What is Integrative Psychotherapy?
Integrative psychotherapy (sometimes called mind-body medicine), incorporates the fundamental principles of traditional psychotherapy with holistic approaches (complimentary, alternative, and functional therapies), to promote healing on all levels: emotional, physical, mental and spiritual.
As an integrative psychotherapist, I believe that no single form of therapy is best, or even adequate, in all situations, so you can trust that our work together will be designed expressly to meet your specific, individualized needs.
Integrative psychotherapy is so much more than the combining of treatment modalities. Philosophical values are integral to the work and include:
The client and practitioner are partners in the healing process. Whatever happens in session is co-created
The practitioner trusts in the body-mind's innate orientation towards health and wellbeing
All factors that influence health and wellness are taken into consideration, including body, mind, spirit and community
Both conventional and holistic methods are carefully considered and critically examined with each client
Emphasis is placed on health promotion and the prevention of illness as well as the treatment of dis-ease
Integrative practitioners commit themselves to the ongoing process of self-exploration, self-development, and self-care
Not every integrative psychotherapist holds the same credentials, as each practitioner develops expertise within their own areas of interest and specialization. For me, rigorous study in a wide range of traditions means that in addition to talk therapy, I am certified to incorporate massage therapy, yoga therapy, craniosacral therapy, dance/movement therapy, energy work and more as part of my comprehensive treatment approach. My commitment to the principles of client-centered care means that, should we decided that you could benefit from exploring a technique that I am unable to provide, I will happily recommend you to someone who is.
Is Integrative Psychotherapy Right for Me?
Integrative psychotherapy, like other forms of mental health counseling, can be used to treat an array of both acute and chronic life challenges. Some of the reasons people seek out integrative psychotherapy include a desire to:
emerge from depression
move through grief and loss
create a healthy lifestyle
maintain optimal health
manage stress and anxiety
recover from illness
break free from addiction
Along with addressing immediate stressors and challenges, an integrative therapist seeks to understand the root causes of your symptoms. I examine the full range of physical, emotional, mental, social, spiritual and environmental influences that affect my clients' health, and present opportunities to not just alleviate suffering experienced in the present, but to rework core, deeply held patterns and beliefs in order to effect lasting change.
Ideally, the tools that I use with my clients aren't only sought out when in crisis. Integrative therapists place high value on prevention, and encourage the development of healthy behaviors and skills for effective self-care that can be use throughout a lifetime. In fact, many people choose to work with me as part of their ongoing journey of self-discovery and see their sessions as a vital component of their commitment to health and wellness.
What is an Integrative Psychotherapy Session Like?
As every situation is unique, what you will experience is not easily described in general terms, but you can read what some of my clients and colleagues have shared here. What a session looks like varies depending on the particular areas in your life you’d like to improve, the approaches you feel drawn to exploring, and the techniques that are best suited for meeting your goals.
My approach promotes flexibility and emphasizes the therapeutic relationship above allegiance to any particular technique. The process of choosing which strategy, modality or theoretical construct to follow is not done haphazardly, but rather in a manner informed by sound clinical judgement in combination with the guidance of your inner wisdom.
You might be invited to explore meditation, movement practices, breathwork, therapeutic touch, expressive arts therapies, or lifestyle coaching in our work together. It's also possible that you'll have a modality you are particularly drawn to, and that might be where we begin. There are many ways we can use our time, and all of them have value.
You will always be at choice over whether or not to engage in these practices, however some combination of body-oriented, mindfulness-based, psycho-spiritual, creative arts, or energy-medicine approaches are usually recommended as part of an integrative treatment plan, and my expertise in these fields is often a motivating factor in my clients’ desire to work with me.
I have synthesized lessons learned in settings ranging from major New York City teaching hospitals to remote ashrams, retreat centers, and intentional communities. Prior to entering into full-time private practice, I spent several years providing health coaching and mental health counseling to members of the Freelancer's Union as part of an integrative primary care practice powered by Iora Health. There, I was fortunate to work alongside functional medicine doctors, holistic nurse practitioners, acupuncturists, and other healthcare providers to serve our patients within an interdisciplinary model.
I continue to consult regularly with, and learn from, colleagues and mentors from a range of backgrounds, as well as attend industry conferences in order to stay abreast of the latest developments in the field.
You can learn more about my training and experience here.