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Integrative Counselling & Psychotherapy

Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy is an inclusive, multidimensional approach that integrates knowledge and skills from different therapy modalities into unified practice approaches. Integrative Counsellors and Psychotherapists draw on a range of therapy approaches that are unified in practice. This integration enables therapy to be responsive to diverse client needs, personality styles, interests and treatment preferences. Two or more approaches are integrated in practice to overcome the limitations of a single model, broaden the theoretical base of therapy interventions, and reduce the likelihood of therapeutic failure, (Boswell, Nelson. Nordberg, McAleavy & Castonguay, 2010).

The research base which underpins Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy is predominantly the common factors approach (Wampold, 2010), which has demonstrated that the model of therapy is responsible for only a small proportion of positive outcomes in therapy. The quality of the therapeutic relationship, hope and expectancy that therapy will be helpful, facilitating new perspectives on problems and relationships, promoting realistic perceptions, and providing support and acceptance, have the strongest impact on therapeutic effectiveness (Boswell et al., 2010).

There are three main common factors that contribute to positive outcomes in therapy, whichever model is used. These are (1) support, which includes providing reassurance, empathy, trust, and catharsis; (2) facilitation of learning which includes cognitive learning, paying attention to feelings, and feedback; and (3) action, including behaviour regulation, cognitive mastery, reality testing, and practising new behaviours (Lambert and Bergin, 1994).  Reflective practice, supported by supervision, a focus on change processes, and awareness of the social and cultural contexts of individual problems are also key features of the integrative approach (Boswell et al., 2010).

Accordingly, this section of the Register lists practitioners from a broad range of modalities and orientations. Some are generalist practitioners who draw on different therapy approaches that are systematically integrated in their practice, while others are specialist practitioners from specific integrative modalities, or faith-based and spiritually informed approaches, including Christian and Buddhist counsellors and psychotherapists.

State-based integrative associations belong to this section of the register. Some represent a state or territory in Australia, and some are national associations.

The emphasis in Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy is on good practice, particularly the relational skills of the practitioner. Practitioners encourage clients to be active partners in the therapy process, and work collaboratively with them to develop effective responses to difficult life circumstances, and a stronger sense of self. Issues addressed in therapy may include depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, grief and loss, communication and relationships, work and career, stress, life transitions, parenting, spirituality, and difficulties caused by substance abuse, trauma and abuse.


Boswell, J.F., Nelson, D. L., Nordberg, S. S., McAleavey, A. A., & Castonguay, L.G. (2010). Competency in integrative psychotherapy: Perspectives on training and supervision. Psychotherapy Theory, Research, Practice, Training, 47(1), 3-11. DOI: 10.1037/a0018848

Lambert, M. J., & Bergin, A. E. (1994). The effectiveness of psychotherapy. In A. E. Bergin & S. L. Garfield (Eds.), Handbook of psychotherapy and behavior change, (4th ed., pp. 143-189). New York, NY: Wiley.

Wampold, B. E. (2010). The research evidence for the common factors models: A historically situated perspective. In B. L. Duncan, S. D. Miller, B. E, Wampold, & M.A. Hubble, (Eds). The heart and soul of change: Delivering what works in therapy (2nd ed. pp. 49-81). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. DOI: 10.1037/12075-002

Member Associations within this Section

Australian Association of Transactional Analysis
Association of Personal Counsellors
Association of Solution Oriented Counsellors and Hypnotherapists of Australia
Australian Association of Buddhist Counsellors and Psychotherapists
Australian Hypnotherapists Association
Christian Counsellors Association of Australia
Counselling and Psychotherapy Association Canberra and Region
Counselling Association of South Australia
Counsellors And Psychotherapists Association of NSW
Counsellors And Psychotherapists Association of Victoria
Professional Counselling Association of Tasmania
Psychotherapists and Counsellors Association of WA
Queensland Counsellors Association

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