Laura Morrissey

Integrative Counselling is?…

That is a very good question! I decided to retrain as a therapist some years ago. I looked at all of the different courses available and opted for a Diploma in Integrative Therapeutic Counselling at a local college. I love a bit of research but looking back, I did not research the course as well as I could have! In fact in week 2 of the course I even asked ‘what is Integrative Counselling?’ In hindsight I realise that I made my selection not on the course content but on the proximity of the college to my children’s school as I had to be able to collect them from primary school at 3pm. I also liked the fact that there was parking!

Therapy that Integrates other Therapies

I did come to understand what it meant – you will be glad to know! On our course we were taught what is called “The Skilled Helper Model” by Egan. This was basically a framework used in Counselling & Coaching to effect lasting change. It helps people to manage their own issues better and learn to problem solve. The model encourages you to :

  • Explore what is happening
  • Challenge & look at alternative ways of acting or being
  • Goal setting to achieve your preferred outcomes.

Combining other Therapies

This framework is then adorned with other therapeutic models that are blended  together to suit the needs of the individual client. One size does not fit all. Integrative counselling leads to integration of the client, aiming for wholeness and thus solidity going forwards. The client must be willing to change and explore themselves as they are, how they were & how they wish to be. It helps them to fully understand where they came from, who made them & what triggers them. This insight is the cornerstone of change that lasts.

Which Therapies are Combined?

Well, it can be any! There are Person Centred Approaches, Gestalt, CBT, Lifespan Integration , Systemic , Constellation…Internal Family Systems….

I love this approach because it is organic and encourages the growth of the therapist as well as the client. The therapist is never done learning…new approaches and advances are always on the horizon & this keeps me feeling challenged as a therapist. I am forever curious, wondering what else may have more impact for this person?

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