In April 2001 a group of Integrative Psychotherapist trainers and others interested in continuing and furthering the development of theory and methods and how to communicate these ideas to psychotherapists through training gathered in Stamford, Connecticut, for a meeting focused on developing a curriculum to establish some degree of uniformity in training programs around the world. Out of this meeting, attended by professionals from three continents and five countries, came a clear vision of the breadth and high level of development of Integrative Psychotherapy as a distinct school of psychotherapy, as well as an appreciation for the quality and caliber of the individuals who self-identify as Integrative Psychotherapists and take responsibility for this growing community.

The time has come to forge this community into an organization, the Integrative Psychotherapy Association, which is publicly dedicated to fulfilling the mission, aims, functions, and the development and popularization of Integrative Psychotherapy.

MISSION: The International Integrative Psychotherapy Association is a non-profit educational organization that facilitates international communication among professional psychotherapists who use the concepts of Integrative Psychotherapy.

DEFINITION: The term integrative of Integrative Psychotherapy has a number of meanings. It refers to the process of integrating the personality, taking disowned, unaware, or unresolved aspects of the self and making them part of a cohesive personality, reducing the use of defense mechanisms that inhibit spontaneity and limit flexibility in problem solving and relating to people, and re-engaging the world with full contact. It is the process of making whole. Through integration, it becomes possible for people to face each moment openly and freshly without the protection of a preformed opinion, position, attitude, or expectation.

Integrative Psychotherapy also refers to the bringing together of the affective, cognitive, behavioral, and physiological systems within a person with an awareness of the social and transpersonal aspects of the systems surrounding the person. These concepts are utilized within a perspective of human development in which each phase of life presents heightened developmental tasks, need sensitivities, crises, and opportunities for new learning.

Integrative Psychotherapy takes into account many views of human functioning. The psychodynamic, client-centered, behaviorist, cognitive, family therapy, gestalt therapy, Reichian, object relations theories, psychoanalytic self-psychology, and transactional analysis approaches are all considered within a dynamic systems perspective. Each provides a partial explanation of behavior and each is enhanced when selectively integrated with other aspects of the therapist's approach.

The psychotherapy interventions used in Integrative Psychotherapy are based on research validated knowledge of normal developmental processes and the theories describing the self protective defenses used when there are interruptions in normal development.

Integration within the psychotherapist is the capacity to assimilate and harmonize all of these various concepts and approaches in a way compatible with our own personality as we engage in the intersubjective space with each client.

AIMS: To: (a) formalize the existing network of Integrative Psychotherapists and provide a meeting ground for professional exchange; (b) support the professional and personal development of Integrative Psychotherapists by enhancing the person of the psychotherapist, challenging the experienced practitioner to professional excellence, and exploring the relationship of person and process to psychotherapy; (c) facilitate cross-disciplinary thinking, planning, and research in psychotherapy, and promote knowledge, practice, and research in Integrative Psychotherapy; (d) recognize the training and continuing education given at the various associated Integrative Psychotherapy Institutes or Centers, and (e) encourage high standards of training, experience, and ethical practice in Integrative Psychotherapy, and set training requirements that will reflect those standards.

FUNCTIONS: To: (a) arrange professional meetings; (b) contribute to the education, training, and professional/personal development of Integrative Psychotherapists; (c) publish papers and monographs on Integrative Psychotherapy, and (d) sponsor research projects in Integrative Psychotherapy.

Membership is available to professional psychotherapists who use an Integrative perspective (affective, behavioral, cognitive, and physiological) in their therapeutic work. If you would like more information on becoming a member or to be part of the International Integrative Psychotherapy Association please contact us for more information.