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Integral Psychotherapy

This page provides answers to frequently asked questions about Integral Psychotherapy. Links to further information about Integral Psychotherapy are available on our books and resources page. Please feel free to send additional questions to drmarkforman@outlook.com.

What is Integral Theory?

The central tenet of Integral Theory is that every perspective concerning life is true but partial. When we weave these partial perspectives together – psychological, spiritual, biological, behavioral, cultural, and socio-economic – we can create more powerful and comprehensive solutions to individual and social problems.

The heart of Integral Theory is the elegant and powerful five-element model. The five elements are:

  • Quadrant
  • Levels
  • Lines
  • States
  • Types

Integral Theory is primarily the creation of American philosopher Ken Wilber. Wilber’s books have been translated into over 25 languages. There is now a thriving international community of professionals and academics across many disciplines who are engaged practically and theoretically with his work.

What is Integral Psychotherapy?

Integral Psychotherapy is the application of the five-element model in the world of psychotherapy. The result is a meta-orientation – an orientation that can connect the central ideas, understandings of the therapeutic relationship, and different forms of interventions provided by the major schools of therapy. The goal is to move to beyond eclecticism to create a deeply comprehensive clinical approach and empower therapists to be more flexible, confident, and attuned.

Integral Psychotherapy is able to integrate all of the following approaches:

  • Trauma-focused
  • Psychodynamic/Depth
  • Interpersonal
  • Cognitive-Behavioral
  • Somatic
  • Multicultural
  • Feminist
  • Humanistic
  • Existential
  • Mindfulness-Based
  • Transpersonal
  • Non-dual

For a more comprehensive, chapter-length overview of Integral Psychotherapy, click here.

What is the current state of the field of Integral Psychotherapy?

Now is the best time ever to become involved in the field of Integral Psychotherapy – as the field rapidly develops! There is now a small but well-established pioneer group of Integral Psychotherapists in North America and Europe. For more information about Integral Psychotherapists currently in practice in North America, please visit our Integral Therapist Directory. In addition, the past ten years has seen an exponential growth in the number of texts devoted to Integral Psychotherapy. These texts focus on a wide range of subjects, including:

  • General therapeutic application (Forman, 2010; Ingersoll & Zeitler, 2010; Marquis, 2018; Witt, 2007)
  • Client intake and assessment (Marquis, 2007)
  • Psychopathology (Ingersoll & Marquis, 2014)
  • Psychopharmacology (Rak & Ingersoll, 2006)
  • Addiction treatment (Dupuy, 2013; Du Plessis, 2014; Du Plessis, 2018).

Please see our books and resources page for more information.

What is the research supporting Integral Psychotherapy?

Integral Psychotherapy is a framework that allows the integration of a wide array of established orientations. This means that Integral Psychotherapy already rests on the evidentiary foundations of these existing approaches. In as much as we understand what constitutes valid psychotherapy – given the complexity and difficulties of conducting study in this area – Integral Psychotherapy is on firm footing.

However, there are a number of novel dimensions to Integral Psychotherapy remaining to be explored more fully through research. Most prominently, this includes the developmental element of “Levels” and the complex integrations offered by the “Quadrants” element. For the most comprehensive current literature reviews exploring these and other aspects of Integral Psychotherapy, please see Ingersoll and Marquis (2014), Ingersoll and Zeitler (2010), Marquis (2007, 2018), Walsh (2011), and Forman (2010). Information about these sources is available on our books and resources page.

What is the Future of the field of Integral Psychotherapy?

We believe the CIT program represents one of the important next steps in the growth of the field of Integral Psychotherapy. We believe that as more therapists are exposed to the depth and elegance of Integral Psychotherapy as expressed within CIT, it will offer a great deal to the culture of psychotherapy and to the education of therapists. We hope to help establish new standards for the field in terms of thinking and practicing integratively, and draw the resources necessary for continued research, study, and refinement of the orientation.

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