The Origins of LCT
Life Centered Therapy draws from the four historical traditions in psychology plus an emerging fifth tradition. It pulls from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy that people have beliefs that on a deeper level they know are limiting and untrue, and that transforming these beliefs, and the behavior that results from them, transforms people’s lives. Like cognitive behavioral therapy and Positive Psychology, it recognizes our personal sense of agency, with all of the responsibility and accountability this implies.
From the Psychodynamic/Archetypal world, it draws the idea that the inability to resolve conflicting forces leads to difficulty and that the uncovering of the roots of the conflict leads to greater psychological wellbeing. It draws from Psychoanalysis, Depth Psychology and the Enneagram that people experience life through the lens of very rich and comprehensive archetypal stories and when one becomes aware of and in different relationship with these stories, people are freer. From Post Modern Narrative Therapies, it draws the idea that we are embedded in these stories, and if we could externalize the problems inherent in them and experience them as opportunities to resolve problems, as opposed to them being statements of who we are, shifts can occur.
From the Psycho-spiritual/Transpersonal world, it opens us to the realization that we are evolving souls, and there is greater meaning to what happens to us as human beings. From Humanistic Psychology, it deeply acknowledges the ascendency of each person’s existential, subjective experience. From Transpersonal Psychology, it recognizes the existence of a multidimensional world. From Buddhist Psychology, we gain the concept of mindfulness, awareness, allowing and self acceptance in the service of the ultimate transmutation of self. From many traditions, we realize there are three fundamental problems for human beings: craving, fear and overwhelm. The resolution of these problems opens us to the possibilities of loving relationship, the wisdom of understanding, and action based in true presence.
Like Systemic Theory, it recognizes the importance of context and the mutually influencing interconnectedness of all of life. Problems are ultimately only solvable when you consider all that could possibly impact them, both directly and indirectly. The problem’s impact also needs to be considered.
There is an emerging tradition that incorporates recent advances in trauma and body-centered therapies and energy psychology. From the advances in Trauma Therapy, it acknowledges the powerful ideas of post traumatic stress and the profound anxiety and stuckness that occur when we are unable to integrate experience. From Body-centered Psychotherapy, it opens to the realization that it is far more powerful to experience life in its immediacy instead of just reflecting on and talking about it. From Energy Psychology, we garner the provocative idea that acupressure can release traumatic blocks, as can crossing midlines (think EMDR) and that working with chakras and fields can improve our sense of presence and wellbeing.
We can see that Life Centered Therapy incorporates and synthesizes concepts and contributions from many different approaches. What distinguishes it from other therapeutic modalities is that it integrates these into an inclusive holistic framework where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.