What is AIT?
Advanced Integrative Therapy (AIT) was developed in the US by Dr Asha Clinton, a Jungian Psychoanalyst and Energy Psychotherapist. AIT is an integrative because it synthesises various psychotherapeutic modalities e.g:
Psychodynamic: understanding the unconscious process where our past experiences of early and significant relationships influence how we experience ourselves and others now
Cognitive-Behavioural : effecting healing by understanding and changing our beliefs and behaviours
Jungian or Transpersonal : integrating the symbolic and spiritual realm to experience our wholeness and to access our own inner guidance
Energy Psychology: based on a premise that everything –including our thoughts, feelings, physical sensations, memories and trauma - consists of energy. Trauma blocks the flow of energy in the body – AIT helps to release it.
AIT enables the therapist and client to:
Connect childhood experiences with recent trauma
Link mind and body symptoms of distress and conflict
Identify and clear whole patterns of trauma
Explore obstacles to being fully present to oneself and others
Identify and heal the damage to an individual’s spirituality
AIT as a trauma treatment
AIT is based on the premise that trauma is often the cause of all suffering and is the origin of negative beliefs, desires, compulsions, obsessions, addictions and other symptoms. The unconscious or conscious impact of trauma is held in the body and in order to heal, we need to include the body in treatment.
The AIT definition of trauma is broad and includes any situational and developmental trauma that disturbs integrity and coherence of our being:
"Any occurrence which when we think about it, or when it is triggered by some present event, evokes difficult emotions/physical sensations/negative beliefs or patterns of behaviour such as addictions or dissociation. Such an occurrence may block the development of positive qualities and relationships to ourselves or others, impede spiritual connection and fracture human wholeness." (AIT Basics Manual by Asha Clinton)
How does AIT work?
In AIT, the negative and traumatic energy charge of the problem is released as the client places their hands on relevant energetic memory centres, which corresponds to chakras or major neural bundles in the body. By releasing the deeply held energetic charge that stem from negative past events and relational impacts, healing can resume. The negative behavioural and relational patterns that have been repeating the original wounding can then cease.
AIT differs from other talking therapies in addressing and engaging the energetic foundation of our being, the self-healing and self-organising intelligence within us. Psychological issues are identified and treated not only through talking and gaining understanding about them, but also by accessing unconscious material through muscle testing. Muscle testing is a kinesiological technique which serves as a valuable aid in accessing body's wisdom. This use of the body’s signal about the unconscious mind and the energy system guides the focus and pace of the treatment.
AIT therapists are trained to facilitate the treatment at the attuned pace and depth, so that working on the issues doesn’t trigger re-traumatisation. Through the therapeutic process, over time, clients acquire a mindful awareness and acceptance of their feelings, thoughts and of bodily sensations, as well as an increased capacity to self-heal and self-care. AIT also involves meditation and instillation of positive values and goals that replace the previous negative beliefs and patterns.
Who are AIT therapists?
AIT practitioners are qualified psychotherapists, psychologists or psychiatrists or other mental health practitioners and they integrate the AIT method into their own areas of expertise and therapeutic modalities.
If you are a qualified AIT therapist and would like to be added to the directory please register here.
Advanced Integrative Therapy Institute: https://ait.institute/
AIT in France: https://qi-congruence.com/
Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology: https://www.energypsych.org/
Books and Articles
The AIT Core Beliefs Book (2018 edition) by Asha Clinton : Hard copy and PDF versions available on AITI website
Blog article by Dr Lissa Rankin on her experience of AIT: