You’ve probably seen the term “Eclectic Therapy” thrown around in different places…but what exactly is it? The principles of eclecticism maintain that the most effective treatment selection results from appropriateness to the individual being treated and not simply from standardization of treatment across individuals. Let’s take a deep dive and learn how this therapy works.e
What Is Eclectic Therapy?
Eclectic therapy is a type of psychotherapy that uses a combination of therapeutic approaches, including psychodynamic, humanistic, and behavioral therapies.
The purpose of eclectic therapy is to help the patient reach their full potential by addressing the whole person, not just a single symptom or disorder. Eclectic therapists believe that everyone can heal themselves through their inner resources if they are given the right tools and guidance.
Techniques of Eclectic Therapy
1. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a short-term, goal-oriented psychotherapy that helps people to solve problems and change unhelpful patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving. CBT can be used to treat a wide range of mental health problems, including:
- Anxiety disorders
- Panic disorder
- Phobias and social anxiety disorder
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
2. Psychodynamic therapy
Psychodynamic therapy is talking therapy that helps people understand the relationship between past experiences and current feelings. It’s based on the idea that our thoughts, feelings, and actions are linked.
Psychodynamic therapy aims to help you better understand your emotions and behaviors. This can change how you think about yourself, others, and the world around you. It can help with a wide range of mental health problems, including:
- Anxiety disorders
- Eating disorders
- Substance abuse problems
3. Humanistic therapy
Humanistic therapy is a type of psychotherapy that focuses on the individual’s potential for self-actualization and personal growth. It is based on the belief that each person can be self-directed, self-motivated, and self-determined.
Humanistic therapy aims to help people reach their full potential by helping them discover their true selves, identity, and internal motivations. This is done by exploring the present rather than focusing on past issues or future concerns. It can help people who are struggling with the following:
- Low self-esteem
- Anxiety and stress
- Relationship difficulties
4. Mindfulness-based therapy
Mindfulness-based therapy is a form of psychotherapy that focuses on increasing a person’s awareness of their thoughts, feelings, physical sensations, and surrounding environment. The goal of mindfulness-based therapy is to help people deal with overwhelming emotions or negative thinking patterns that may make it difficult for them to function at their best.
Mindfulness practices include meditation, deep breathing, and yoga. It can help you:
- Become more aware of your thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations without judging them or reacting negatively toward them
- Create space between yourself and negative thoughts that may cause anxiety or depression
- Reduce stress by learning how to relax through meditation techniques
5. Solution-focused therapy
Solution-focused therapy is an approach that helps people to identify their goals and then move forward to address the obstacles that are in their way. It can be used with individuals, couples, groups, and families. The focus of solution-focused therapy is on solutions, not problems.
Solution-focused therapists ask questions that help clients to identify their solutions rather than focusing on what’s wrong or what needs fixing. For example:
- How would you like things to be different?
- What would you like for yourself in the future?
- What do you need from me or others right now?
6. Dialectical behavioral therapy
Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) is a type of psychotherapy that was developed by the American psychologist Marsha Linehan. It was initially designed to help people with a borderline personality disorder. Still, it has been found to help treat various mental health issues, including depression and bipolar disorder.
DBT is similar to cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), but it uses skills-training techniques that teach clients to manage their emotions and behaviors more effectively. DBT aims to help people with mental health problems lead more fulfilling lives. It teaches skills that can be used in both crises and everyday life.
7. Narrative therapy
Narrative therapy is a form of counseling that focuses on the client’s story. Narrative therapy aims to help clients find meaning in their lives and develop healthier ways of interacting with themselves, others, and the world around them.
Narrative therapists believe all humans are born with an innate capacity for healing and growth. They believe people can change their lives for the better if given the right tools. The goals of narrative therapy include:
- Helping clients gain insight into their feelings, behaviors, and thoughts by examining their past experiences.
- Helping clients understand how their past has shaped their current perceptions, beliefs, and behaviors.
- Teaching clients new skills for making better choices in the future based on what they’ve learned from their past experiences.
Elements of Eclectic Therapy
Eclectic therapists are open to a variety of approaches to therapy. They may combine different types of therapy and use different techniques from one patient to another, depending on what works best for each individual. But some core elements define eclectic therapy:
- A focus on treating the whole person rather than just symptoms or disease processes.
