LI for Professionals
Lifespan Integration (LI) facilitates neural integration and rapid healing of adults who have experienced complex trauma, abandonment or substantial neglect. LI uses a timeline of memories as cues, with coached reparative interventions in clients’ imaginations to facilitate integration of both explicit and implicit memory. Through repetitions of the timeline, core organisers (feelings, sensations, imagination, behaviours and understanding) integrate to create a healing outcome, in which clients reach a deep understanding that what happened in the past is over and has no power over them anymore; and they are no longer activated by thoughts or implicit memories related to the event. In addition, Lifespan Integration therapy puts the client in touch with their own resources and strengths.
LI and Neuroscience
LI combines all the elements considered important in Neuroscience to facilitate neural integration. Today it is impossible to consider psychotherapy as something separate and apart from neuroscience. Through creating optimal conditions for neural plasticity LI therapy is thought to re-write neural networks and integrate experience, to create a stronger and more coherent sense of self in time.
LI allows memories to come up spontaneously, either as implicit elements held in the body, or through explicit narrative memory. Because of how memories are stored neurologically every memory that arises is related to the emotional issue that is being worked with. The result will be an overview of the client’s life that will be related to the presenting problem and will give a new understanding of how behavioural patterns throughout life have been the result of past trauma or misattunement. Old defensive strategies are no longer needed as the client is freed from the affect of past trauma.
LI protocols use conditions that have been shown to be important for proper neural integration, both in infants and children.
These conditions are:
1. Attunement of adult to child
2. A strong body connection with emotions
3. An exchange of energy and information between the minds of the adult and child
4. The co-construction of an autobiographical narrative between the adult and the child ego states
Through repetition of Timeline memories and reparative imaginal work, the client develops the ability to see him or herself as a unified self that exists continuously and smoothly through space and time. Daniel J. Siegel, Allan N. Schore, Joseph LeDoux, and Louis Cozolino, all eminent neuroscientists, postulate that a mental map of oneself through time* is the central element of neural integration.
* For a more detailed explanation of her hypothesis on how Lifespan Integration works, see Peggy Pace’s book, “Lifespan Integration: Connecting Ego States Through Time” (available through the www.lifespanintegration.com website).
LI addresses a wide range of psychological problems
Modified versions of the basic LI protocol can be used for treating many psychological disorders, including eating disorders, anxiety disorders, difficulties with emotional regulation and relational difficulties. LI is effective in integrating dissociated states in DID clients.