I am delighted to be able to now offer my clients Lifespan Integration which I have added to my tool bag. This blog explains this new cutting edge approach.
Helping you move on from childhood and adult issues to create lasting change
What is Lifespan Integration?
Lifespan Integration (LI) is a relatively new but extremely powerful technique that uses the innate ability of the mind to heal itself. Guided by a trained therapist, clients revisit past memories that are causing them problems today and bring into the past whatever is needed to resolve these memories, effectively rewriting the experience of them.
LI works on a deep neural level to change negative and emotional behavioural responses to a particular memory trigger. This ‘healing’ occurs at a much deeper level than is possible with traditional talking therapies, which is why LI is able to achieve lasting and profound change.
” In more than forty years as a therapist, I have never come across a therapeutic method like Lifespan Integration that heals the pain and suffering of so many clients.”
Steven A Maybell Ph.D, Seattle Pacific University
How does it work?
As a therapist, I know that some adults who experienced abuse or neglect during childhood – or a trauma experienced in adulthood – can spend years in therapy talking about their difficulties, yet still have trouble moving beyond them. This is because people who were traumatised while their neural systems were developing become hard-wired to interpret events in a negative way. As a result, despite being outwardly successful, they often have a poor self-image, an ongoing internal dialogue of negative thoughts and chronic anxiety or depression.
Talking therapies can help clients understand why they have certain coping strategies and why they react in ways that are counterproductive, but are often unable to change these behaviours. In contrast, Lifespan Integration therapy bypasses the language centres of the brain to work on actual memories and neural networks. LI is a gentle approach that provides resolution to early triggers and trauma by helping people make a connection between unpleasant feelings and dysfunctional patterns of behaviour they may have and memories of past events from which these feelings and coping strategies originated.
Reimagining the past to heal old wounds
When a traumatic event occurs that overwhelms our emotional system, our neural networks become programmed to respond to all subsequent experiences that mimic the original traumatic memory as a form of protection against it damaging us again. The LI therapist works in the areas of the right brain that hold the memories and programming from our past experiences to prove to the client’s body-mind system that the difficulty has passed and they are no longer in danger. The walls of protection that were erected are not needed anymore.
We learn only 20% of what we hear but 80% of what we experience
As a first step, before the LI session I ask clients to prepare, with my guidance, a timeline of significant events in their lives from their earliest memory to the present day, for us to review together. This should focus particularly on the sensory aspects of each memory – what they can feel, smell, touch and taste – to make each experience vivid and real, which activates neural pathways in the brain. Each memory is briefly revisited, like the tip of an iceberg, preventing the client from being immersed in the memory.
During Lifespan Integration clients create and watch a slideshow of their lives
During the LI session, I then take the client visually through their own personal timeline in such a way that their mind views a sequence of scenes, many of which are in some way related to their current problem. This is essentially a slideshow of their life. By repeatedly viewing this sequence in their head, the client recognises that they have survived the negative experiences of the past.
LI therapy heals deeply without re-traumatising
Once these painful memories are resolved, the original neural networks can do their job without engaging the protective fight or flight response of the nervous system. It’s very much like restoring your computer’s efficiency by removing a virus that interfered with its original programming.
After sessions of LI, clients have stated that they view life more positively and have greater self-acceptance or feel calmer. The negative charge from the issue that they brought has gone.
“I came to Claire feeling very anxious most days and always feeling in quite a low mood. After doing a lifespan integration session that is when there was a turning point for me. I felt a weight lifted off my shoulders and my anxiety disappeared. Every day I have felt better and better and have no more low moods.”
What difficulties can it treat?
Clients have seen striking results when LI has been used to treat problems such as:
Anxiety Birth trauma Early attachment issues Family conflict Grief, loss and depression Low self-esteem Neglect Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Relationship issues Trauma on any scale
LI is not a suitable treatment for all clients but in the right circumstances it has been shown to heal deeply without re-traumatising. If you’d like to discuss whether it could help you, contact Claire Pierce in complete confidence on 07957 418 985 or email.
 Source: William Glasser, Psychiatrist
Around the globe on March 8th International Women’s Day will celebrate the achievements of women socially, economically, culturally and politically. This is a special day as it is a time to reflect on the progress made by women, to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities, and to call for more change for women who still do not have the same opportunities and rights as us in the UK.
Every year International Women’s Day grows in strength and is now an official holiday in some countries. Since 1975, when it was designated as an International Women’s Year by the United Nations, women’s organisations and groups have organised events to honour women’s advancements.
I shall be holding such an event at the beautiful Niland Centre in Bushey on Saturday 12th March at 2.00pm – 5.30pm. My intention is to celebrate and honour women for International Women’s Day by reflecting on the inspirational women who have influenced us; that could be anyone from our Grandma to somebody like Emily Pankhurst who enabled women to get the vote.
