What is Integrative Psychotherapy? What makes it different than traditional counseling?
Psychology Today describes Integrative Psychotherapy (IP): “Integrative therapy is a progressive form of psychotherapy that combines different therapeutic tools and approaches to fit the needs of the individual client. With an understanding of normal human development, an integrative therapist modifies standard treatments to fill in development gaps that affect each client in different ways. By combining elements drawn from different schools of psychological theory and research, integrative therapy becomes a more flexible and inclusive approach to treatment than more traditional, singular forms of psychotherapy” (Integrative Therapy, n.d. para. 1)
As for me, I was fortunate to be one of the 1st wave of students to participate and attain A Ph.D. in Integrative Psychotherapy with a specialization in Mind.Body Medicine from Saybrook University. My Ph.D. program was a collaboration between Dr. James Gordon, the Director of the Center of Mind.Body Medicine, Washington D.C., and Saybrook University, a school which was built on the foundation “… that embodied the values of the 'human growth and potential movement' and to educate practitioner-scholars in the methods and philosophies of human-centered psychotherapy” (Wikipedia contributors, n.d. para.4).
My IP approach emphasizes we are humans on this journey and my goal is to co-partner with you to offer strategies, insights and skills that solve your issues in a deeper, true to you, and more profound way.
Let me give you an example...
A Common Issue: You have chronic anxiety and don’t want to take medications.. We look at the issues in your life that may be causing anxiety such as not speaking your voice, struggling with boundaries, trauma in your life, relationship issues, codependent patterns, abuse, and/or feelings you don’t belong or whatever root issue.
Next, we address anxiety from a bio.phsio.psycho.mental.emotional.relational.ecological levels, I know a super long word.. (I just made it up) yet we do this in simple, easy and time effective ways.
An example of my approach: I may teach you deep breathing techniques, visualizations and relaxation techniques (this will most likely happen), that will calm your biology, then we will talk about what will help you on a mental, emotional, physical level. Maybe we focus on what triggers the anxiety and then we create new mental, body patterns to address it from a calm perspective, maybe we look at your nature and how you are living, your relationships and how they are working or not?. I will most likely teach you my “the back porch method” which tends to be so helpful to many people when it comes to navigating your relationships. Then we will discuss how to be in your nature and how the outside world can bring healing to you and vice versa. We will practice different strategies and patterns until we find the balance that works for you. We may include mind.body medicine practices of mindfulness and meditation and the sacred. As we do this work you most likely will illuminate, transform and elevate your life.
If you have any questions or want to begin your journey. Contact us now.
From The Willow Tree and Me….
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Dr. Melisa is a Ph.D. in Mind Body Medicine with a specialization in integrative psychotherapy. She is the owner of Skyeia Holistic Services and The Willow Tree and Me, an Integrative wellness and private psychotherapy practice located in Maryland.