Integrative Psychotherapy

Have you ever wondered why you sometimes feel sad, anxious, or irritable without knowing why? Or why, despite your efforts to change certain behaviors, you always seem to fall back into the same patterns? Integrative psychology will help you understand these phenomena.
Integrative Psychotherapy
Sofía Gimbert

Written and verified by the psychologist Sofía Gimbert.

Last update: 06 May, 2023

Integrative psychotherapy is a therapeutic approach. It combines different psychological techniques and theories to help people manage their emotional and psychological problems. Rather than focusing on a single approach, such as cognitive behavioral therapy or psychodynamic therapy, integrative psychotherapists combine techniques and strategies from multiple approaches. As such, their idea is to create a personalized treatment plan for each patient.

Integrative psychotherapy is based on the idea that all therapies have certain weaknesses. However, these can be compensated for by the inclusion of tools or ideas from other therapeutic approaches.

Integrative psychotherapists follow this thinking in their professional practice. As such they focus on the patient as a whole. Moreover, they take into account factors such as environment, culture, context, biology, and psychology, rather than focusing only on the patient’s specific symptoms.

“Integrative psychotherapy recognizes that each person is unique and that a personalized approach to therapy is essential for success.”

-Richard Erskine-

psychologist doing therapy

The integration of different approaches

By combining different approaches, integrative psychotherapists are able to address the individual needs of each patient in an effective and personalized way.

Here are some of the approaches that therapists often integrate into this kind of therapy:

Cognitive behavioral therapy

Cognitive-behavioral therapy focuses on identifying and changing negative thought and behavior patterns. It can be combined with other approaches. For example, psychodynamic therapy or humanistic therapy.

Psychodynamic therapy

This approach centers on exploring the patient’s unconscious thoughts and behavior patterns. It can be combined with cognitive behavioral therapy to address both the patient’s conscious and unconscious patterns.

Humanistic therapy

Humanistic therapy focuses on understanding the whole individual and their ability to make decisions and solve problems. It can be combined with cognitive behavioral therapy to address the patient’s negative thought patterns. This helps them develop greater self-awareness.

Acceptance and commitment therapy

Acceptance and commitment therapy is centered on accepting the patient’s emotions and thoughts and identifying their values. It can be combined with other approaches to help them develop greater self-awareness. In addition, it helps them find a way to live in accordance with their values.

EMDR therapy

EMDR therapy focuses on the identification and processing of traumas and traumatic events via bilateral stimulation. It can be combined with other approaches to address the individual needs of each patient. It also helps them overcome trauma-related emotional and psychological problems.

How does integrative psychotherapy work?

The primary goal of integrative psychotherapy is to provide patients with a comprehensive and personalized approach to their emotional well-being. By addressing their individual needs, it helps them overcome their emotional and psychological problems in effective and lasting ways. It can also help patients develop greater self-awareness. Furthermore, it improves their ability to cope with challenging situations.

Combining therapies and psychological techniques

As we’ve already mentioned, integrative psychotherapists combine different psychological therapies and techniques to create personalized treatment plans for their patients.

For example, an integrative psychotherapist may use cognitive-behavioral therapy techniques. They help a patient identify and change their negative thought patterns. However, they’ll also employ humanistic therapy techniques. These help the patient develop greater self-awareness, both of themselves and their emotions.

The role of the integrative psychotherapist

By employing techniques and strategies from a range of approaches, as opposed to just one, the integrative psychotherapist plays an active role in each patient’s treatment process.

These professionals are often highly trained and experienced in a wide range of psychological approaches. Consequently, they’re able to tailor personalized approaches for each patient.

Man doing therapy with psychologist

What to expect from integrative psychotherapy

During an integrative psychotherapy session, the therapist will work to develop an intervention that addresses your individual needs. This may include combining different psychological therapies and techniques to help you achieve your emotional and psychological goals.

The therapist may ask you questions about your past, your relationships, and your current thought and behavior patterns. This will help you better understand your emotional and psychological problems. You can also work on practical exercises. They’ll help you develop greater self-awareness. Moreover, they’ll assist you in changing any maladaptive patterns of thinking and behavior.

In summary, integrative psychotherapy is a therapeutic approach. It combines different psychological techniques and theories to help people overcome their emotional and psychological problems.

By addressing the individual needs of each patient and combining different approaches, integrative psychotherapists provide effective and personalized treatment plans. They help patients achieve emotional and psychological well-being.

Therefore, if you’re looking for a more comprehensive and personalized treatment approach for your emotional and psychological problems, integrative psychotherapy may be an option to consider.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Feltham, C. (2010). Psicoterapia integradora: enfoques y cuestiones. Sage Publications.
  • Norcross, J. C., & Goldfried, M. R. (2005). Handbook of psychotherapy integration. Oxford University Press.
  • Prochaska, J. O., & Norcross, J. C. (2018). Systems of psychotherapy: A transtheoretical analysis. Oxford University Press.
  • Stickgold, R. (2002). EMDR: Un mecanismo de acción neurobiológico putativo. Revista de psicología clínica , 58 (1), 61-75.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.