Intergrative Approach to Counselling

Describe an integrative approach to counselling and discuss potential advantages and disadvantages for the practice of this approach


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In this essay I will discuss the difference between eclecticism and integrative therapy, the four main routes toward integration, what the aim of the therapy is, as well as its merits and limitations.
Integrative approach is a combined theoretical approach to counselling that merges different elements of particular therapeutic approaches. Integrative counsellors are of the opinion that there is no single approach that can help each client in every condition. This approach states that no single theory holds the ability to help everyone, but rather each individual must be considered as a whole, taking into consideration their behavioural, cognitive, psychological, social, and spiritual aspects. Techniques used in therapy must be tailored to suit the client’s individual needs and personal circumstances. Integrative therapists do not only focus on what works, but why it works. (Saunders, 2011).  
Integrative therapy comes across as very intriguing and at times confusing in parts. If I could assign one word to unite integrative and eclectic approach, it would be “blended”, simply because each of them is a mixture of more than one theory. That being said, being blended does not make them identical, on the contrary, integrative and eclectic are anything but identical, they are like two cakes that are blended using similar ingredients, but taste different.
Eclectic approach picks and chooses concepts from several theories acknowledging that different therapies work better for different individuals. It stands on what has been used and shown to work before. Eclectic counsellors use what past experience has proven to be effective in helping similar clients with similar issues using what is preferred by, and suitable for them as therapists. This for me is a major flaw that comes across as...