This post will be super short because the answer to the title question is super short. Someone had asked me this question (what is eclectic therapist) a while ago and I promised to make a post about it. I realized later that there isn’t really much to say about this but I still want to fulfill my promise and post the answer on the website.
Eclectic therapist is a therapist who doesn’t follow any specific therapy model on a regular basis but, as many of them say, they “tailor their work to each individual client to meet that particular client’s needs.” Basically, it means that with each client the “eclectic” therapist decides which approach would work best for that client.
To be honest, I get very skeptical when a therapist says that they are “eclectic” because to me it means that they don’t really care how to practice. That’s right, I don’t quite believe that “I choose whatever works” philosophy comes out of respect for each client’s individual needs. I believe it comes from not having any core beliefs about the nature of psychological suffering and what alleviates it and not having done any serious personal work because that’s where the above mentioned core beliefs come from.
Of course, each client is unique and requires sensitivity and attunement to their individual needs, but that doesn’t mean the therapist can fundamentally change their entire working style from client to client nor should they. Therapy is a highly subjective and personal type of work. Therapists normally choose methods and theories that are reflective of who they are as people and are consistent with their personal beliefs about what is curative, which are formed as a result of the personal work they have done and other personal and professional experiences.
To me, a therapist who describes themselves as “eclectic” has no fundamental beliefs about how their work should be done which makes me doubt whether they have done enough of their personal work to be qualified to practice therapy and whether they even have a strong emotional investment in their profession.
I realize that this view may offend some people but I call it as I see it.
Related post “Types of Therapy“