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What Is Integral Psychotherapy?

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  • Written By: Marlene Garcia
  • Edited By: Daniel Lindley
  • Last Modified Date: 23 November 2016
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Integral psychotherapy incorporates spirituality into traditional techniques to treat mental or emotional illness. It addresses all stages of human development, along with meditation and yoga, to treat emotional, physical, and social problems. Integral psychotherapy uses a holistic approach to help clients discover their true inner being.

This blended style of therapy aims to raise cultural awareness of mental health and how it relates to the evolution of a sense of self. It focuses on how a person’s consciousness evolves, and relies on inner reflection to find solutions to life’s problems. The goal of integral psychology centers on transforming the client into a person who is self-actualized, or able to fulfill one's potential.

Three elements factor into integral psychology. The first acknowledges that current problems affect quality of life and relationships. Next, the client learns to acknowledge that wounds from past relationships remaining in the unconscious mind might hinder healthy social interactions. The third facet centers on the relationship between the therapist and client.

If clients operate from their true being, their behavior will change because they act from a spiritual perspective, according to theories of integral psychotherapy. Likewise, mindfulness allows clients to live in the present and release unconscious defense mechanisms created to deal with the past. When a person lives from his or her core being, the heart guides emotions, and might bring the inner and outer self into harmony and balance.

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This form of therapy uses introspection from a consciousness approach, and might also employ more traditional methods of psychotherapy. Therapists believe different levels of consciousness develop universally in stages, from the subconscious to a total self-awareness stemming from the soul or spirit. As consciousness progresses, humans might attain morals, motivation, an identity, and spirituality. People may arrive at these stages differently, depending upon their levels of contemplation and consciousness.

Altered states of consciousness leading to pure joy might occur for brief moments as patients meditate or practice self-reflection, according to the theory of integral psychotherapy. The aim of the therapist centers on helping clients make these temporary states permanent as the soul evolves. When that happens, the true self might emerge and bring peace to the client.

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