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Article #1 (Nov. 2017) 


An inadvertent listener to the impassioned conversation at the next table in a restaurant, I heard a woman talking to her best friend about her problems. “Have you thought of therapy?” her friend asked. “No,” the woman said. “Therapy doesn’t work.”

I’ve heard this refrain at the hairdresser’s, at parties, on subways and transatlantic flights– almost everywhere. When I’ve had the chance to ask about it, I’ve most often been told that going to therapy may provide insight or better behavior but, in the words of the same woman, “It didn’t cure me or help me suffer any less” and, in the words of another, “The help it gave me didn’t last.” These and similar comments indicate that many people expect cure to be the result of a therapy, and that to them, cure means a lasting end to frequent or continual suffering. When I’ve asked people who didn’t feel that therapy cured them or reduced their suffering what kind of therapy they had had, they named virtually every modality I have ever heard of.

Of course, psychotherapy and each of its modalities works for different people to greater or lesser degrees. Clearly many people who enter therapy hoping for cure and a cessation to suffering work hard at it, but it doesn’t make enough of a difference for them. As a young practitioner, I shrugged this off thinking that maybe the people who complained about therapy were so disturbed that they really couldn’t be helped. Now, after close to forty years in practice, I look at it differently: Perhaps, through no fault of our own, we psychotherapists did not know well enough how to treat our clients because the theory and methods that could bring more success had not yet been discovered and developed. We are, after all, a relatively new discipline.

The situation doesn’t seem much different in medicine at this point in time. Conventional medicine offers many treatments for a great variety of diseases, but many people don’t get cured. Indeed, if the ads on TV are to be believed, many of the medications doctors prescribe are designed to lessen symptoms or extend life rather than cure illness.

Furthermore, the medical profession has been increasingly split between conventional medicine, which often uses toxic chemicals and toxic radiation to treat people, and functional or alternative medicine, which features natural substances and processes in its treatment methods. Some conventional doctors have told me that they don’t trust alternative medicine because its treatments often don’t work and are not backed up by scientific research; some alternative doctors have told me that conventional treatments are often so toxic that they produce more disease—and often don’t cure.

And then, there is integrative medicine, which “puts the patient at the center and addresses the full range of physical, emotional, mental, social, spiritual and environmental influences that affect a person’s health” (https://www.dukeintegrativemedicine.org/about/what-is-integrative-medicine/).

The idea here is that these different approaches, working together, offer the best chance of healing. In practice, the integrative approaches tend to include acupuncture, certain biofield therapies, guided imagery, hypnotherapy, mindfulness techniques, and yoga (https://health.usnews.com/health-conditions/heart-health/integrative-medicine/overview).

Clients and patients are left to find their way through a bewildering morass of conventional, alternative and integrative therapies, treatments and approaches. They need to decide what kind of treatment to have at a time when they are probably least capable, because of the shock, trauma, and dysfunction of receiving a frightening diagnosis and/or already being disturbed or ill, to make positive, health-enhancing treatment decisions. For example, one friend, faced with a terminal cancer diagnosis, had surgery at Sloan Kettering, was treated at alternative medicine clinics in Mexico, Ireland, and Arizona—each offering a different kind of treatment– and ended up on chemotherapy. What a mess!

And though, to many people, integrative medicine would seem to be the best choice because it combines a group of different approaches, it, too, has one of the drawbacks of many of its more conventional cousins: it does not necessarily address all the causes of a patient’s psychological disorder, spiritual malaise or disease. And once the causes are known, it does not yet necessarily treat them and their symptomatic effect on the client to the point of wellness.

AIT may be the first therapy that successfully discovers and treats the often multiple physical, psychological, and spiritual causes of an illness, psychological disorder, or spiritual blockage. More important, perhaps, the causes do not later produce recurrences because AIT also removes the connection between the causes and the disease or disorder that they have caused.

There is at least one aspect of this already complex situation that bears further mention: For the most part, Western practitioners have mostly treated psyches and bodies not only as if they were disconnected from each other, but also as if they were not intimately connected to a spiritual aspect which is as basic a part of every human being as are the body and psyche. This means, among other things, that illnesses and psychological disorders can have spiritual causes as well and that, if the spiritual causes are not discovered and treated, full healing may be far harder to achieve.



Advanced Integrative Therapy is a therapy, from the Latin therapia and the Greek θεραπεία, which literally mean “curing” or “healing” (Wikipedia). So AIT is not simply a psychotherapy, nor is it a method of spiritual counseling, and it is in no sense a type of medicine. It attempts, as far as possible, to discover and treat as many of the physical, psychological and spiritual causes of suffering as possible in order to produce healing and the removal of suffering. The idea behind AIT is that, if we treat enough of an individual’s suffering, that person will become peaceful, loving and much more likely to help than to harm.

In this sense, AIT is an internal approach to the development of peace both within individuals and among them. And because it has an established methodology which, through the use of many methods and protocols, it brings the ideas that began to develop in the last century regarding whole person healing into practical reality. In psychotherapeutic and integrative and functional medical circles, practitioners have wanted a way to actually do what their theory says: to produce healing by working on the whole human being physically, psychologically, and spiritually. AIT is the first, hopefully, of many such methods.

In upcoming blogs I’ll be discussing the ideas introduced here—and other ones that I feel are important as well– in much more detail. I’ll be telling you about the healing AIT has produced, because we at AIT want everyone to know about the tremendous transformative qualities of our work from direct experience; it is increasingly bringing us peace and health, and we want it to do the same for you.

Welcome to AIT!!!


Asha Clinton, MSW, PhD.
Creative Director,
Advanced Integrative Therapy

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