The Life Empowerment Center


How we think.

The Life Empowerment Center’s philosophy is the culmination of a life's history, research, insight and perspectives developed by James Ochoa, LPC, influenced and informed by countless sources of inspiration and education. Living as authentically as possible, James Ochoa strives to continue his own evolution in honor of the nature and purpose of TLEC.

Emotional Distress Syndrome

The Emotional Distress Syndrome (EDS), identified and coined by James Ochoa, is the cumulative effect of the neurological processing differences and behavioral challenges associated with ADHD. It’s a chronic state of emotional stress directly related to the struggle to live life with ADHD, a stress that breaks down emotional tolerance, stamina and the ability to maintain a strong sense of well being and spiritual health. The chronic, lifelong nature of ADHD–related stress can increase to such a level that it becomes a syndrome akin to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

As with other ADHD symptoms, there’s good news and bad news, and you have choices to make:

  • It won’t disappear on its own. One way or another, you’ll have to manage your emotional distress for the rest of your life.
  • If you choose not to manage the emotional distress, the EDS will continue to erode your sense of emotional, mental and physical well-being.
  • But don’t despair–the Emotional Distress Syndrome can be navigated.
  • You are not broken.
  • You can live a full, interesting, potential-reaching life.

The Pillars of Self-Esteem and Self-Identity

We believe the foundation of daily living is the two pillars of self-esteem and self-identity. Metaphorically, we stand on these pillars for the strength we need to take risks, and to have confidence and courage to stretch ourselves to reach our potentials. These pillars are underpinned by spirituality defined as how we derive meaning from our lives.

Self-esteem – is the depth a person holds concern, care and love for themselves across all spectrums of their physical, mental, emotional and spiritual lives. It's developed early on by being loved unconditionally by our parents, or those closest to us, and allows us to feel and hold unconditional love in regards to self-acceptance, self-concern, and self-empathy creating a feeling of internal satisfaction.

Self-identity – is unconditional positive regard which a person conveys about the value of their own intelligence, personality, character, viewpoints, opinions, and skills. It's about how well we carry our ability to make a difference in the world, the ability to continue walking in the face of the unknown, knowing our strengths, and accepting our limitations.

Spirituality – is the foundation of self-esteem and self-identity. It helps manage stress when things happen without logical or linear explanation. Defined along the spectrum of the simplest things in life–which provide meaning to our perspective of faith, creating an ever increasing strength, allowing us to find internal peace to grow and thrive.

These pillars of self-esteem and self-identity, with spirituality fully ingrained into the bedrock of our lives, allow us to achieve goals beyond our reach and to manifest potential beyond conception.

Medication, Nutrition and Supplements as treatment

Often, but not always, ADHD is treated with medication. Depending on the severity of their situations, I sometimes advise my clients to seek a medication evaluation from a psychiatrist, particularly if there are complicating factors such as depression or anxiety. I’ve also had clients whose medication was easily managed by a primary care physician. Either way, I think it’s important to understand how meds can, and cannot, help. And by “meds,” I don’t just mean Western prescription drugs, because herbal remedies, naturopathic tinctures, nutritional supplements and exercise have each helped some of my clients over the years, with a success rate about equal to that of traditional prescriptions.

Honoring Your Entire Life History as Your Most Valuable Resource

We get to know you through your life history, through eliciting whatever helps us to untangle the mystery of self-worth. One of the underpinnings of The Life Empowerment Center is this: your entire life history is your most valuable resource. It’s your unique repository of experience, strength, knowledge and wisdom.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

EMDR Therapy, developed by Francine Shapiro, Ph.D., was originally designed to help heal instances of trauma—anything from physical assault to recurring, disturbing memories and PTSD. While experimenting with ways to recruit both hemispheres of the brain, Dr. Shapiro directed her subjects to move their eyes back and forth. She discovered that these “eye movements” brought on a calm, relaxed state of mind. Even while mentally relieving traumatic events, her subjects became less anxious, allowing them to revisit or re-process the event from a “safe” perspective. Having processed disturbing memories or traumas, clients often learn how to use EMDR techniques to make positive changes in their lives, calm daily stress and solve problems. In other words, they move from “symptom reduction” into “comprehensive treatment.”

James Ochoa became certified as an EMDR practitioner when he discovered its value as a tool in defusing the Emotional Distress Syndrome of ADHD.