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.
Secure attachment in humans is engendered, beginning at birth, through an interactive process between parent and child. A securely attached parent is able to meet the early attachment needs of her newborn infant. An infant who is loved and cared for will understand at a deep level that he is important, lovable and valuable. He will grow up to be a securely attached adult. Human babies are born in a very vulnerable, unfinished state, with largely undeveloped nervous systems. Newborn babies are designed to be in constant contact with their mothers. Parents who had their own early needs met are usually capable of providing their infants with the physical and emotional environments conducive to optimal growth and development. A securely attached mother is able to remain attuned to her infant. This attunement allows the forming nervous system of the infant to sufficiently download and internalize the needed neural structures for affect regulation and self-love. This interactive process continues for the first few years of the child s life, as his nervous system develops.
Emotion regulation is learned within the parent-infant dyad. The attuned mother holds her infant within a tolerable range of emotions. Eventually the developing child internalizes this ability. Parents who are unable to regulate their own emotions are not able to attune with and regulate the emotions of their babies. Likewise, parents who are insecurely attached will unintentionally pass their insecure attachment styles on to their children. Even a very responsible and well intentioned parent, if insecurely attached, will lack the coherence needed to bring about a solid and secure self structure in his or her child. In addition, when infants and small children experience early trauma or neglect without the support of attuned and protective caretakers, they are unable to integrate segments of their experience. Without a coherent autobiographical narrative, these individuals will grow up without a solid sense of self. The resulting fragmentation may later be diagnosed Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) or Dissociative Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (DDNOS).
Lifespan Integration therapy can be used to help a client to build a more solid self-structure and to learn to regulate emotion. Unlike talk therapy, which involves mostly the left brain hemispheres of both client and therapist, Lifespan Integration is body based. When LI is done correctly there is an exchange of energy and information between the right brain hemispheres and body-minds of therapist and client. During Lifespan Integration Birth to Present protocol, this exchange is designed to replicate and replace the exchange which should have happened for the client within the mother-infant dyad from the moment of birth. New, positive feeling states are generated in the client-therapist dyad, and then integrated as the client views his life from infancy to the present. A right brain to right brain connection is maintained between client and therapist throughout this re-parenting work. The success of this re-wiring depends on the internal coherence of the administering therapist in the same way that the attachment style of an infant is determined by the mother s ability to attune to her child and to self-regulate.
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.