How Therapists Change:

What motivates therapists towards integration?


  • Tomáš Řiháček, Dr Department of Psychology, Faulty of Social Studies, Masaryk University, Brno
  • Ester Danelova


Psychotherapy integration, therapist development, personal therapeutic approach, motivation, theoretical orientation


Many therapists embrace an integrative perspective in their practice. The aim of this study is to explore what motivates therapists’ development towards integration. To answer this question, 15 integrative therapists’ autobiographic narratives published in Goldfried (2005) were analyzed using grounded theory analytic procedures. The analysis resulted in the description of six motivational categories: Empiricism, Scientific Attitude, Therapeutic Humility, Perceived Inefficacy, Need to Comprehend, and Striving for Congruence. These categories are discussed in relation to previous studies on therapist development and theoretical orientation choice. Generally, the results support the idea that therapists develop their own personal therapeutic approaches which not only reflect recent research findings and demands of the therapeutic situation, but also their own personal needs and desires.

Author Biographies

Tomáš Řiháček, Dr, Department of Psychology, Faulty of Social Studies, Masaryk University, Brno

Dr Tomas Řiháček is a psychologist and psychotherapist, trained in Gestalt therapy. He works as an Assistant Professor at the Department of Psychology, Faulty of Social Studies, Masaryk University, Brno, where he teaches courses on qualitative methods and psychotherapy research. His research interests include psychotherapist development, psychotherapy integration, and other topics in psychotherapy research. He also runs a part-time private therapeutic practice.

Ester Danelova

Ester Danelova is a young professional tasting all kinds of work with people. She is involved in psychotherapy research currently focusing on psychotherapist professional development. For several years she has worked as an HR consultant and training designing and driving organizational projects and facilitating change in teams and companies, also having a few private psychotherapy clients. Her dream and mission is to naturally connect the mind of a researcher with hands of a builder and heart of a ‘kid’ in helping people find their way.



How to Cite

Řiháček, T., & Danelova, E. (2018). How Therapists Change:: What motivates therapists towards integration?. European Journal for Qualitative Research in Psychotherapy, 8, 1–12. Retrieved from