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What is Eclectic Therapy?  

Therapists practice all different types of modalities. Some mental health professionals focus on a person’s childhood. Other individuals talk about a person’s behavior. For example, you might see a therapist deal with compulsions, which fall under behavioral therapy. Whereas, if you were seeing a therapist to deal with your relationship, that would fall into the category of couples counseling. Another type of treatment is humanistic or client-centered therapy. That’s when the therapist takes the client’s lead in terms of the treatment. There are also therapists who combine different modalities. Eclectic therapy combines many different forms of therapy.

What is eclectic therapy, and how does it work?

You might hear the term eclectic therapy and wonder: how does it work? The answer is: it depends on each therapist and how they practice. The therapist might tell you they practice eclectic therapy, and that could mean something to them that it doesn’t mean to another provider. For example, one therapist might specialize in trauma therapy but also combine elements of talk therapy or psychodynamic methods. Another therapist may use a little bit of cognitive behavior therapy and combine dialectical behavior therapy or DBT. Eclectic therapy is a blanket term that refers to a therapist who uses different forms of theory in their practice.

What is good about eclectic therapy?

A positive aspect of eclectic therapy is that it’s not dull. You can use different skills in various sessions. Maybe you find that you’re tired of talking about your childhood. You could shift your focus and speak about what’s going on with you right now. Perhaps you are tired of working on your behavioral issues. You can redirect your focus and talk about what’s going on in your relationship. Eclectic therapy is a collaboration between the client and the therapist. That is the beauty of this type of treatment. It is a collaborative approach where the therapist gets to run by the client what they feel would work best for them. It’s also an education for the client in psychology.  

Does an eclectic therapist know what they’re doing?

This is a valid question. Does an eclectic therapist know what they’re doing or how to treat clients? The answer is: yes. Of course, it depends on the provider in terms of their skill at providing therapy. However, just because somebody says they’re “eclectic” in their approach doesn’t mean that they’re scattered. It means that they’re drawing from a pool of different theories to provide therapy.

How do I know if eclectic therapy is right for me?

You might be the type of person who gets bored quickly. You like to try different things, and you don’t want to stick to a routine. If that’s the case, eclectic therapy would be an excellent fit for you. If you’re a flexible person and enjoy learning new things all the time, eclectic therapy could be a perfect fit for you. If you’re open to change and want to know more about psychology, eclectic could be an excellent fit for eclectic therapy. 

Why would eclectic therapy not be for me?

If you’re someone who has a specific goal in mind and wants to work on behavioral issues, eclectic therapy might not be as focused as you would like. You might benefit more from cognitive behavior therapy. A person who seeks eclectic therapy is an individual who is open to trying new things and is not set on one approach.

Find the right therapy for your needs

It’s essential to find the right therapy for your individual needs. You could find somebody in your area or work with an online counselor at a company like BetterHelp, whatever is the most convenient for you. It’s possible to find sound mental health care; it’s a matter of the therapeutic relationship between you and your therapist. It could be that eclectic therapy is an excellent match for you, or you might try something different. The only way to know is to give it a shot. Therapy can help you learn more about yourself and better your life.

Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.