Integrative therapy refers to therapy in which elements from different types of therapy may be used. Therapists 'integrate' two or more therapeutic styles (e.g. Cognitive and Family Systems) to bring about a personalized and practical approach to healing.
Integrative therapy (with a small 'i') may also refer to the process of 'integrating' the personality by taking disowned or unresolved aspects of the self and making them part of a cohesive personality whole. It reduces the use of defense mechanisms that inhibit spontaneity and allows flexibility in solving emotional problems.
Integrative therapy is a progressive form of psychotherapy that combines different therapeutic tools and approaches to fit the needs of the individual client. With an understanding of normal human development, an integrative therapist modifies standard treatments to fill in development gaps that affect each client in different ways. By combining elements drawn from different schools of psychological theory and research, integrative therapy becomes a more flexible and inclusive approach to treatment than more traditional, singular forms of psychotherapy.
When It's Used
Integrative psychotherapy techniques can be incorporated into almost any type of therapeutic work with children, adolescents, and adults, in individual practice or group settings. An integrative approach can be used to treat any number of psychological problems and disorders, including depression, anxiety, and personality disorders. The therapist matches evidence-based treatments to each client and each disorder.