Your mind, body, and spirit are connected. The way you treat each affects the others. That’s why integrative therapies work toward healing your whole person.
Integrative therapy is a form of psychotherapy that combines therapeutic tools and approaches to fit each individual’s needs. The term integrative means multiple methods used together instead of solely focusing on traditional techniques.
This type of therapy addresses a range of physical, emotional, mental, social, spiritual, and environmental influences. It combines psychological elements to customize treatment for each person. This approach allows the flexibility to be more inclusive than traditional forms of therapy.
Integrative therapy works with children, adolescents, and adults. Therapists can use it in various treatment modalities, including individual and group settings, to treat all types of concerns, including depression, anxiety, and personality disorders.
Integrative Therapy Examples
There are more than 400 types of therapies that mental health professionals may use. Integrative therapies allow them to mix and match the best treatments for you. And you can participate more in integrative therapy than in traditional forms of therapy.
Integrative therapists determine their approach to therapy based on their professional judgment and your:
- Physical abilities
- Spiritual beliefs
- Motivation levels
Therapists also may alter their approaches or combine approaches during therapy.
Integrative therapeutic examples include:
- Mindfulness Meditation – Mindfulness Meditation is a mind-body practice that trains the mind to focus on the current moment, including your current thoughts, emotions, and sensations. Mental health professionals use meditation to treat depression, anxiety, stress, addiction, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
- Transcendental Meditation – Transcendental Meditation is a mantra form of meditation that involves repeating a short phrase or a word for a given length of time. You can use this form of meditation to aid in the reduction of drug, alcohol, and tobacco use.
- Yoga – Engaging in movements, stretches, and postures to the rhythm of the breath. Yoga can help relieve tension and increase a feeling of well-being. It can help recovery, especially with risk factors associated with relapse.
- Massage – It can be helpful for relaxation, rejuvenation, and alleviation of muscle tension. Massage is a good form of self-care and can help alleviate withdrawal symptoms and reduce anxiety.
- Music Therapy – Music therapy focuses on creating music, singing, dancing, and listening to music to help relax and develop feelings of contentment.
- Psychodrama Therapy – Psychodrama Therapy uses guided drama exercises to help individuals manage stress better, improve communication, engage in social situations, and understand healthy coping mechanisms.
- Experiential Therapy – Experiential Therapy involves using movements, actions, and activities to create a physical therapeutic experience. It urges people to recognize and address suppressed issues through role-playing, guided imagery, the use of props, and active experiences.
Integrative Therapy Benefits
Integrative therapy focuses on each individual’s healing rather than treating a specific illness. Healing the whole individual and active involvement in treatment are two of the most significant benefits of integrative therapies. But there are many other benefits.
Benefits of integrative therapies include:
- Partnered Healing – Integrative therapies create a partnership between you and your therapist. The therapist guides and advises you about treatment options, giving you greater autonomy than traditional therapies. You and your therapist work collaboratively to determine the best plan for you, taking into account where you are in the healing process and anticipating the obstacles you’re likely to face along the way. In this sense, integrative therapies provide a measure of preventative maintenance.
- Full-Person Focus – Integrative therapies focus on how various symptoms may be connected and look for root causes instead of separately treating each symptom. This approach allows the therapist to focus on helping you restore mind, body, and spiritual balance instead of an a la carte method of treating symptoms separately or one at a time.
- Healing Orientation – Integrative therapy focuses on healing, not the disease. It begins with the assumption that a disruption in the body’s balance is causing illness and disease or diseases. The goal is to restore balance.
- Personalized Treatment – One size doesn’t fit all when it comes to mental health care. Integrative therapies create a highly personalized treatment plan for you and your needs.
- Therapeutic Variation – Integrative therapy uses traditional treatment and mind-body therapies (yoga and meditation, for example) to treat emotional health concerns in the least invasive and most cost-effective method possible.
Why Counselors Use Integrative Therapies
Mental health professionals use integrative therapies to treat many emotional health concerns.
Integrative treatment is beneficial for individuals with substance use and addiction. Integrative therapy utilizes alternative approaches such as traditional therapies and self-help groups. Integrative therapy is helpful in recovery and after treatment is completed.
Mind-body approaches to healing help improve general physical and mental health and well-being. This approach helps you cope with daily challenges and stressors better and enhances the traditional therapeutic healing process.
Integrative therapy is so helpful in treating substance use and addiction because it’s flexible in addressing new issues. This adaptability makes it suitable for individuals with changing circumstances to improve their quality of life.
Integrative medicine also helps address the complex needs of someone recovering from addiction who might experience relapse and recovery.
How All Counseling Can Help
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