Eclectic Approaches to Treatment

The majority of clinicians describe their approach as “eclectic”. This means that they do not use one treatment method exclusively, but tailor their approach to the problems of the client. Eclectic approaches incorporate principles of techniques from various systems or theories
The heart of the eclectic approach to treatment is the acknowledgement that the different levels of analysis – biological, cognitive and social – are not competitors, but reveal different aspects of mental disorder. Thus, treatments based on the different levels of analysis can tackle different aspects of disorders
An example of an eclectic approach to therapy: a suicidal depressive for whom CBT might take too long to have positive effects or who is not in a state in which he can discuss his cognitive processes might be put on antidepressants until his mood is improved, and then given CBT in order to tackle the cognitive aspects of his problems
Advantages of an eclectic approach to treatment:
A number of studies have shown that cognitive therapy is better than drug therapy at preventing relapse at later dates. This might be because whilst antidepressants can alleviate symptoms, cognitive therapy tackles the cognitive processes that might bring about these symptoms
Klerman et al (1994) have shown that a combination of psychotherapy (either cognitive or psychoanalytic) and drugs is moderately more successful than either psychotherapy or drugs alone