Monica Hu’s “Lifespan Integration Efficacy” research study

Below is the abstract of Monica Hu’s “Lifespan Integration Efficacy” research study which she did for her Master’s thesis at Trinity Western University in Vancouver, B. C., Canada.   The data collection period spanned from January, 2014 through May, 2014 and included pre-therapy, per-session therapy, and one-month post-therapy follow-up data collection points. This data has been written up in Monica Hu’s Masters thesis, supervised by Dr. Janelle Kwee.  This thesis was successfully defended in September, 2014.  Monica Hu and Dr. Janelle Kwee are presently working on an article about Monica’s results which we hope to see published in one of the top-tier peer-reviewed professional journals.  Until then we are not able to discuss the results other than to let you know they were quite positive.

ABSTRACT

Attachment theory, neuroscience research and interpersonal neurobiology have much to say about the etiology and dynamics of chronic and enduring symptoms of psychological distress that are related to complex or developmental trauma or neglect.  As multidisciplinary research has advanced understanding of the profound impact early primary relationships and experiences can have on an individual’s entire lifespan, so have these advances influenced psychotherapeutic approaches.  Lifespan Integration (LI) therapy was developed by Peggy Pace (2003/2012) through years of treating adults with histories of childhood abuse and trauma.  Since 2003 over one thousand clinicians have been trained in LI worldwide and growing anecdotal reports of success call for research.  Three advanced LI therapists were recruited to work with one participant each over a three-month period in the naturalistic settings of their private practices. The three participants in this study ranged in age (approximately 20, 40, and 60).  Each came to therapy with chronic and/or enduring issues that had links to histories of childhood abuse and trauma.  A mixed-method, pragmatic, adjudicated case study research design (Hermeneutic Single Case Efficacy Design, HSCED, Elliott, 2001, 2002) was expanded to accommodate three cases and chosen as best fit for investigating two research questions.  The first research question investigated the efficacy of LI with representatives of this population.  The second question was to investigate whether and how LI protocols and treatment goals would be linked with evidence of treatment efficacy and what this evidence would then say about the underlying theory.  The results indicate that each of the three participants experienced significant clinical change in the issues that brought them to therapy.  The data collected also indicate a strong alignment between LI’s treatment goals and methods and the underlying theory, which supports the claim that LI works to foster integration (Siegel, 1999/2012), coherence, and other markers associated with secure attachment, higher functioning, and mental health.  Implications and contributions to clinical understanding and practice as well as future directions for research are discussed.

 

Keywords: Lifespan Integration Therapy (LI); Attachment Theory; Interpersonal Neurobiology; Integration; Complex Trauma; Hermeneutic Single Case Efficacy Design (HSCED)