I’ve never liked the term “eclectic” which is commonly used by psychotherapists who combine more than one model in practicing psychotherapy. It describes what we don’t do–subscribe to just one school of practice–but it leaves clients clueless about what we do do. I have begun to use the word “integrated” to describe my practice model along with list of models and interventions I draw from most. With a few purist exceptions, “integrated” probably describes how most of us practice psychotherapy. Not only do we internally integrate new information through reading, continuing education, and our peers, it seems that at this point in time, there is more integration than ever in the field itself. For example, the field of cognitive behavioral therapy is including mindfulness and acknowledging the role of emotion in change. New findings in interpersonal neurobiology and brain science in general are creating support for attachment, somatic therapies,psychoanalysis, and mindfulness that bring all these models closer together.
New therapists often struggle with self confidence–not feeling like a “real” therapist yet, and more experienced therapists may question their practice skills and validity when new therapies keep appearing faster than we can learn them. Even as we are ethically bound to stay current with new findings in our field, it helps to keep in mind that the most consistent healing factor across many different therapy models is the quality of the therapist/client relationship. I’m offering a study and consultation group for psychotherapists interested in a deeper integration of practice models and use of self in their own work. This group will examine who we are as therapists and how to choose the models and skills we use.Through reading, discussion, and creative exploration participants will work toward the confident integration of knowledge and skills with the authentic use of self.
A new session of this group is forming now. Call 512-964-3337 or email me firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested.