Putting “Meta” Into Practice: A Look at Integrally-Informed Psychotherapy

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Here we explore the emerging art and science of Integrally-informed psychotherapy – an attempt to integrate the best of the major approaches to therapy into a single cohesive model of human psychology.

For about a century – starting with Freud – practitioners of psychotherapy regularly dismissed other therapists whose ideas conflicted with their own. In the 1970s in particular, the behaviorists, the humanists, family systems theorists, and psychoanalytically-oriented clinicians routinely attacked one another.

But recent decades have ushered in an era where real integration of psychotherapies is called for and sought out, with the profession seeing the limits of any single approach.

On today’s Psychology Now podcast, our hosts and leading authors on the subject will help us explore the emerging art and science of Integrally-informed psychotherapy – one attempt to integrate the best of the major approaches to therapy (e.g., Forman, 2010; Witt, 2008). Dr. Keith and Dr. Forman will ask and answer that perennial Integral question in the realm of psychotherapy: How is it possible that that everyone here is at least partially right?!

In fact, Dr. Keith and Dr. Mark argue that many are already practicing some form of Integral psychotherapy without being consciously aware they are doing so. The most essential aspect to performing Integral psychotherapy is to be able operate from a “teal” center-of-gravity in one’s personal and interpersonal awareness in the therapy office. Teal awareness is about learning to notice and coordinate many perspectives (your client’s and your own) and hold them in dynamic balance.

Integral psychotherapy also is strengthened when a person at this stage is able to consciously add AQAL meta-theory to it. AQAL can support and transform their work into sharper practice and expanded awareness. This is true for psychotherapists, psychiatrists, and social workers, and also for coaches, organizational consultants, community organizers, or helping professionals of every kind; the need for perspective-taking is great in any profession that has many competing theories of “what works.”

How can we put Integral/AQAL metatheory into therapeutic practice? How can develop ourselves so that the model moves from being a set of intellectual ideas to a set of felt understandings? Listen to find out!

Listen as Mark and Keith explore the following questions:

  • What is a meta-theory?
  • What is Integral psychotherapy and what are the two essential aspects of all psychotherapy?
  • How does Integral psychotherapy relate to your other approaches (CBT, family systems, etc.) to therapy?
  • How does Integral therapy approach the moral issues that so often arise in therapy?
  • How does one learn to become an Integral psychotherapist? What are the essential practices?
  • Why can learning Spiral Dynamics be confusing (at first) to those learning Integral psychotherapy?

Come join us and learn from two of the world’s leading experts and authors on the subject!


Forman, M. (2010). A Guide to Integral Psychotherapy: Complexity, Integration and Spirituality in Practice. Albany, NY: SUNY Press.

Witt, K. (2008). Waking Up: Psychotherapy as Art, Spirituality, and Science. Santa Barbara Graduate Institute Publishing, iUniverse Inc. New York

Mark Forman

About Mark Forman

Mark Forman, PhD is a licensed clinical psychologist whose text — A Guide to Integral Psychotherapy Complexity, Integration, and Spirituality in Practice – is considered one of the seminal works in the field of Integral Psychotherapy.

Dr. Keith Witt

About Keith Witt

Dr. Keith Witt is a Licensed Psychologist, teacher, and author who has lived and worked in Santa Barbara, CA. for over forty years. Dr. Witt is also the founder of The School of Love.

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