In this section, we will develop food for thought on integrative therapies using various psychotherapeutic approaches: several texts on clinical pratice, a perspective of various pratices, and research, should support reflections on various themes:
• Integrating various Mind-Body practices in psychotherapy
• The notion of integrative psychotherapy
• The effects of these pratices when dealing with various pathologiesbut also in the potentialization of health and life quality
• What psychotherapists can bring to this think tank on complementary practices in terms of reflection and practice
• The importance of relationship beyond techniques
• What it means to be a therapist
Each psychotherapeutic practice legitimizes its specificity through various relational characterisrics such as listening, speaking, emotional reactions, empathy, suggestion, mental conditioning, explaining, interpretation, introspection, self-observation… (Jackson, 1999, p.386).
A review of the studies on the results achieved by psychotherapies (Lambert et al.,1986), - with a wide variety of research plans and on numerous adult disorders, shows that a person's progress during a therapy would be linked to:
1. Extra-therapeutic factors (approx. 40 %) that depend on the patient and his/her environment.
2. Relational factors which are common and non-specific to therapeutic models (approx.30 %) such as empathy, relational warmth, encouragement, etc.
3. Patients' expectations (approx.15 %) concerning his therapy.
4. Technical factors (approx.15 %)which are specific to the model applied by the therapist.
Thus, several other studies have brought to light the fact that technical factors related to the model would have only a minor therapeutic influence (Duruz et al., 2003 ; Luborsky, 1975 ; Lambert, 1998) and that there would be no specific effectiveness related to one kind of treatment compared to others – or one kind of relational particularity compared to others.
These studies do not question the effectiveness of these therapies – which is clearly proven – but they do show how this effectiveness is related to other reasons than those put forward by the theories from numerous psychotherapeutic models. These results incite us to think differently on the idea of therapeutic change – as well as on psychotherapeutic training – by taking us out of dogmas and by putting the major psychotherapeutic models in perspective.
The integrative approach in psychotherapy, far from being a mere gathering of techniques, appears to be an art of communication and relation – via a customized approach, the therapist permanently ajusts according to what patients feel or evoke during their therapeutic work.
Lastly, this integrative approach also urges to question what a therapist is– which will be the case in this section.
Remember that in Greek the word 'thérapeutès' means 'cure', 'take care of'. And also remember what the first therapists of our age, the therapists from Alexandria, understood by this:
'The Therapist does not heal, he takes care of'. Nature heals, Life heals. The role of the Therapist is to create or allow the best conditions for healing to occur. The Therapist does not heal but creates the place, the environment, the surroundings, the favourable conditions for healing to occur.The Doctor, with a capital D, is nature, and the therapist is here to collaborate with it.' (Leloup J.Y, 1993).
What is most important for the therapist is his or her quality of being – as care happens between two beings.
Translated from French by Frédéric Delacour