Integrative Psychotherapy Method
One aspect of my “Integrative” psychotherapy method involves the use of the Client-Centered approach, originated by Carl Rogers. This work forms the foundation of all of the work I do with clients. Client-Centered psychotherapy (sometimes referred to as “Person-Centered”), a form of Humanistic psychotherapy, emphasizes that the client must be respected and that the therapist must be empathic. The work my clients and I do is highly collaborative, respectful and challenging. An overarching goal is client empowerment, because it is ultimately the client who accomplishes the change, not me. And I know that my clients only change when they feel empowered to do so. If a client does not come to me possessing the belief that they can change their life circumstances, we need to find ways to rediscover that belief within them. I utilize an active style of psychotherapy.
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
My experience has led me to conclude that the respect and affirmation that are integral to Client-Centered work are not sufﬁcient in and of themselves to help clients to change and grow at a rate that ﬁts with most clients’ desires. This conclusion led me to incorporate an intensive type of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) into my work. The Cognitive-Behavioral aspect emphasizes that our thoughts, emotions and behaviors are related to one another. CBT work focuses on gaining a deeper understanding of how one’s mind works and of how it’s functioning can be improved. My role is to help the client to hear and see more clearly the patterned ways the client behaves, thinks and feels. A chief component is the goal of helping the client to ﬁnd ways to examine these patterns without feeling the need to punish the self for having them.
In addition to Cognitive-Behavioral ways of achieving growth, my method embraces ideas and practices typically associated with Psychodynamic Psychotherapy. The Psychodynamic elements emphasize the importance of understanding the influence past and present relationships in our lives have on how we all function today. My clients and I also often consider the impact of the culture (both the broader culture and the culture that exists within the client’s home). An outgrowth of this analysis is an awareness of the roles one has tended to assume and of how that has impacted on personal development. It is often the case that the Psychodynamic elements provide essential support for the Cognitive-Behavioral work.
My client and I work as a team to arrive at a clearer understanding of the challenges they are confronting and of the methods they can use to overcome difficulties.
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