Discuss the use of eclectic approaches to treatment.

Definition: An approach that combines two or more techniques for treatment. The treatment is adapted to suit the needs of the individual or group
Examples :
Combining drug therapy and cognitive therapy for treatment of depression
Combining cognitive and behavioral therapy (CBT) for treatment of depression
Combining Chinese herbal medicine and antidepressants for treatment of depression
Types of eclectic approaches :
Simultaneous use: Use of the therapies at the same time
Sequential use: Either therapy is used at one time
Stage-oriented use: One therapy is used during the critical stage, the other therapies are used at the maintenance stage
Notes:
- The use of a combination of approaches or theoretical orientations.
- Therapist able adapt to each client’s individual needs.
- a recognition that individuals may benefit from a variety of techniques.
- eclectic approach can be flexible and adaptive and avoid forcing treatment into one size fits all limitations.
- necessary that the therapist be well grounded in several of the more orthodox approaches to treatment rather than using bits and pieces through a lack of familiarity.
- eclectic approach in therapy is to view an individual from a psychodynamic perspective, but to use more active interventions, such as you might find in a cognitive-behavioral approach.
there is no one right or guaranteed way of approaching any given problem.
- Each problem is tainted and changed by that individual's own history and way of viewing or perceiving his or her own problem.
- Can sometimes involve elements of several different types of therapy, for example, a combination of behavioral therapeutic techniques and psychodynamic therapeutic techniques, becoming what is referred to as an “eclectic approach” to therapy.


Eclectic Approach
Strengths
- Doesn’t confine the researcher to only one perspective, which allows them to have bigger base of information.
- More flexible, allow each patient to be treated with method produced best effect for them.
- Allow generation of better treatment and wider range of patient to be treated by combining two or more treatments.
- Less bias in choosing type of treatment fit with each patient.
- Allowing patient to decide their own type of therapy can be considered as more ethical
- Contain the strength of all therapy involved.
- Broaden the view in which the subject can be pursue and give more understanding by utilizing all relevant information from other approaches.


Weaknesses
- Required skill and knowledge to be applied efficiently, since the clinician need to have knowledge of various approaches.
- Different views of each approach can create confusion and difficulty in determining a combined method of treatment.
- The value of each approach in an explanation can be hard to determine.
- The lack of clear direction and back up study cause the approach to sometime unreliable.
- Contain the weakness of all approaches involved

Timothy (2006)
Aim: show that there are many good reasons for using drug/psychotherapy combination treatments
Procedure: Examined research on drug and psychotherapy combination when they were used in different ways. The first combination is the simultaneous use of drugs and psychotherapy. The second is when drug and psychotherapy are combined sequentially (one or the other is use in addition to the first as to control symptoms). The third is stage-oriented use of antidepressant and psychotherapy.
Findings:
1) The strongest evidence is the stage-oriented combination treatment. Antidepressants are the most beneficial treatment during the phase, after patients symptoms go away. Psychotherapy either alone or combined with antidepressants is the most effective way to prevent relapse.
2) Research on the simultaneous use of drugs and psychotherapy during the acute phase of depression shows only a moderate increase in the reduction of symptoms.
3) Some evidence that the sequential use of drugs and psychotherapy is beneficial. (Frank 2000) found that women with chronic depression were best treated first with IPT. Thos who still needed help to reduce symptoms were given SSRIs to supplement the IPT
4) Agrees that Good apple’s neuroimaging study shows that both drug therapy and CT cause changes in the brain.

Liu Jing-feng and Zhang Hong-xue (2002)
Aim: to test the effectiveness of combing antidepressants and Chinese herbal medicine to treat’ depression.
Procedure: one hundred twenty participants were assigned to receive either a Chinese herbal formula/ antidepressant combination treatment or antidepressants alone. The combination treatment used 11 Chinese medicinal herbs thought to “calm the spirit” plus others if the participant also had other symptoms. The group also took chlorpromazine and amitriptyline. The comparison took a larger dose of the chlorpromazine and amitriptyline.
Findings: 41 participants in the combination treatment group were said to be cured, and return to work and live a normal live. 12 participants had showed improvement and tried to regain their normal lives. 7 had symptoms ended but couldn’t return to their normal lives. All the participants in the combination group shown improvement. In the comparison group where only drugs where give 36 participants were cure and 8 had shown great improvement. 14 of the participants had improved a little and 2 didn’t change at all.

Advantages:
- Is supported by the biopsychosocial & stress-vulnerability models
- Offers a greater flexibility in treatment
- Treatment can be modified to suit individual needs
- Less reductionist, more likely to address more facets of a problem
- Empowers the patient. Patient can choose his treatment (more ethical)
- Share the strengths of both therapies
Limitations:
- Requires more of the therapist. The therapist needs to be an expert of several therapies
- Share the weaknesses of both therapies
- May be unsystematic and unfocused