Method of Multi Approach Psychotherapy: 7 Key Points

Multi approach psychotherapy was developed by Arnold Lazarus and is a systematic and comprehensive therapy approach. In this psychotherapy method, all aspects of the person’s behavior, affect, sensation, imagination, cognition, and interpersonal relationships are discussed.

What is Multi Approach (Multimodal Psychotherapy)?

In this approach, social and environmental factors are taken into account as facilitators of an individual’s health and well-being. In some approaches, the practitioner might also draw from evidence from research methodology. For example, cognitive behavioral therapy may include techniques that have been established as helpful in a particular population for a specific characteristic or disorder.

Practitioners may combine one or more approaches to work on different aspects of their clients’ needs –though not all practitioners do this–depending on the client’s needs at the time being addressed by care providers.

Multi Approach in Which Orientations?

Multi Approach Psychotherapy is an approach to human behavior which integrates three separate but complementary theoretical orientations: behavioral psychology, psychotherapy, and marital therapy. It was developed by Arnold Lazarus in the 1960s to meet the needs of clients who refuse monolithic treatment approaches.

What Does Therapy Include?

“This therapy involves 3 major components: Reality Therapy for insight and stimulus control, Cognitive Therapy for attitude change and insights into pathological thinking processes, and Behavioral Psychology for teaching new social skills.”
“The therapist will modify his or her particular intervention from one technique to another depending on what kind of reaction his/her client evinces” “It employs a wider range of psychiatric contacts thereby reinforcing its effectiveness as an adjunct or supplement to any one type of therapy.”

multi approach psychotherapy
Arnold Lazarus @sofo_therapists

Multi approach psychotherapy, which is personalized and individualistic, has general rules and principles and seeks appropriate interventions for each individual individually. All parameters in daily life such as medicated treatments, the biological structure of the person, nutrition, hygiene, and exercise are also a part of this psychotherapy.

The basic question in multi approach psychotherapy is what kind of therapist and therapy is best for this client, and try to find solutions to the perceived needs of each client. Focusing on the principle that people have a wide variety of needs and expectations and different creations, this therapy method defends that the psychotherapist should act in a wide range of formal, orderly, and strategic ways.

The question “What does it do for whom, under what conditions?” will be the basic philosophy throughout the therapy. A predetermined treatment pattern is out of the question in this approach. Flexibility and variability are kept above everything else.

In multi approach psychotherapy, the therapist directs his/her attention to the individual in his/her social environment.

Lazarus’s 1965 article describing the need to treat alcoholism from a multi-faceted perspective is like a summary of multi approach psychotherapy. Here;

  • Necessary medical assistance is provided to restore the patient’s physical health.
  • Disgust therapy and anxiety reduction conditioning are used to reduce drinking habits.
  • An in-depth study is conducted to identify specific warning precursors of anxiety around the patient.
  • Additional techniques such as systematic desensitization, assertiveness training, behavior repetition, and hypnosis are applied.
  • The relationship of the patient with his / her spouse is handled and their cooperation is optimized.

In multi approach therapy, temperament and personality are believed to have a biological and psychological basis. It results from the interaction between our personality, genetic makeup, physical environment, and social learning history.

In the multi approach view, it is assumed that clients suffer from conflicts, bad consequences of unfortunate experiences, and different negativities in social and personal lives. Therefore, single-approach psychotherapies will be insufficient in treatment.

Although multi approach psychotherapy makes use of psychoanalytic, behavioral, cognitive, and many other systems, it does not fully agree with the underlying theories of these techniques.

The basic proposition in this psychotherapy method is that clients often suffer from certain problems that need to be improved with certain treatments, and their mental balance is impaired. Here, it is never forgotten that each individual is different from the other. The expectations and needs of the client are brought to the fore.

The main emphasis in multi approach therapy is that each individual is different from the other. Therefore, there is no standard treatment method. The therapist takes into account the expectations and needs of the client and often adopts a passive reflective stance. The basic question is, “What kind of therapy or therapist would be most suitable for this individual?”

The first meeting can be with the individual, couple, or family. What causes the current situation and the person or element that maintains it will be the main theme of the psychotherapy process.

Collective exercise, behavior prevention, and overflowing, methods such as behavior damping, opposing conditioning, positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, emotional discharge, sensory pleasure techniques, stress relief exercises, imagination techniques, cognitive restructuring, awareness training, interpersonal relationship training are the treatment mechanisms frequently used in approach psychotherapy. In addition to exercise and measures for better nutrition, drug therapy, if necessary, is among the elements of this therapy method.

The average duration of multi approach psychotherapy is about 50 hours, covering one session per week to one year. Short-term studies are completed in 10-12 sessions.

In summary, we can describe multi approach psychotherapy as a comprehensive, systematic, and holistic therapy method that aims to achieve long-term change in an effective and humane way. Flexibility is the primary aspect of this psychotherapy method.

References for Multimodal Psychotherapy

In the Mind’s Eye: The Power of Imagery for Personal Enrichment 1

I Can If I Want To 2

The 60-Second Shrink: 101 Strategies for Staying Sane in a Crazy World 3

Last Updated on March 12, 2022 by Lucas Berg


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