During more than a decade of professional service, Dr David Helfand (or Dr H) has helped hundreds of people create a happier marriage and a more fulfilled life through short-term therapy solutions.
He has been interviewed by multiple news organizations about his specialties in neuroscience, clinical psychology, mindfulness, and sex and intimacy. He specializes in private couples therapy retreats, neurofeedback, and brain mapping, and his couples workbook will be published later this year.
My parents have always been successful entrepreneurs and therapists, so it isn’t surprising that I followed a similar path. In fact, they own the number one marriage retreat center in the United States where they continue to offer support to couples in crisis.
I became fascinated with the brain early in high school, so as graduation approached I knew I wanted to continue study the human mind. I graduated from the University of Vermont in 2009 with a Bachelors of Arts degree in Psychology and Philosophy.
It was time for a change after college. I grew up in Vermont, and then attended the local university, so I moved to Boston where my sister was located at the time.
I was a social worker through college, so it was easy to get a job in Boston where there is such a high need. I worked as a Therapeutic Mentor doing house visits for families. During this time, I became certified in Kripalu Yoga and started a yoga business called “Conscious Being Yoga.” I taught at corporate events, private residences, and even ran yoga retreats in people’s homes.
I realized that I would need more education to pursue my dreams, so after a year in social work it was time to move on. I was accepted to William James College where studied clinical psychology, health psychology, and began working as a neurofeedback technician at a local office.
I received my doctoral degree in 2015, finished my post doc training in 2016, and then founded LifeWise in 2017. I always knew that I would own my business. I have a vision for what people truly need to help them heal, and unfortunately I have discovered that our modern medical system does not usually share that vision.
I currently run LifeWise with my wife Anna, and I look forward to seeing the practice grow in the coming years.
Like almost every adult, I had bouts of anxiety, depression, insomnia, and questions around my identity and purpose in life when I was younger. I was generally able to create an illusion from the outside that everything was okay.
On the inside however, my emotional world was often in turmoil. I struggled to have close friendships, was unsure of myself in romantic relationships, but I found most school work easy or boring. I was lucky that my intellect was strong enough so that my emotional intelligence could have time to grow.
I began to study personal wellness and read books on meditation, yoga, biofeedback, and general self help philosophies. At some point in high school, I started to form a hypothesis that would be driving force behind my future studies: If you can learn to reprogram your brain, most suffering can be alleviated.
I tested this theory on myself and quickly found that it was mostly true for one exception. I realized that the people around us have a profound impact on our wellbeing, and while you can modulate your inner-world by training your mind, it is also important to learn how to manage your social circle.
I met my wife in 2012, and we were instantly inseparable. I credit her for doing to my emotional wellness what meditation and neurofeedback had done to my intellect. She gave me permission to authentically just be me, and she continues to be a source of great inspiration to this day.
As a father and husband, I can look back and see how all the parts of my journey are interconnected. From studying the brain to experiencing loving relationships, I feel fortunate to be able to teach other’s how to live their life to their full potential while working to authentically identify and express themselves in this world.
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