Trauma & Lifespan Integration
I predominantly treat trauma with a relatively new non-traditional therapy, Lifespan Integration (LI). LI clears the affects of past trauma on your current life. LI uses neuroscience as a foundation to enhance, rearrange, rewire and form a more coherent solid sense of self in the present moment. Here is a description of Lifespan Integration from the website www.lifespanintegration.com:
Lifespan Integration, as its name implies, is a new therapy which integrates neural structures and firing patterns throughout the body-mind, and across the lifespan. Lifespan Integration can be used to clear trauma or to build self structure or both, depending on the history and needs of the client. Repetitions of a visual and sensory timeline are unique to all the Lifespan Integration protocols.
The most dramatic application of Lifespan Integration therapy can be seen in the clearing of past or recent traumas using the LI PTSD protocol. Even the most entrenched cases of PTSD will resolve after one or two sessions of LI. An individual who was functional and able to operate in the world prior to a traumatic event will be able to return to his normal functioning immediately after one or two sessions of LI focused on the traumatic event. Any PTSD symptoms, including nightmares, intrusions, and flashbacks related to this traumatic event, will cease. The results are stable. Quality of life continues to improve over time after the traumatic event is cleared with Lifespan Integration.
Lifespan Integration can also be used to help clients overcome the effects of early trauma and neglect. Individuals whose early needs were not met, and those whose early environments were chaotic, inconsistent, or hostile will need many more sessions of Lifespan Integration therapy than will clients who are securely attached and who functioned well prior to a traumatic incident. Individuals who experienced early trauma or neglect will benefit most from the LI protocols which build self structure, change attachment patterns, and improve regulation of emotion.
After Lifespan Integration therapy, recipients find themselves spontaneously reacting to current stressors in more age appropriate ways. Individuals who begin LI therapy with memory gaps are eventually able to connect the pieces of their lives into a coherent whole. Clients 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.
Resources on Understanding the Brain
Daniel J. Siegel, M.D. wrote the wonderful book MindSight explaining how our minds create our sense of self. Here is an excerpt from MindSight on how our brain uses past memory in the present moment:
Neurons that fire together, wire together. In memory terminology, an experience becomes “encoded” by the firing of neurons in groups. The more often these neural clusters, or “neural net profiles,” fire, the more likely they are to fire together in the future. The trigger that cues the retrieval of a memory can be an internal event – a thought or a feeling – or an external event that the brain associates in some way to a happening in the past. The brain acts as an “anticipation machine” that continually prepares itself for the future based on what has happened in the pas. Memories shape our current perceptions by creating a filter through which we automatically anticipate what will happen next. In this way the patterns we encode in memory actually bias our ongoing perceptions and change the way we interact with the world. (Siegel, 2010, p.148)