The iconic scholar and one of the founders of psychoanalysis, Carl Jung, once said, “I am not what happened to me. I am what I choose to become.” In this statement, Jung empowers people to move beyond the wreckage of their past and frees them to potentially live a life unencumbered by debilitating traumas. Of course, for many people struggling with severe childhood trauma, this is easier said than done. For these individuals, lifespan integration therapy can help.
Lifespan integration therapy is a newer psychotherapy that can be highly beneficial for treating adolescent mental health issues. Initially used for an adult population, this therapy has now been shown to be highly beneficial for teenagers who have experienced childhood trauma.
Many students who come to us are experiencing emotional distress and behavioral disruption. Often, students struggle to identify the source of these emotions and behavior. For these students, it is crucial that the root causes of these mental health issues are identified and addressed. Through lifespan integration therapy, these issues are addressed. If a student’s problems are trauma-based, these issues are approached compassionately and empathetically. Then the therapists work to create real-life solutions for mitigating the trauma’s effects.
Understanding the Basics of Lifespan Integration Therapy
According to the Journal of Child & Adolescent Trauma, “Experts and studies estimate that, in western countries, between 14% and 67% of children experience at least one kind of trauma, and nearly 20% of women and eight percent of men experience sexual abuse as children.” We feel it’s imperative to decrease these statistics. We also know that those suffering traumas are not to be “pitied.” This stance is ineffective; it can often feel belittling. Rather, those suffering from any type of trauma must be empowered.
Many people often automatically equate trauma in children with some form of inappropriate sexual experience. However, this is not the only type of trauma that creates emotional and behavioral problems. It is important to understand this, as this misconception can let trauma go undetected. According to the aforementioned Journal of Child & Adolescent Trauma, “Children worldwide are plagued by both human-made and natural disasters and traumas from the devastating effects of hurricanes, shootings in schools, incest, relational trauma from caregivers, and bullying.”
Lifespan integration therapy is a relatively new form of evidence-based treatment that can help adolescents with all forms of trauma. In this therapy, practitioners utilize a technique that allows people to visualize the narrative of their life to better see and understand the trauma that continues to negatively affect their lives. Once this trauma is better witnessed, the student can begin to piece these traumas together with the negative outcomes they produce. They can then address them and take action to minimize these disruptive outcomes.
The Benefits of Lifespan Integration Therapy
As with any therapy, there is no guarantee of success with lifespan integration therapy. However, available information points to positive outcomes for those who struggle with problems resulting from trauma. The effects of trauma can interrupt every aspect of a person’s daily life. The goal then is to rectify this disruption so the student can begin to put the pieces of their life back together and start to create forward momentum.
Bringing their life back into positive focus via lifespan integration therapy, the student will often begin to experience positive benefits. These benefits include but are not limited to:
- Gaining a better understanding of the hindrances caused by their traumas
- Acquiring a greater level of self-acceptance, self-awareness, and self-satisfaction
- Gaining the ability to repair previously strained relationships
- Being able to better communicate their feelings
- Experiencing reduced levels of stress, anxiety, and depression
- Acquiring a new optimistic attitude toward the future
Incorporating Lifespan Integration Therapy Into a Recovery Plan
Lifespan integration therapy is just one of the reasons Clearview Girls Academy is unique. We have myriad recovery options and opportunities that we utilize to help our students get back on the positive path. Employing these options in an individualized way, we have found that our students begin to embrace a new way of life. They begin focusing on how they can become the leaders of tomorrow.
With an emphasis on academic achievement, behavioral maturation, and spiritual growth, we help our students move forward beyond. They move past their prior experiences and reenter the world with newfound optimism and confidence. Quite frankly, our students experience a positive metamorphosis that many parents thought impossible.
Parents of children struggling with trauma often feel like there is no hope. They can feel as though trauma will hinder their child for the rest of their lives. With lifespan integration therapy, we can show them that this is not the case. To paraphrase Jung, we show them that they are not their past. Rather, they are the bright light that will illuminate the future.
Lifespan integration therapy is a recovery tool that can be helpful for those suffering from repressed childhood traumas. Many times when issues of mental health arise, it can be difficult to find the underlying cause. This is especially true if that cause is encased in repressed trauma. At Clearview Girls Academy, we believe in taking an individualized approach to each of our student’s recovery plans. For those with issues that fit well with lifespan integration therapy, we are proud to have the specialists and resources to offer this healing technique. If you believe your daughter may be having thoughts of self-harm or suicide, don’t wait to get help. For more information, contact Clearview Girls Academy at (888) 796-5484.