of Psychotherapy Integration. New York: Basic Books,. About John C. Norcross John C. Marvin R.
Frontiers | Integrative Psychotherapy Works | Psychology
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