Therapists increasingly recognize that talking about past abuse or neglect in therapy may not of itself help people to move beyond such experiences. I am always interested and excited by innovative techniques and approaches that come along, which aim at changing the self-destructive behaviour patterns that are often the mark of someone who has been abused or neglected.
One such method which I am now exploring is called Lifespan Integration. It is a gentle method which works on a deep neural level to change our self-attacking scripts, and people report that it has enabled them quite quickly to feel…
better about life, become more self-accepting and enjoy their intimate relationships.
Lifespan Integration is said to be – and this is why I am actively looking into its use – an extremely effective tool to support integration and self-control, two of the key psychological goals in most psychotherapy.
The method relies on the natural ability of the body-mind to heal itself. The therapist guides the client to imaginatively re-visit a past memory which is connected to the current problem, and then to bring into the past whatever is needed to ‘resolve’ the memory. Then the therapist leads the client through time to the present using a timeline of visual images of scenes from the client’s life. The effect is somewhat like watching a movie of one’s life.
The ‘movie’ is one with a set of hopeful messages implicitly attached. We have survived. We had the strength and resourcefulness to survive. Yes that was our history, and it is not the present. Our history need no longer affect us. The strategies we developed to protect ourselves back then – we can now recognize we’re free to let them go.
Watch this space!