What is Integrative Therapy?

Integrative therapy is a personalised and comprehensive approach to therapy that combines various techniques and concepts from different therapeutic schools to meet the unique needs of a given client.

An integrative approach seeks to consider an individual’s mental, physical, and emotional health in a whole and unified way. You, the client, rather than the therapist, are the expert on yourself, and we work together to understand the sources of your concerns, whether they be anxiety, unhappiness, physical discomfort, or limiting behaviours.

An integrative approach is comprehensive, which means we consider various factors besides mental constructs such as negative self-talk and limiting beliefs. These include being mindful of corresponding bodily sensations that may arise and/or parts that may be in conflict with one another. Through EFT, mindful focusing or other somatic interventions that include the body, we notice all of what presents with the current concern.

Research shows that ultimately our stresses and limitations are held not only in our mental narratives but also physiologically in our body and nervous system. Both somatic and cognitive approaches are essential for healing, recovering and building resilience as we make positive life changes.

Woman having an integrative counselling session in Hong Kong

For example, when working with anxiety, along with noticing negative thought patterns, beliefs and fears, we will also pay attention to any associated physical sensations, such as tightness in the chest or an increased heart rate.

In the same way, we can address physical symptoms with a similar approach. For instance, as we are able to identify the somatic sensations of anxiety, we observe associated thoughts and feelings while dealing with chronic pain. It’s worth noting that emotional stress can frequently exacerbate pain. Acknowledging the emotional aspects of physical problems often helps to release energetic blocks and facilitate healing in the body. When working with physical symptoms, I often work in conjunction with other professionals, such as physiotherapists or naturopathic doctors, for improved outcomes.

Ultimately, my integrative approach allows me to meet you where you are, to address your specific, individual needs.

As an integrative counsellor and psychotherapist, I believe that embarking on a journey of self-discovery and increased self-awareness is an essential step towards improving our overall well-being and finding more fulfilment and meaning in life. Through the processes of awareness, we can gain deeper insight into our life experiences. Through acceptance and change, we can develop the skills necessary to make healthier choices that support our physical, emotional, and psychological well-being. This journey is not always easy, but it can bring profound personal growth and transformation so we feel empowered to live our best life.

Whether it is back pain or emotional discomfort, together, we will work with your current concerns towards healing. With compassion, patience, and empathic insight, my intention is to get you well on your way to living a life that is fulfilling and meaningful, where you can feel freedom, happiness and joy.

Questions you may have:

Counselling and psychotherapy are two terms that are often used interchangeably, but they refer to two distinct approaches to therapy.

Counselling typically focuses on specific issues and challenges for a limited period of time, such as work stress, fear of public speaking, burnout, adjustment issues related to life transitions or relationship problems that are not complex or long-standing.

Psychotherapy is often more long-term and focuses on the client as an individual, helping to gain insight into deeper issues. Psychotherapy typically focuses on exploring self-perceptions, patterns of thought and behaviour, underlying patterns and unconscious motivations that drive life choices.

Counselling sometimes happens as part of the therapeutic process, but psychotherapy involves personal growth and healing on fundamental levels, where individuals gain a deeper understanding of their internal experiences.

Signs that you could benefit from therapy include:

  • You experience anxious feelings.
  • You experience low moods for prolonged periods of time.
  • You don’t feel better despite efforts and help from family and friends.
  • You worry excessively and expect the worst of most situations.
  • You’re experiencing relationship difficulties or a distressing breakup.
  • You notice inexplicable changes in mood or behaviours, or feel constantly irritable.
  • You feel stuck in grief or need help navigating the grief of a recent loss.
  • You have an upcoming surgery and could use support through the process, including through recovery.
  • You are looking for emotional support through a serious illness.
  • You’re feeling uncertain about a change in life path and or career.
  • You have trouble adjusting to a new life situation
  • You’ve had a stressful or distressing experience which needs to be shared and processed in a safe environment. This may include separation or divorce, loss of a loved one, an accident, relocation, witnessing or experiencing a traumatic event, or childhood trauma.
  • You’re experiencing a personal crisis, because life does not always flow in the way we want it to, and you may not have the resources to cope with unexpected events.
  • Despite wanting to succeed, you’re experiencing an inability to set or achieve goals.

Therapy can also serve as a guide for personal development, to expand awareness and grow into one’s full potential, and can be beneficial for anyone.

Each individual is unique, therefore, the ideal frequency of therapy sessions can vary.

Generally speaking, one session per week is often the most effective for establishing continuity and building rapport and trust. Weekly sessions also allow you sufficient time to reflect and process your experiences before moving forward. Some clients prefer bi-weekly or multiple sessions per week, depending on their specific needs and circumstances.

We will usually have a chat about the pace and frequency that would be suitable for you. Ultimately, however, you decide the frequency of sessions that feels right and comfortable for you.

A standard individual session is 60 minutes. Depending on your needs, sessions can be 90 minutes for a different fee.

I provide both online sessions (via Zoom) and in-person sessions. My aim is to ensure that you feel comfortable and at ease, and I am happy to offer either option based on your convenience. It is important to note that the outcomes of these sessions are not affected by the mode of delivery, and are equally effective in both settings.

“Discussing emotions is not always easy for people. But ultimately, to create a healthy and thriving society, one in which we are not simply materially successful but relationally aware, we need to get comfortable with understanding and expressing emotions.”