Psychotherapy Integration

For many years, I have been a strong advocate of psychotherapy integration – that is, tailoring treatment for each client using synergistic methods to enhance results.  I have found that these methods work best when based on the underlying principles of depth psychology and applied within the safety of a strong relationship.

Integrative psychotherapy can draw on many forms of treatment, shoring up the shortcomings of any one approach.  Integrative approaches range from the exploratory-​​narrative method of psychoanalysis, which seeks to understand underlying motivation, to other methods known for achieving significant results most efficiently.  For example, cognitive-​​​​behavior therapy is concerned with changing behavior and can help promote the action steps a person may need to take to advance and consolidate change, but that are missing from other therapies. It also can provide coping methods to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, especially early in treatment.  Other methods, like Focusing therapy – a kind of mindfulness practice – can heighten experiencing in the moment and mastering problematic emotions that may be stored deep within the body.

Recent research in neuroscience has borne out this integrative approach.  Activation and change of neural circuits, called neuroplasticity, is the biological undergirding of psychotherapeutic change.  Brain imaging shows that the narrative process of psychoanalytic therapy causes more neural circuit activation and change than does any other single method.  This is why an integrative psychoanalytic approach, combining other methods, can achieve deep and lasting benefits.

I have actively promoted this approach among psychotherapists and have written and taught extensively to further the knowledge and application of psychotherapy integration.