What is Collaborative Integrative Therapy?
CIT is a therapeutic style which
- makes available to the client-therapist team many different therapeutic approaches
- invites the direct involvement of the client in deciding which of these are used and when
- allows for flexibility of changing techniques at the discretion of the client and therapist
All this results in a collaborative effort with the freedom to use the most effective tools at the most appropriate times to maximize therapeutic progress.
Nearly all therapies involve some form of the client and therapist working together. CIT adds to traditional collaboration the involvement of the client in deciding which therapy techniques to use. In doing so, clients are more engaged in the therapeutic exercises and are inherently more supportive of the direction of therapy.
Integration is taking two or more approaches and using the techniques associated with them, together or in succession. By allowing many approaches to be considered, the client and therapist are able to match the client with the therapy which is most effective. Further, for each issue a client may have, a different approach can be applied.
Choosing a Therapeutic Approach
Below are some specific approaches, their corresponding focuses in therapy, and the personality or issue each may serve well. It is not intended to be a comprehensive nor an exclusive chart, but rather a simplified illustration of how approaches are considered.
|Approach||Focus||Helpful for (personality/issue)|
|Cognitive-behavioral||thoughts and behaviors||concrete & logic/behavior & perspective|
|Existential||who I am, the person I want to be||holistic/futility|
|…Mindfulness and acceptance…||…awareness and being “ok with me”…||…(over)thinker/high expectations…|
|Motivational Interviewing||what drives me, what is important||thrill seeker/substances|
|Interpersonal||how I get along with others||experiential/boundaries|
|Cognitive Processing Therapy||processing traumatic experiences||all/PTSD, sexual assault, trauma|
*Visit the Specialties page for more information
The elegance of CIT lies in the flexibility to modify, or even change altogether, what approach is used based on relevant factors and clinical impressions. The most applicable parts of approaches and/or associated techniques can be combined, as well. Ultimately, the direction of therapy depends on what’s most effective for you.