Picking off and eating only a single topping from a slice of pizza won’t give you the same experience as consuming a slice with all the toppings you enjoy. Similarly, you can’t get an accurate snapshot of your total well-being by only looking at a single aspect of your health.
Considering the whole person is one of the benefits of integrative therapy. Integrative therapy acknowledges that your health has parts. It’s emotional, cognitive, physical, and spiritual. Understanding how these parts work together can help you receive better treatment and long-lasting healing.
What is Integrative Therapy?
Integrative therapy is a progressive form of psychotherapy. It uses therapeutic models and methods to best suit you according to your needs, preferences, personality traits, and season of life. It doesn’t take a “one-size-all” approach.
Integrative therapists use the tools of different types of therapy to create a unique form of treatment. This approach is more flexible and inclusive than more traditional, singular forms of treatment. Studies show tailoring therapy to the individual enhances treatment effectiveness.
People sometimes use integrative therapy and eclectic therapy interchangeably. But there are some critical differences between the two approaches. Eclectic therapy is about drawing on different traditions. Integrative therapy focuses on combining various therapies into a more cohesive experience.
Overcoming negative or self-destructive behaviors is a benefit of integrative therapy.
Types of Integrative Therapy
The most effective therapies depend on the individual and their circumstances. Mental health experts may incorporate more than 400 types of therapy into integrative treatment.
Some of these therapies include:
- Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy. CBT suggests that negative thinking contributes to psychological problems. It focuses on changing the way people think.
- Mindfulness Therapy. Mindfulness involves focusing on the present moment and not on the past or future. The approach aims to help you become more at ease and less reactive.
- EMDR Therapy. EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing. It helps individuals heal from traumatic experiences. The goal is to change how the brain stores memories. It works more quickly than many other therapies.
- Comprehensive Resource Model Therapy. Mental health professionals developed CRM for people who experience Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, a severe form of PTSD people get from experiencing multiple highly traumatic events or ongoing trauma. CRM targets traumatic experiences by bridging the most primitive aspects of a person and their brain to the purest, healthiest parts of the self. CRM helps address emotional trauma and treat addictions.
- Music Therapy. Music therapists use the connection between music and the brain to support recovery. They focus on empowerment, improved self-confidence, and deepened emotional insights. Goals can include enhanced relationships, supporting health coping skills, and increased emotional expression.
When is Integrative Therapy Used?
Your mental health is a big part of your overall wellness, impacting how you think, feel, and act. It can determine how you respond to stress, make decisions, and have relationships. When your mental health isn’t optimal, your therapist may use integrative therapy to help you achieve wholeness.
Conditions integrative therapy can treat include:
- Personality disorders
- Dissociative identity disorder
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Substance use disorders
Your integrative therapist isn’t only concerned with your mental health. They also consider your emotional, cognitive, physical, and spiritual health. Integrative therapy is an excellent option if you want treatment that partners you and your therapist.
What to Expect from Integrative Therapy
Your first integrative therapy appointment is an assessment. Because you are unique, your therapist will gather a lot of information about you and your situation. For example, they may ask you about what led you to reach out, relationships, drug and alcohol use, and past treatments. You may not receive any therapy during this first appointment.
Come prepared for your first appointment by filling out any advance paperwork. Consider your goals for your time with your therapist, as well as your availability.
After the introductory session, you and your therapist will begin building a relationship. Your therapist will identify your diagnosis. You’ll also start developing a treatment plan, which your therapist will share with you. The stronger the relationship you develop with your therapist, the better your treatment outcomes will be. Building a foundation of trust and confidentiality is key in helping your therapist get to know the real you. Being open and honest is a must.
Benefits of Integrative Therapy
There are numerous benefits of integrative therapy, regardless of your mental health concern.
- Adaptable. Integrative therapists are more flexible in their treatment strategies. If one type of therapy isn’t effective or your circumstances change, your therapist can recommend another.
- Holistic. Integrative therapy doesn’t just take your mental health into account. Your therapist will ask you questions that consider your whole self. They may ask about habits that impact your daily life, such as sleep, diet, and exercise.
- Individualized. You are an individual. Nobody shares your exact story or experiences. A therapy approach that works for someone else might not work for you. For your therapy to be most effective, your therapist must consider your unique history and experiences.
How ILC Can Help
A single approach to therapy doesn’t always provide the best benefits. Taking into consideration your unique needs, experiences, and goals will enhance your treatment experience. Not only is integrative therapy more flexible, it considers the whole you. Contact Integrative Life Center today to connect with an integrative therapist who can help you become the healthiest version of yourself — mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually.