Laura Schleifer, Ph.D.

(514) 622-5242
245 Victoria Avenue, Suite 440


Integrative Psychotherapy

By calling myself an integrative therapist, I am referring to the fact that I do not adhere strictly to one theoretical orientation or school but use those procedures that I believe will be most helpful for an individual patient.  Regardlesss of theoretical orientation employed, in almost all cases there will be a fairly significant focus on the therapeutic relationship.  This is because it is thought to represent a microcosm of the outside world and therefore relationships and patterns that exist outside the therapeutic room.   

Definitions of Theoretical Orientations:

Cognitive Behavioral Psychotherapy:

This is a type of psychotherapy that is based on the theory that psychological symptoms are related to the interaction of thoughts, behaviors, and emotions. In cognitive behavioral therapy, the therapist and patient will work on identifying and directly changing thoughts and behaviors that may be maintaining symptoms. Cognitive behavioral therapists often assign homework for the patient to complete outside of sessions.  Included in this type of psychotherapy is relaxation training and stress reduction.  In addition, mindfulness based cognitive therapy has been proven useful in treating several disorders, particularly depression.

Supportive Psychotherapy:

Any form of treatment intended to relieve symptoms or help the patient live with them rather than attempt changes in character structure. 

Existential Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy focusing on anxiety and distress created by some of the basic truths of human existence: death, choice/freedom, isolation, finding meaning in life. 

Interpersonal Psychotherapy

A form of psychotherapy in which the focus is on a patient's relationships with peers and family members and the way they see themselves. Interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT) is based on exploring issues in relationships with other people. The goal is to help people to identify and modify interpersonal problems, to understand and to manage relationship problems.

Motivational Interviewing:

This is a client-centered counseling style for eliciting behavior change by helping clients to explore and resolve ambivalence thus enhancing motivation to change.  Motivational interviewing is gentle and respectful, and focuses in the initial stages on building rapport and understanding what the behavior in question is doing for the person.  This leads to gaining a fuller understanding of how his or her behavior may be affecting other parts of life. That can help the patient establish personal goals around change.

Case Examples

1) Simple Phobia:  Strong emphasis on cognitive Behavioral therapy and lesser emphasis on the rest.  Therapy is likely to be problem-focused and short-term.
2) History of loss through death preventing the development of current relationships:  Greater emphasis on Interpersonal and existential - using cognitive behavioral techniques only when deemed necessary to move the therapy forward.