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  • Institute for Integrative Psychotherapy and Counselling, Ljubljana has approached the European project BE MINDFUL. The aim of the project is to develop an innovative mindfulness based program for mental health professionals. More information: Be Mindful - poster New: Newsletter no. 2

    What is integrative psychotherapy?

    Our approach to integrative psychotherapy is influenced by many writings on integrative psychotherapy and relational psychotherapy. It is specially connected to the philosophy and practice of International Integrative Psychotherapy Association. In collaboration with colleagues at several Institutes in Europe and the USA, Richard Erskine, Rebecca Trautmann and Janet Moursand have developed Integrative Psychotherapy which incorporates Transactional Analysis, Psychoanalytic Self-psychology and British Object Relations theory, Gestalt Therapy and Bodily Psychotherapy.

    In this approach the word ‘integration’ has a number of meanings, which are all important for integrative psychotherapy. Firstly, it refers to the process of integrating the personality, which means integration of unresolved aspects of self. It is a unifying psychotherapy that responds appropriately and effectively to the person at the affective, behavioural, cognitive, and physiological levels of functioning, and addresses as well the spiritual and social dimension of life.

    Integrative psychotherapy also means integration of different approaches to psychotherapy. Each provides a partial explanation of behaviour and is looked at as a valuable hypothesis about human functioning. The integrative psychotherapy is especially based on integration of Transactional Analysis, contemporary psychoanalytic psychotherapy (object relations, self psychology, the intersubjective approach), Gestalt and other theories.

    In training programmes in our Institute, knowledge of several psychotherapy schools is provided in order to develop the ability to maintain and tolerate several different views. No school (including this integrative approach) should be seen as the ultimate truth. While in the first years of the training the focus is on specific integration developed by other authors, at the end of the training the focus is on personal integration of the trainee. Within this framework it is recognized that integration is a process to which therapists also need to commit themselves. This means a continuing focus on personal growth as well as commitment to the pursuit of knowledge in the area of psychotherapy and related fields. Integrative psychotherapists should communicate with colleagues of diverse orientations and keep themselves informed about developments in the field.

    One of the aims of our approach to integration is development of trainee's own theoretical integration and their own personal style of practicing psychotherapy.

    In addition to that, fundamental principles of integrative psychotherapy include (O'Reilly- Knapp & Erskine, 2003):

    - Acknowledging that people are relationship seeking and interdependent through the life
    - Affirming the innate value of human being
    - Normalizing the functions of psychological processes
    - Committing to positive life change
    - Focusing on internal and external contact as essential to human functioning
    - Emphasizing the developmental process of the individual
    - Recognizing the significance of the therapeutic relationship.

    We have two main training programmes, which are recognised at International and European level:

    - Diploma in Integrative Psychotherapy and Counseling

    - Diploma in Transactional Analysis (integrative-relational approach)

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