Integrative Therapy Philosophy
The Humanist Integrative Therapy approach is such because it aims to integrate schools of psychotherapy which have been competing against each other historically. This battle of schools is transcended by accepting the valuable theories which they have delivered, and using intervention tools derived from all of them.
At a theoretical level, HIP can be summarized in the following statements:
- Socio-constructionist epistemology: Critical realism as theory of knowledge. People build constructs to understand the world and then contrast the validity of their constructs. A person suffering from the limitations of their thinking patterns (constructs) can change them so that they are more flexible, adaptive and consistent with their life. Cognitive and emotional restructuring are achieved by re-writing some of these constructs. This is a core aspect of modern CBT, RET and Narrative approaches.
- Systemic conception of reality and relationships: A person is a system (bodily, affect, cognitive, relational) integrated in broader social systems. The relational patterns with other significant people (partner, friends, family, colleagues) are a fundamental aspect of understanding a person’s emotional troubles and finding healthier solutions.
- Psycho-dynamic theory of personality evolution: People tend to have old repressed inner conflicts which are subconscious, often hidden within defensive mechanisms which repeat themselves over and over. As Jungian analysis states, there is a great benefit to exploring the shadow sides of personality, in both it´s negative and positive aspects. Often core aspects of these problems are in deeply rooted layers of the body and psyche. Therapy helps the person surface them safely to their conscious realm through the use of symbolizing tools such as art therapy, writing, body movement, dream work etc. Energy blocs and somatisations are also addressed to ensure that these deep conflicts are liberated and thus the person can recover full vitality.
- Existential framework for the “big picture”: Every person is confronted with existential challenges such as freedom, solitude, death, life meaning. Therapy can help a person clarify their current position and change it at will. It is a process of recovering power, responsibility and choice. The aim is to take decisions and design one’s long term life projects which are consistent with the person’s true values and spiritual beliefs.
I believe that every person is born with a unique potential mission.Unfortunately, there are many factors which undermine mental health, such as traumatic events, dysfunctional family dynamics, socio-economic constraints, stressful situations etc. These factors often condition an otherwise healthy person in a negative way. Many people get caught up for some time or permanently in unresolved relational conflicts, lack of self-esteem, bodily blocks, mind-traps, and repetitive self-defeating emotional programmes. Instead of living their life to the full of their potential, they strive to get by. My calling is to help as many of these people to get back into their authentic life track, so they can recover their full emotional balance, autonomy, and capacity to love and be loved.
Integrative Therapy Techniques
Integrative Therapy draws from many schools of counseling and psychotherapy to select a wide array of therapeutic tools. This allows to really tailor the intervention to each person´s needs and personality style, and also encompasses all levels of being (body, thoughts, emotions, values, relationships).
Some of the techniques which I most often use are use the following:
- Transactional Analysis
- Systemic family therapy
- Solution focused strategic
- Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction
- Neurolinguistic Programming
- Emotional Freedom Techniques (EMDR etc.)
I am a dual citizen (United States of America and Spain) working in Barcelona. I am fortunate to have lived and studied throughout my life in both the US and Spain, so I have an understanding of the nuances of both cultures.
My academic education is also “double”, having pursued my university studies in the field of clinical psychology and the field of sociology. I have a BA in Psychology (Clinical and Health Psychology), and a BA in Sociology. I have an MA in Psychotherapy (Integrative Humanist) and an MA in Political Economy (Labor Market).
My work experience is again “dual”, having worked as a research consultant for several public and private institutions, as a headhunter, as a career coach, and as a counselor. For the last five years, my work has focused on psychotherapy.
It is a privilege for me to be able to work hand in hand with individuals, couples, and families who wish to investigate, improve, and transform problems into opportunities for growth and happiness.