- A desire to treat the underlying cause of illness rather than relieve symptoms.
- An emphasis on prevention and long-term health maintenance.
- The use of various therapies and approaches, including conventional and complementary practices.
The main principles of eclecticism include:
- Each therapist must choose their techniques and methods based on professional experience, training, and personal preference.
- The effectiveness of a particular therapy depends on its appropriateness for each patient and the therapeutic relationship between the client and therapist.
- Therapists must always be open to continually evaluating their techniques’ validity and methods to improve their effectiveness with clients.
- The ultimate goal of therapy is to help clients develop their decision-making skills to achieve long-term change on their terms.
Benefits of Eclectic Therapy
At its simplest, eclectic therapy looks at the whole person rather than just the symptoms. It is the belief that all healing comes from within and that it is our job as therapists to gently guide our clients into their healing. There are many benefits to eclectic therapy, including:
- No single approach to therapy is suitable for everyone. Eclectic therapy helps people find the best therapies based on their needs and preferences. This gives individuals the best chance at recovery and success.
- Eclectic therapy allows you to work with a therapist who understands your needs and can guide you in making treatment options.
- With eclectic therapy, you can combine different therapies into one treatment plan tailored to your needs. This allows you to receive multiple benefits from a single approach or technique without learning a new one.
Things to Consider Before Getting Started
If you want to learn eclectic therapy, you should consider the following before getting started.
- Consider your motivation – why do you want to learn eclectic therapy? Is it because you have a passion for the subject, or do you want to make a living? If your motive is not strong enough, you might lose interest in the course and move on to other things.
- Learn about yourself – do some introspection and discover what makes you tick! This will help you decide which type of therapy would suit your personality best.
- Get an idea of what it is all about – this can be done by reading different books, websites, and magazines related to the subject matter. You can also watch videos on YouTube or listen to podcasts online for more information about this form of therapy.
- Seek out other people who have already taken up the therapy courses and ask them about their experiences so far. Their feedback will help gauge whether this profession is good for you!
What to Look for in an Eclectic Therapist
When looking for an eclectic therapist, you must know what you’re getting into. Many people new to therapy or considering trying it out are often drawn to eclectic therapists because they want therapists to help them find their path and choose which approach or techniques to use in their sessions.
While this can be an excellent way to work with a therapist, there are some things you should know before deciding on this type of practitioner. Here are some things to look for when choosing an eclectic therapist:
1. Licensure and Certification
When choosing an eclectic therapist, they must have the proper licensing and certification. You should always ensure that your therapist is licensed in their state or province and nationally certified by a reputable organization like APA or AAMFT.
Ethics is another essential quality to look for when choosing an eclectic therapist. Ethical therapists will follow their respective codes of ethics and treat all clients with respect and compassion. They also won’t allow any sexual contact with clients (even if a client initiates it) or use their position of power to manipulate others.
If you want someone with experience working with people from different backgrounds, consider looking for someone who has completed postdoctoral training in multicultural counseling. This training will help them better understand how to treat people from different backgrounds so that they can provide more effective therapy services.
Read More: What Is Relational Therapy and How Does It Help?
In effect, eclectic therapy takes a blended approach to dealing with mental health conditions by incorporating aspects from various therapeutic schools. It differs from any other kind of psychological help in that it is flexible and concentrates on the individual – the practitioner adapts their approach to suit the patient.
However, eclectic therapy is a long-term commitment that helps you better understand yourself, improve your focus, and learn how to control stress—all to create a more balanced life. It’s simple yet rewarding and can be used in various contexts, from business to relationships.
- Ahmadi, A., Mustaffa, M. S., Haghdoost, A. A., & Mansor, S. M. S. S. (2017). Eclectic approach to anxiety disorders among rural children. Trends in Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, 39(2), 88–97. https://doi.org/10.1590/2237-6089-2016-0047
- Norcross, J. C., Karpiak, C. P., & Lister, K. M. (2005). What’s an integrationist? A study of self-identified integrative and (occasionally) eclectic psychologists. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 61(12), 1587–1594. https://doi.org/10.1002/jclp.20203
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