What is Integrative Counselling/Psychotherapy?

Some counsellors and psychotherapists work within one theoretical perspective, some adopt a more pluralistic approach, calling on many different theories. Others, including myself, work from an integrative approach which incorporates theories and techniques which reflect my own values and beliefs, but equally importantly, puts your needs first.

As Reid and Westergaard (2013, p.51) state ‘Integration recognises that no one theory can fully explain what it is to be human and that each theory may address some or many, but not all of the facets of human experience’.

I work from a humanistic relational approach which is based within a framework of the humanistic philosophies, within which I aim to embody Carl Rogers’ ‘core conditions’ (Rogers, 2003), emphasizing empathy, congruence and unconditional positive regard. I work with Eric Berne’s Transactional Analysis (1961) as well as Gestalt theories and techniques originated by Laura and Fritz Perls (1951), whilst also acknowledging how early life experience can impact on later life, as explored in Bowlby’s attachment theory (1997). This rests in a philosophical base of existentialism which comes closest to describing the ‘universal human experiences that transcend the boundaries that separate cultures’. (Corey, 2001, p.37). I believe that personal development is a lifelong process, and as such, my integrative approach is constantly developing.

Overall, it is the therapeutic relationship that is at the very heart of my practice and the ‘glue’ that holds its integrating elements together. Together we can work together in a supportive and confidential way to help you achieve a successful outcome.

References

Berne, E. (1961) Transactional analysis in therapy: a systematic individual and social psychiatry. New York: Grove.

Bowlby, J. (1997) Attachment and loss volume 1. Attachment. Pimlico edition. London: Pimlico.

Corey, G. (2001) The art of integrative counselling. Belmont: Wadsworth.

Perls, F., Hefferline, R. and Goodman, P, (1951) Gestalt therapy: excitement and growth in the human personality. Middlesex: Penguin.

Reid, H., and Westergaard, J. (2013) Effective supervision for counsellors: an introduction. London: Sage.

Rogers, C. (2003) Client-centred therapy: its current practice, implications and theory. London: Constable.

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