Dr David Helfand PsyD
Specializing In Couples Therapy Retreats
Co Owner of LifeWise
I have helped hundreds of couples from newlyweds to empty nesters learn how to live a happy and peaceful life. I am often told that my approach is simple yet powerful, and that clients are so thankful to finally have some professional guidance that will help them achieve their goals.
Dr David Helfand
Expert In Couples Therapy & Marriage Retreats
Your Expert Is Here
I use my training in neuroscience, clinical psychology, and mindfulness to help every client and couple work towards experiencing a happy, peaceful, and fulfilling life. I believe that positive change is possible and also achievable much more quickly than most people realize. I have helped many couples and individuals get on a healthier path for their future.
Dr David Helfand specializes in a variety of treatments and services for both individuals, couples, and families.
Couples Therapy Retreats
If you want to improve your relationship in the most efficient and effective way possible, consider booking a marriage retreat.
Have you ever wondered what is happening inside your head? Consider getting a multipoint inspection of your brain’s performance to assess your strengths and weaknesses.
Neurofeedback is like physical therapy for your brain. Using advanced brain wave (EEG) technology, you can learn how to train your mind.
Dr H's Full Story
Meaning & Purpose
I became fascinated with the brain when I was in high school. My parents had a simple biofeedback machine from when my dad used to own a group psychotherapy practice, and I remember sitting down on their beige couch in front of the wood stove one day thinking, “I wonder if this thing really works?” I struggled with anxiety and some sleep issues as a teenager, so I figured it was worth a try. After attaching the system to my finger and practicing the deep breathing exercises, I woke up about an hour later and concluded it really did work. I had to learn more.
Like almost every adult, I have had bouts of anxiety, depression, insomnia, and questions around my identity and purpose in life. 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, and I found most school work easy or boring.
After an illuminating experience with my parents’ biofeedback machine, 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 started to read books about meditation, which eventually led to completing a certification in Kripalu Yoga. After finishing my bachelors in Psychology, I then went on to get a certification in Neurofeedback before completing a doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology. I practiced neurofeedback for several years before I started to realize another truth: sometimes the solution is not within the individual.
The Neuroscience Behind Couples Therapy
Our nervous systems have evolved to serve mainly one purpose: keep us alive. Unfortunately, the threats that we encounter in our world today have changed faster than our systems have adapted. I remember struggling to identify the root cause of a client’s depression years ago. I finally started asking questions about her life outside the typical health history. We eventually started talking about her marriage and how unhappy she was. It seems so obvious now, but it struck me hard at the time. Of course she wasn’t happy. Her spouse was about to retire and she couldn’t stand him! That was the first time I realized that our nervous systems are sometimes a mirror of our social and physical environment. She was suppressing emotions about her marriage which was leading to a depression.
We invited her husband into a few sessions, and he was a perfectly nice guy. However, they had lost the spark between them. I asked if they would be open to working on rekindling their marriage. They both agreed. After a few months, the life came back into her eyes, her skin glowed, and he even talked about how much more optimistic he was about their years ahead. I would hear this kind of story over and over as I started to work with more couples. I realized that I had been so focused on the brain at the center of disease and wellness that I had completely missed what was influencing the brain outside the individual. My passion for helping couples began then… and it grew into something even more.
Sex, Intimacy, And Marriage
I was married in 2014, and my wife and I started to grow our family a couple of years later. Until that time, sex, intimacy, and the concept of marriage were an abstract theory that I had studied and felt some minor amount of mastery on the topic. Once I began to experience it first person, I realized the true power that lies within a healthy marriage.
My wife and I are our best supports. Our marriage has helped to heal each of our past wounds, to make an insecure boy within a man mature and feel empowered, and to create a solid foundation for our future. It’s almost difficult to put into words how powerful that connection has been, and so it has been my mission ever since to help those that enter my office experience the same benefits, healing, and vision for their future that I have been granted in this life as well.
Why Couples Retreats?
Sometimes a jump start is better than a trickle of change. It takes the average person about 10 minutes of conscious effort for their nervous system to really relax. This means that within a 45-minute therapy session, you might only get 20-30 minutes of deep emotional connection. I started to notice a wall with these traditional weekly sessions and the limitations that it placed on a couples ability to get vulnerable and truly express themselves. After a few retreats with couples, I saw the immense power this method offered, and how I was able to use my combined knowledge of neuroscience, clinical psychology, and couples therapy to really create a lasting impact. This has been the most rewarding stage of my professional life so far. The opportunity to meld my professional studies and lived experience in a manner that promotes a happy life for the couple and their family has been absolutely amazing. I feel grateful and honored that so many people have trusted me to support them on their path towards happiness, and I look forward to continuously evolving and growing for the benefit of those that seek to grow too.