Lifespan Integration Therapy
What is Lifespan Integration therapy?
Lifespan Integration is a gentle, body-based therapeutic method which heals without re-traumatizing. We all have a unique journey full of moments filled with both pain and joy. These memories are stored in our bodies and minds, shaping the way we react, interact, and engage in life. The stories we hold are powerful and help us connect deeper with ourselves and our inner truth. By connecting with these stories and exploring the timeline of our life, many clients find that not only do the distressing memories of the past feel less painful, but clients also feel a deeper connection with their strengths that have inherently carried them through their journey.
Lifespan Integration relies on the innate ability of the body-mind to heal itself. It is body-based, and utilizes repetitions of a visual timeline of memories to facilitate neural integration and rapid healing. During Lifespan Integration therapy, the therapist leads the client through a chronological timeline that contains memory cues of the clients life. The Lifespan Integration technique causes memories to surface spontaneously, and because of how memories are held neurologically, each memory which surfaces is related to the emotional theme or issue being targeted. The resulting panoramic view of the client’s life gives the client new insights about lifelong patterns resulting from past trauma or neglect.
By sharing our stories in safe places we can create a corrective experience and restore our sense of self. This type of therapy relies heavily on the trust and connection built between the therapist and client as your body does the healing.
Lifespan Integration utilizes repetitions of a visual timeline of a client’s memories to promote healing of their past. Similar to EMDR, this type of therapy unlocks the nervous system that stores painful memories in a less distressing way and helps integrate new and healthier experiences.
What conditions does Lifespan Integration treat?
There are a number of different protocols within Lifespan Integration therapy that allow the therapist to treat a number of issues that clients bring into therapy. Your therapist will work with you to identify traumatic events, distorted narratives, and even attachment injury that may have occurred in your childhood. Below are examples of issues, though not exhaustive, that can be addressed using Lifespan Integration therapy:
- Negative self talk
- Childhood abuse or neglect
- Recovering from a violent relationship/divorce
- Compulsive or addictive behavior
- Healing from highly stressful situations (job loss, death, aging, illness…)
What can I expect during a Lifespan Integration session?
Prior to a session, you will be invited to create a timeline of memory cues from each year of your life (when indicated we will create this together). These memories don’t have to be all good or all bad per say, all that matters is the memories feel true and accurate to you. Your timeline will be an important part of your Lifespan Integration sessions and will be used frequently throughout the course of therapy.
Lifespan Integration therapy differs from regular talk therapy. It does not require you to describe every single detail around your traumatic experience or have lengthy discussions about what happened. As we work through these memories together, your body’s innate ability to heal will kick in as it processes and integrates your unique life experience through your timeline. As memories naturally begin to emerge and expand spontaneously throughout the course of the session, you will be able to observe your life through a more objective lens. With this new perspective, you are able to experience new insights into lifelong patterns that may have not proved helpful to you. As your therapist guides you through multiple repetitions of your timeline, distressing sensations from the past begin to fade and new memories may come forward creating a more cohesive life story.
Repetitions of your timeline are central to every Lifespan Integration protocol. Some protocols are focused on clearing body memory of trauma, and some are focused on building self-structure. Most Lifespan Integration protocols do some of both. The number of cues used per repetition and the number of repetitions of the timeline done each session depend on the protocol being used, and on each individual client’s psychological structure. By ending each timeline in the present moment, your body begins to understand at a cellular level that you are living in the here and now and not in your past experiences.
After Lifespan Integration therapy, people find themselves spontaneously responding to current stressors in more age appropriate ways. Clients who begin therapy with memory gaps are eventually able to connect the pieces of their lives into a coherent whole. Those who have completed Lifespan Integration therapy report that they feel better about life, are more self-accepting, and are better able to enjoy their intimate relationships.
If you are still unsure if Lifespan Integration therapy is for you, please reach out to our friendly staff today to schedule a brief phone consultation.