Are you interested in joining an inspirational afternoon that celebrates women? We will reflect on all the positive things about being a woman, we will share our own experiences and pearls of wisdom which may have been passed down from our ancestors through the generations, and also listen to a guest speaker who will be talking to us about some courageous women. It will be important also to remember the women who are still discriminated against, who are still subject to violence, trafficking, sexual and other types of exploitation.
Do get in touch with me if you would like to book a place on this special afternoon.
Only £34 for participation, inclusive of refreshments.
We all know this is the season to be jolly. Buying presents for our loved ones, decorating the house, seeing friends, drinking copious glasses of mulled wine and eating far too many delicious mince pies! This is the time of year when there is an expectation that everyone should feel merry and generous.
However for some of us, rather than a season of being jolly, this is a time when ‘the blues’ kick in. Quite unexpectedly, the thought of the Christmas season brings nothing but stress, sadness and even depression for many. There are several reasons why this can happen:
Finances – the thought of not having enough money to buy gifts can lead to guilt and sadness or, alternatively, the stress of having to incur debt which you are worried about paying off.
Loneliness – when others are with their families it can be very painful for those who are alone. Missing a deceased loved one can be felt even more keenly at this time when celebrations are all around us.
Divorce – for someone newly divorced, the holidays may bring back memories of happier times and thus make grief worse.
Stress – the expectation of coping with everything in time for Christmas. Shopping and planning meals when you are still working and in need of a restful holiday can feel like an overwhelming burden.
SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) – added to all of this are the blues often felt during shorter, gloomier days and dark evenings when all you feel like doing is hibernating!
However resilient you are, at this time of year even little worries can seem so much bigger and harder to cope with. However, there are measures you can take to help with the holiday blues:
Don’t be tempted to buy things you can’t afford. Instead of struggling to buy gifts that will strain your budget, let your loved ones know how much you care with a few kind words and perhaps a thoughtful but inexpensive gift.
Avoid loneliness. Reach out to others who may also be spending Christmas alone or volunteer to help those in need, which can be very uplifting and gratifying. More importantly, never be afraid to grieve. It is better to let yourself experience your emotions fully and, then when you are ready, plan something nice for yourself and socialise.
Make plans in advance as putting off decisions can make things even more stressful. Remember it’s the being together and goodwill that matters, not having to achieve perfection all the time.
Get back to nature – When all the hustle and bustle gets too much it can help to take time out and visit a local beauty spot or neighbourhood park where the beauty of nature surrounding you can often help put problems in perspective. If you’re lucky enough to have a dog, escape family tensions and chores by taking him or her out for a walk (and if you don’t have one ask a friend or dog-owning neighbour who may well be glad of the helping hand at this time of year!)
Remember to look after yourself too – catch up on sleep, eat well and healthily and try to make time to take a break from chores and do something you enjoy occasionally to ‘reward’ yourself for your hard work during the year. It’s true that we are often our own worst critics: be kind to yourself.
Of course, there are times when no amount of advice can help. Feelings of sadness, worthlessness or guilt, crying, loss of interest in usual activities, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, irritability, social withdrawal and changes in sleep, weight or appetite can be signs of more than just the ‘Christmas blues’. If these symptoms are severe or continue beyond the Christmas period, seek professional help.
Lastly, I will end by wishing you a wonderful new year, full of the good things you wish for yourselves and your loved ones. Do get in touch if you are ready to make changes in your life and would like support on the journey.
You can contact me by emailing or calling 07957 418 985.
Are you due an Emotional Detox?
Don’t just detox your body – clean out your mind as well!
Spring is finally here – the time of year when people often embark on a detoxification programme to cleanse their body of all sorts of impurities that have been accumulating after the months of winter indulgence. I am always amazed by those who go to such lengths to fast, juice and eliminate certain foods and drinks and stick to strict regimes to improve their physical health.
I admire those who have the discipline to achieve such things but haven’t the carrot munchers forgotten something – what about the body and mind link? Surely if our bodies deserve that sense of lightness and purification, our minds do too. Think of the extra energy to be gained from eliminating those negative feelings of inadequacy, anger, resentment and insecurity, which stress us out and drain our resources!
The question is what lengths will we go to in our attempts to detoxify and find that greater sense of wholeness? I suggest you cannot feel truly light if you are suppressing anger or fear, however much you fast or juice. What is overlooked is how the psyche can become polluted with toxic thoughts. Certain emotions which have been suppressed can be exhausting, for example anger. This typically can be seen in people who are depressed – often their anger is turned in on themselves leaving them exhausted and lacking any zest for life.
So at the very time many of us are spring cleaning our homes, we also need to think about spring cleaning our psyches. If we do not do this then unresolved emotions could start to manifest as illness. (Louise Hay, the self-help author, explains in her book ‘You can heal your life’ how each symptom is linked to a specific unresolved emotion).
We need to face up to those emotions that might be getting in the way of living a more fulfilled life. So what stops us?
Many of us suppress emotions and fears, using a great deal of energy to do so. One of the most common toxic beliefs underlying all others is “I am not good enough”. This can be too painful to think about or feel so we go out of our way to avoid thinking the thought and feeling the feeling.
