What is integrative counselling?


An integrative counsellor will work with their client to understand their needs and then combine different ideas from various therapeutic models. In merging different elements it means the counsellor works fleixbly depending upon each individual client.

Integrative counselling is a relational approach, the client takes an active role in the direction of the therapy.

True integrative counselling will mean that the counsellor will provide seamless counselling for the client. They don’t switch and change between different techniques to suit the situation.

What to expect

Initially, as the client, you will be asked to explain what has brought you to this point in your life and what you’d like to get out of counselling. How you want the counselling to be will aid the counsellor in making decisions about what techniques and models to include.

The counsellor is likely to have a core model that forms the basis of their work. They’ll also let you know which other models are within their training that they’re able to integrate into their work with you.

There are more than 400 theoretical approaches to counselling and psychotherapy; they have all been proven to have helpful outcomes. No counsellor can know every approach but will likely integrate up to 6. The most important thing is to be open and honest with your counsellor about what is and isn’t helpful.

The exciting thing about integrative counselling is that there’s always something new to try. The relational dynamic between counsellor and client is key; honesty and trust need to be paramount. As a client, do you feel able to challenge the counsellor to “switch things up”? As counsellor, do you feel able to integrate the most therapeutic techniques?

It’s important to know what formal training your counsellor has had, they should advertise this openly. Many counsellors will have additional training on top of their core training and will integrate new techniques as appropriate.

If you think integrative counselling could be for you and you’d like to discuss it further, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

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