Peggy Pace is a contemporary marriage and family therapist who developed Lifespan Integration to treat childhood trauma.
Peggy Pace graduated from the University of Washington in 1969 with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry. She eventually returned to school and achieved her master’s in counseling psychology in 1985 from Antioch University.
Pace has spent much of her career counseling individuals who suffer from symptoms of childhood trauma. In 2002, she developed the Lifespan integration technique. This technique, which integrates the body and mind through imagination and visualization, allows a person to address various ego states from specific points in time in order to work most expeditiously and effectively with the emotions related to the trauma.
Pace published her book, Lifespan Integration: Connecting Ego States through Time, in 2003. She provides training in Lifespan Integration and maintains a private practice in Cle Elum, Washington.
Contribution to Psychology
Pace developed Lifespan Integration (LI) as a therapeutic process to help adult survivors of childhood trauma, and the approach specifically addresses neglect and abuse. Pace realized, after years of working with this segment of the population, that LI techniques often resulted in a rapid decrease in symptoms. The technique relies on the body’s own ability to heal itself through somatic and psychological means.
Pace contends that trauma can create a level of psychological immaturity for survivors, and LI teaches clients how to react in more age-appropriate and mature ways to circumstances in their lives. Pace believes that early childhood trauma can cause people to respond to specific stimuli, called triggers, in patterned, programmed ways and that traditional psychotherapy can re-trigger childhood trauma, as memories of abuse bubble to the surface. LI aims, instead, to help people re-pattern their behavior and adopt new perspectives on childhood abuse. The ultimate goal is to rewire the brain to enable clients to integrate past experiences into their current self-conception.
Lifespan Integration is a body-based therapy that guides clients through a visual timeline of their lives, focusing on specific memories. This process elicits unconscious memories that provide the client and therapist the opportunity to relate specific emotional states to individual memories. By seeing life from this perspective, a client is able to clearly identify behavior patterns that have developed as a result of specific traumas and begin to make changes to those patterns.