Treatment Approach



The  Center for Integrative Psychotherapy approach to treatment has six main elements:

1. Cognitive-Behavioral Principles

Cognitive-behavior therapy is based on the assumption that a person's psychological problems are primarily determined by his/her perceptions of reality, the ways he/she copes with it, and the consequences of such coping attempts.

2. Systemic-Contextual Principles

Combinations of psychological (emotional, cognitive, behavioral), environmental (interaction with others) and biological factors influence people's lives. Psychological problems are understood as intrapersonal-interpersonal inadequate transactions. Through therapy, patients learn to modify the dysfunctional feedback loops they experience within themselves, with others and the world.

3. Learning based

Psychotherapy is a learning process and it is based on learning principles. Our treatment focuses on creating opportunities for new adaptive learning outside the clinical setting. A general goal is to help people to perceive and respond to stressful life events in proactive, goal-directed, realistic and constructive ways rather than in rigid, reactive, distorted and destructive ones.

4. Strategic/Goal Oriented

Cognitive-behavioral therapy goals and interventions are based on each patient's case conceptualization. Such formulations explains the nature of the patients'   problems, how they came to have them, and interrelations among the factors that currently maintain such problems. A combination of factors unique to the patient and his/her circumstances, along with factors typical of the disorder(s) she/he consults for, is used to generate such conceptualizations.

5. Research-based Interventions

Cognitive-behavior therapy is the fastest growing and more rigorously studied kind of psychotherapy. Cognitive-behavioral interventions are based on clinical outcome research. An extensive number of clinical trials have helped to evaluate and demonstrate its efficacy for many psychiatric disorders.


6. Collaborative

Psychotherapy is a collaborative effort between the therapist and the patient(s). The therapeutic relationship becomes a safe interpersonal context where patients explore and learn new ways of thinking, behaving and feeling. In addition, with patients' consent, CIP therapists maintain collaborative relationships with the patients' physicians in order to coordinate their care and to assist those who need psychiatric medications.

How does cognitive-behavior therapy work?

Cognitive-behavior therapy works by helping people to look more objectively at their feelings, thoughts, behaviors and physical reactions in situations which they find problematic. Such understanding helps them to identify and modify their distorted perceptions of reality, as well as their dysfunctional coping patterns.     In cognitive-behavior therapy, people's emotions are very important. Emotions are viewed as adaptive information about how our perception of reality affects us. Is very common that people seek therapy because they do not like the way they feel and would like to change such experience. However, emotions cannot be changed directly. In order to change the way we feel, we must change the way we perceive the situations. Most of the time, we must first change what we think to change what we feel and what we do; however, other times, we first must change our behaviors to a situation before we can generate significant changes in the way we feel and think. Yet, in other cases, an attempt to change environmental factors (e.g., looking for a new job, getting out of an abusive relationship) may be one of the first choices for intervention.    Because skills acquisition requires practice and a therapy goal is to foster learning outside the clinical setting, patients are encourage to complete homework assignments. Such therapeutic tasks are designed to reinforce the learning process taking place during the sessions so it can be applied to out-of-therapy contexts, such as at home, work, school, social gatherings, etc.