I would like to explain how and what we do while working in an integrative holistic therapeutic way from a psychological perspective.
Integrative therapy refers to the bringing together of the affective (emotions), cognitive, behavioural, and physiological systems within a person, with an awareness of the social and transpersonal (above the personal, can be spiritual) aspects of the systems surrounding the person”
In our clinic we utilise embodiment work (such as Iyengar yoga and the breath via mindful meditation). These are practiced with compassion focused therapy emphasising the quality of understanding with courage and kindness particularly towards the self. This is mixed with some Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (developed by L Marshall in order to work with clients of Borderline Personality Disorder or Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder). Additionally, we emphasise Emotional Focus Therapy, a therapy that is based on attachment theory and states that relationships are at the base of any human conflict.
The combination of the above mentioned with yet another third wave therapy ACT Acceptance and Commitment therapy is effective and useful. ACT is about our values and goals as well as the tenacity / behavioural activation that are needed in order to get to achieve those higher values in small steps. We merge it with some ‘deep CBT’ i.e. schema work, in which we are exploring our core beliefs and rules for livings/ assumptions about life. These rules often lie underneath or daily thoughts and behaviours and may need challenging and acknowledgment.
The integration of all these therapies with a lot of awareness to the body movements, to the breath, while practicing some postures via yoga-therapy, examining one’s nutrition, practices of walking, running, clean water, toxins coming into the body, is the wholistic part of our work. We regard these physical measures to be one with the mind. We also
Weave in socialising, charity work, and spiritual dimension if the client is so inclined to complete the discussions.
Due to working interactively and holistically, where one window gets closed another door gets opened: it’s not a ‘one stop shop’: it’s not only CBT or only psychodynamic. While we are informed by psychoanalytical short-term work (ISTDP) and we are aware of Freud, Jung, Adler and Cohut very important work- we are not throwing the baby with the bathwater -but our main practice is science based.
Where our Integrity of therapeutic work lies: where working in this way – it is mirroring the philosophical stance of CAT: Cognitive Analytical Therapy that integrates both a behaviour cognitive behavioural therapy and Psychoanalytical Therapy. This got constructed by Anthony Riley around 1980s. Anthony Riley was a Psychiatrist working in SLAM, South London and the Maudsley NHS Trust. He came up with this theory in which the personality of the individual is made out of many segments just like a pizza and that sort of model means that we think about the person as a multi-layered entity. We are able to think about it like slices of a pizza or a cake. For the Pizza to be whole there is the need to integrate all its parts into a bigger whole and not split into segments that are exaggerated in importance or taken out and never thought about. We may bring that analogy back into the different therapeutic modalities mentioned above. For example: we might follow this by a therapy session in which we are using ACT for Acceptance and Commitment therapy because we are emphasising the goals and the values of life of the individual and then we move into another segment of the personality that might facilitate that behaviourally. For example: “Values -me- part” flows into “Competent-me- part” or “active-me-part”.
Traditional classics CBT in which we might do behavioural activation meaning making the client go for a run or walk, tidy his/her room, and brush their teeth. Often, client may be very much in depression and the ignition of the engine is not ‘on’. The client needs to be activated from the foot down as opposed to from the head down.
Via Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT) There might be another session when the client is getting to integrate the emotional mind with a rational mind as well as the body mind. Noting that they don’t have to choose between one part of themselves to another they can integrated in what initially seems as a conflict. It is actually a one whole me. We do that in order to create emotional regulation and it’s a principal exercise of the DBT theoretical modality. In addition we might work on distress tolerance principles for a client with anxiety Similarly, we may be tapping to phobias work through c b t for Anxiety.
Penultimately, Carl Rogers Person-Centred therapy – C Rogers (1960s) is very much connected to the Attachment-based work that came 10 years prior by John Bowlby (1951). He emphesised the unconditional love from care giver to the child ( client) and the condition that society at large (parents included) place upon the adult. Emotional Focused Therapy (EFT) is very much at the core of our work, and there Dr Sue Johnson (1980s) emphasised how as adults we live and re-live our attachment styles from childhood.
Lastly I’d like to add the illustration of Reilly’s pizza part of the personality as well as a Freuds model of the house of the personality and perhaps Carl Rogers person centred approach as well can be mentioned where the relationship of the mother child the unconditional love is at the heart and at the bases of another kind of structure of personality and that we integrate into the overall therapeutic modality.