Integrative counselling is a combined approach to psychotherapy that brings together different elements from different approaches. Integrative therapists believe that there is no single approach that can treat each client in all situations and that each person needs to be considered as unique. Therefore, counselling techniques need to be tailored to the individual.
The integrative approach also refers to the infusion of a person’s personality and needs – integrating the affective, behavioural, cognitive, and physiological systems within one person, as well as addressing social and spiritual aspects. Essentially, integrative counsellors are not only concerned with what works, but why it works – tailoring therapy to their clients and not the client to the therapy.
This approach aims to promote and encourage healing and wholeness, ensuring that every aspect of your needs is being met and maximised to their full potential. Integrative counselling is particularly interested in helping you to face each moment openly and authentically, without having pre-conceived judgements, opinions, or expectations. This allows you to focus on the fears and hurt that limit your psychological freedom and allow you to recognise the specific triggers that may be causing specific behaviour patterns.
One of the most important aspects of integrative counselling, as with most other approaches, is the relationship between you and your therapist. The therapist should be non-judgemental, interpersonal, and intent on establishing a supportive and co-operative relationship with you. They must also engage in deep and active listening to foster a depth of understanding.
One of the key benefits of integrative therapy is the flexibility and versatility that it engenders alongside its focus on the entirety of the individual. This means that it is suited to a wide range of clients and issues including addiction, depression, trauma, bereavement, and low self-esteem. It is also particularly beneficial to those wanting to increase their life satisfaction, overcome negative behaviour patterns, and improve daily functioning.