Stephanie Livingston–Psychologist

Archive for January, 2009

Peak Performance Training

by on Jan.02, 2009, under Brochures

Exceeding Limits/Living Ahead

ELA is a division of Biopsychtech of Chicago, Ltd. and offers services specifically targeting individuals, companies, and teams who want to enhance their performance. ELA helps these individuals to exceed the limits of their raw talent, technical, and physical skill by giving them the tools to live ahead of the curve.


Some services are covered by insurance and some are fee for service.


*regulation of emotion and intensity is key to peak performance.

*anger, frustration, anxiety & fear can cause changes in blood pressure, respiration rate, peripheral temperature, heart rhythm/rate

*erratic heart rhythms block our ability to think clearly

*em Wave® is a monitoring tool that can facilitate changes in heart rhythm coherence

*mental skills training can improve performance through mind/body synchrony

Biopsychtech of Chicago, Ltd

333 N Michigan Ave, Ste 1801

Chicago, IL 60601

16233 S Wausau

South Holland, IL  60473

8865 W 400 North Ste 135

Michigan City, IN  46360

Phone (312) 907-3644

Fax (219) 879-2525

RAISE YOUR GAME! Peak performance training

the mind is the new frontier

free your mind

Learn how to use proven psychological principles and cutting edge technology to enhance your level of performance anytime, anywhere, without medication.

How to raise your game

Peak Performance Training (PPT) is a program designed to help you improve your level of performance by facilitating mind/body synchrony. If you are trying to take your game to another level, PPT may be for you. Studies have shown that stress can interfere with the body’s ability to relax, the mind’s ability to make good decisions, and one’s ability to manage his/her emotions. Whether you are making a shot, performing on stage, having difficulty focusing on a task, taking a test, making an executive decision or trying to lower your blood pressure, getting into “the zone” is beneficial.


The zone is playing without thinking. When one is in the zone there is complete mind/body synchrony. The zone is the state of consciousness where your higher motor faculties and intuition merge in liquid coordination.







*Mental Skills Training

*Behavioral Conditioning

*Heart rate variability (HRV) feedback measured by em Wave® by HeartMath®

*Relaxation techniques


*athletes, teams, coaches

*business (decision making, stress)

*patients (pain/blood pressure)

*students (ADD/ADHD, test anxiety)

*anyone who wants to improve performance or quality of life

what are the benefits?

*changes in anatomy & physiology

*improved cognitive clarity

*improved eye hand coordination

*established routines versus rituals

*mind/body synchrony

*emotional/intensity regulation

*better decision making under pressure

*coping with winning, losing, & injury

heartmath® facts

HeartMath and em Wave® PC provide a system of tools and techniques that are based on 15 years of scientific research on the psychophysiology of stress and emotions and the interaction between the heart and the brain. In general emotional stress creates erratic heart rhythm patterns, that in turn affects the body’s ability to function properly. Heart rate variability (HRV) coherence training systems have been used effectively to improve performance anxiety in the areas such as, but not limited to Sports/Entertainment Business , Health, and Education. Moving from chaos to coherence by learning to control HRV in real time, with the use of cutting edge technology is the goal of HeartMath strategies..

Tiger Woods comment: In an interview with Jimmy Roberts of NBC Sports, Tiger Woods was quoted in part as saying:, “the guys who are really controlling their emotions are going to win.”

other services

*individual, couples, group psychotherapy

*psychological testing




Call 312 907-3644

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Pain–Is It All in Your Head?

by on Jan.02, 2009, under Articles



Stephanie L. Livingston, PhD




Pain is the most common presenting complaint by patients to their physicians and pain medications are the second most prescribed drug.  The direct and indirect costs for the treatment of pain is staggering.  These costs include surgeries, loss of job, absenteeism, pain treatment (medical and psychological), legal implications, and the impact on families.  Despite the costs and the fact that the concept of pain is better understood than a decade ago, the assessment and treatment of chronic pain is complex. One of the reasons for this complexity is the fact that pain is a subjective experience.  One can only make inferences about another’s experience of pain, by looking at “pain behaviors”.  Talking about the pain, walking with a limp, taking pain medication, being irritable, or grimacing are all examples of how one might demonstrate their experience of pain.  Consequently, a multidisciplinary approach to the treatment of chronic pain is needed and  includes the expertise of physicians, psychologists, physical therapists, and occupational therapists. Each healthcare professional offers a unique perspective in understanding chronic pain.


Many people do not realize that acute pain and chronic pain (six months or greater) are very different experiences.  Acute pain is typically thought of as a signal that something is wrong in the body and once the injury goes through a healing process, the pain disappears.  This is not the case with chronic pain.  Some people have had pain for many years, long after the original injury has resolved physically.  At this point, there are many factors which influence one’s experience of pain. From a Biopsychosocial perspective these factors include biological, psychological, and social/environmental  aspects.  Pain tolerance, genetic predisposition, and medication effects are examples of biological factors.  Depression, anxiety, stress, and anger are psychological factors.  Weather, exposure to toxins, work or family situations address social and environmental factors that influence chronic pain. 


Melzack and Wall, early pioneers in the area of the pain, introduced the idea of acute (ie, sensation) versus chronic (ie, perception) pain in their Gate Control Theory of Pain in 1965.  This theory attempts to explain the interaction of multiple factors in the production of the sensory and emotional experience of pain.  Some stimuli “open the gate” or increase one’s perception of pain and some stimuli “close the gate” or decrease one’s perception of pain.    The latter suggests subjectivity, meaning that how the person experiences the pain will depend upon whether or not the “gate” is open or closed. Examples of things that open the gate are sedentary lifestyle, negative mood states, low pain tolerance, and stress.  Examples of things that close the gate are medication, exercise, positive emotional states, relaxation, hypnosis, distraction and biofeedback, to name a few.  Therefore, many pain programs incorporate ways of closing the gate into their pain management strategies.  These treatment approaches might include, but are not limited to surgery, injections, medication, psychotherapy/psychoeducaction, physical therapy and occupational therapy.  In the case of surgeries for the management of pain, psychological assessment is a critical element in evaluating the prognosis for outcome after surgery (eg, compliance with treatment recommendations, making lifestyle changes).  Although psychological approaches are helpful in understanding pain, none can actually identify whether the pain is organic or psychogenic.


So, is the pain all in your head?  In many respects the answer is yes.  Not because the pain is not real, but because psychological factors, that originate in the mind can  play a role in one’s pain perception.  By learning to control psychological aspects of pain, the pain may be managed better.  If you have chronic pain and are having difficulty managing it, consider seeing a psychologist who specializes in pain management, in conjunction with your treating physician.


Stephanie Livingston, PhD is a licensed psychologist practicing at the Woodland Pain Clinic. Call 312 907-3644 for an appointment.

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