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 The Integral-Relational Approach to Psychotherapy


A 90min talk followed by questions, answers and discussion.

Continuing Education credit eligible

Thur. Jan. 23rd, 2014, 6:30pm



The Integral perspective aims to draw from as many sources of insight as possible and use them to mutually inform each other.


The Relational perspective believes that the human psyche is shaped fundamentally by the relationship dynamics in which it develops.  The therapist must enter into an intimate relationship with the client in order to facilitate deep and lasting change.



In this talk, David Thompson will offer an intial overview of psychotherapy from an Integral-Relational perspective.  This talk serves as an overview of the content offered in a follow-up courses and consultation groups.


-From Freud came the ground-breaking idea that people are unaware of what is most deeply guiding their lives, and that identifying their true motivations requires recognizing and decoding the symbolic patterns shaping their lives.

-Jung added that the symbolic themes within which the individual's life unfolds are not only propelled by sexual or aggressive drives, but also by the need for connection to higher meaning and for a myth in which to participate in the divine drama of life.

-The Existentialists saw how it is not only religion that was invented as a way to cope with inevitable death and suffering, but that much of human behavior can be understood as a "denial of death."

-Mahler, Erikson and others detailed the developmental paths through which humans grow and how trouble at each stage can lead to life long problems that reflect the specific symbolic challenge of that stage.

-Winnicott described how the human constructs a "false self" to hide and protect the vulnerable "true self" that we all long to have seen, understood and loved.

-Beck articulated the crucial role of cognitions; Skinner of learned consequences, Fairbairn of internalized relationships; Bowlby of familial attachment patterns.


Each of these perspectives is profound; each holds insights crucial to understanding the mysteries of human nature.  From the Integral perspective, we need not aling ourselves with one camp and devalue the others.  Rather, each offers great value in the quest for complete understanding.



But how can these diverse perspectives be reconciled and used collaboratively?  Dr. Thompson will explore this question and ways to meet this challenge.  He will share case examples to illustrate how different approaches are called for in different circumstances, and how a flexible, creative, even playful approach is necessary.  This talk will provide a brief overview of the content to be offered in follow-up classes and consultation groups.




Thur. Jan. 23rd, 2014, 6:30pm

Presented by David Thompson.

Free for students/psychology interns, $10 suggested contrubution for others.

Drinks and snacks provided.

  Email us to tell us you're coming  or just show up!


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