What is Integral Psychotherapy? Meta-Theory and Meta-Resonance.

Many of the great healers and best minds of the last century have sought to contribute to the development of psychotherapy and to the healing of mind and psyche. Integral Psychotherapy is a meta-theoretical approach to psychotherapy that attempts to honor, respect, and incorporate their work and perspectives along with the relevant insights from the Great Wisdom traditions. Rather than view psychotherapy from only one orientation - cognitive-behavioral, interpersonal, psychodynamic, or transpersonal/spiritual - we seek to integrate them all in a meaningful, embodied, and coherent way. This process does not stop, however, with theoretical integration, or even the incorporation of different types of therapeutic practices or interventions. Integral Psychotherapists also are also called to learn to resonate energetically and empathically with different approaches to psychotherapy, to see and feel and embody systems within themselves, as well have a felt understanding how they impact others. 

The spirit of Integral Psychotherapy is wonderfully represented in these words from Carl Jung:

The present day shows with appalling clarity how little able people are to let the other man's argument count, although this capacity is a fundamental and indispensable condition for any human community. Everyone who proposes to come to terms with himself must reckon with this basic problem. For, to the degree that he does not admit the validity of the other person, he denies the ‘other’ within himself the right to exist—and vice versa. The capacity for inner dialogue is a touchstone for outer objectivity. (as cited in Knox, 2004, p. 78)

Integral Psychotherapy is a way of practicing in which we let all other arguments count, we learn to empathize across divisions of worldview and meaning, and we learn, as practitioners, to develop ourselves deeply and holistically. This allows us to serve our clients in a truly humanizing and comprehensive way. 

Why Our Work Matters

There is an internal dimension to the global challenges we face. Individuals, couples, families and communities are suffering in heart and mind. This pain is magnified out and expressed in the world. The gifts of psychotherapy are needed in order to help people develop greater insight into themselves as well as greater empathy for the those around them. We need a worldcentric psychotherapy, particularly one that is conversant with both science and religion: Open to the latest research and knowledge, conversant with the nuances of class and culture, and deeply attuned with our potentials for spiritual growth. We need a generation of therapeutic practitioners that can looks beyond parochial niches and treat the emerging, global human being.

In short, the goal of an Integral Psychotherapy is to help individuals and families evolve more deeply, one at a time, so that they can bring more of their own gifts and light to the world. There is no approach to psychotherapy out there that sees themselves as such, that is both theoretically clear and yet entirely open to the insights and ideals of other therapeutic approaches. We need to develop Integral Psychotherapists so that they can be both bridge-builders and trail blazers.




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