For instance if we feel we are not good enough because we have been told (usually in childhood) that we are inadequate, lazy, ugly or stupid, then we will do our best to compensate. But however much we try harder, achieve more, overwork, diet, beautify, resort to plastic surgery and act selflessly – or however successful we become – we still feel, deep down inside, that we are not good enough.
We may try to numb our feelings of inadequacy with food, alcohol, drugs, cigarettes, sugar, sex or workaholism and by isolating ourselves. We may even blame and punish others as a way of avoiding the pain of our perceived inadequacy. But the problem does not go away. This problem is lack of unconditional love, approval and acceptance for the core self. People often know this deep down but simply do not how to love themselves.
Healing starts with finding the unconditional self
We heal by getting in touch with, confronting and letting go of the toxic belief that we are imperfect and the emotional pain it causes. We learn to appreciate and accept and value who we are, just as we would a newborn, a beautiful flower, or a sunset because each is perfect as it is. It does not have to have to do anything or achieve anything to be lovable – and nor do we. Through self-acceptance at such a fundamental level, life stops being distorted by the constant effort to make up for deficiencies.
The ultimate purpose of an Emotional Detox is to free people of the belief and emotions surrounding not being good enough and help them learn how to unconditionally love who they are instead of the person they are trying to become.
Out of unconditional love, acceptance and approval of the self, actions, life choices, goals, achievements and successes grow from wholeness, instead of the fear of not being good enough. The result is an entirely different feeling or energy that naturally attracts love from others. Invariably, confidence to explore new directions or goals and greater creativity emerge. They come from our authenticity instead of an attempt to make up for any perceived shortcomings. Individuals begin to be able to accept compliments without feeling unworthy or fraudulent. They feel more real.
As a result of living a life built on unconditional self love we attract (and are attracted to) healthier relationships and more favorable circumstances in our professional and personal lives. This is because wholeness attracts wholeness whereas fear, especially hidden fear of our inadequacy, attracts fearful abusive, controlling people and inharmonious situations time and time again.
When we value and approve of ourselves we expect to be treated well and stop accepting or putting up with mistreatment from others. We are empowered to confront or move away from unpleasantness and antagonistic people simply stop treating us badly because our energy and dynamic has changed.
My Emotional Detox Programme includes a process of inner parenting, which involves discovering what the individual wants and needs in terms of nurturing, unconditional love, security and protection. I work with clients in my practice to help individuals find these qualities within themselves so all their relationships become healthier.
During Emotional Detox sessions people release suppressed emotions like fear, hurt, anger, guilt, worthlessness, inadequacy. When we face up to the different parts of ourselves we free up much repressed energy which can be used to allow more energy and creativity in our lives. The result is a feeling of lightness and renewed energy.
So perhaps next time when you reach for the celery sticks you could also consider emotionally detoxifying too. If you desire greater energy, creativity, balance, peace and meaning in your life then please call me on 07957 418 985 or email.
Wishing you a bright new year
The dawn of a new year is traditionally a time when we take stock of our lives and resolve to do things differently. Whether it’s spending more time with our children, cutting back on unhealthy foods, giving up alcohol or learning a new skill, that’s the sentiment behind our New Year resolutions.
As we let go of the old year we move towards a new cycle that offers the tantalising prospect of new beginnings, limitless possibilities and the hope that the next twelve months will be better than those that have gone before. While there is no single ‘right time’ to evaluate your life, the symbolism attached to a new year makes it the ideal opportunity to pause and consider what is important in our lives and also think about aspects that aren’t working well.
If you’re struggling with unresolved issues that are preventing you enjoying life to the full now is an opportune time to address them. Perhaps you are struggling with relationship difficulties, lack confidence and self-esteem, or want to take active steps to recover from an abusive past. You may be facing health issues or experiencing a mid-life crisis that raises life’s big questions such as, “What gives me meaning and purpose? What do I want to be remembered for?”
As a qualified, experienced counsellor who has helped numerous people through a variety of difficulties, my wish this year is that instead of simply treading water we start living how we want to live. This means stopping the things we do that don’t feel right for us or that we do solely to please others. Although this may sound incredibly selfish, actually it is not. We transmit our mood to those around us and if we feel miserable and depressed, that is what we will pass on. Conversely, if we are happy and fulfilled, this is what will spread to those around us. In other words, we can literally spread good cheer.
The inspirational author Marianne Williamson expresses this sentiment well when she says: “We ask ourselves, ‘who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be?… Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do…And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.”
So if you’ve been putting off tackling something that’s troubling you, make 2014 the year you finally resolve to deal with it. Life should be fully lived every second of the day – it is simply too precious to waste.
I wish you a wonderful new year full of the good things you wish for yourselves and your loved ones. Do get in touch if you are ready to make changes in your life and would like support on the journey. You can contact me by emailing or calling 07957 418 985.