About Alice Vlietstra, Ph.D.

Founder of Lifetree Solutions, Dr. Alice Vlietstra has a vibrant, deep and widely explored background.  She received her Ph.D. in human development and psychology from the University of Kansas. Previously on the faculty of the University of Missouri - St. Louis, she has published a number of research articles in human development.

Because she wanted to contribute more directly to the community, she obtained training and certification for therapeutic and coaching work with individuals and families. Her health-care experience includes over twenty years of work with individuals and families in diverse settings in private practice.

As she became aware of the increasing number of families working together in business, she began to work with the Family Firm Institute where she became a certificate holder as a Family Business Consultant. Coming from a background in human development, Dr. Alice is aware of the fragmenting, impact of old "family baggage." This led to an exhaustive quest for a more effective approach to promote development. The result has been an integrative approach with new tools from Positive Psychology and relationship coaching as well as energy based techniques, all integrated within a broad Map of Consciousness developed by David Hawkins.

The genesis of Lifetree Solutions began with her family of origin. Her original family name meant "evergreen tree," an ancient symbol of hope during darkness and enduring life during all seasons. The family lived up to its name, extending a long Scandinavian agricultural heritage into a third generation of active forestry and agricultural business in this country. The Scandinavians have a word for endurance,"sisu."  Endurance can be a dark marathon, or it can be a journey to greater light. The family consciously chose a meaningful endurance that focused on continuing learning and growth. Today, the business has expanded far beyond forestry and agriculture to the support of satellite businesses of similar values in human development and education.


Saint Louis Confluence

Lifetree Solutions developed from a St. Louis confluence of several converging streams of thought. While the "Show-Me" state is often seen as conservative, it is also very much on the forefront of an emerging consciousness of greater prosperity and world peace. At the confluence of different ecological terrains, three major rivers, this area still carries influence of the ancient spiritual and cultural vortex of the Cahokia mounds. There's an integrative energy in the St. Louis area that cannot be missed.

Lifetree Solutions derives its spiritual inspiration from the major Christian traditions in addition to the influences of new spiritual thought and the intellectual questioning that is so vital in this part of the world. It is based on a broad perspective of evolutionary change and the shift in consciousness needed for planetary survival from the work of Institute of Noetic Sciences,the Gateway for Conscious Evolution, as well as the work on Femine Power.  Added to this is the recent work in Positive Psychology and on the evolutionary shift in relationships, all integrated within a broad "Map of Consciousness" developed by David Hawkins. The scientific combines with the spiritual by using an "Attractor Field Technique", for releasing negative energy. The continuing emergence of this new integrated consciousness is an exciting aspect of our work.

Positive Psychology

What is Positive Psychology?

Many people find themselves dissatisfied after having achieved everything our society identifies as the "good things in life," namely material wealth, good looks, a swanky ride and Italian leather shoes. All of us have an inborn need to be challenged on a higher level, to use our unique strengths to give our lives a sense of meaningful purpose. Martin Seligman, founder of the Positive Psychology movement, calls this "Authentic Happiness."

Positive psychology has helped clarify the challenge of reaching these higher ideals by investigating the strengths and virtues valued across a wide range of cultures. Two leaders in Positive Psychology, Christopher Peterson and Martin Seligman, identified the following essential character strengths:

  • Wisdom and knowledge (curiosity, love of learning, perspective);
  • Courage (valor, perseverance, integrity);
  • Love and kindness;
  • Justice (leadership, fairness, citizenship);
  • Temperance (self-control, humility, prudence);
  • Spirituality and transcendence (appreciation of beauty, hope, zest, forgiveness, and humor).

Everyone has some of these strengths in varying degrees. When we become consciously aware of our unique strengths and engage in activities that use them, we experience joy, enthusiasm, deep involvement, concentration, and flow. When individuals and couples acknowledge the strengths in their relationships, they are challenged to live up to their ideals in small ways in their daily life. These small kindnesses build a buffer of good will against life's trials and help develop of habit of forgiveness for small transgressions. Many small acts lead to something life changing: a much deeper sense of fulfillment and happiness.

Authentic Happiness can be found through any one of the following paths:

The Pleasant Life: This consists of having as many pleasures as possible along with the skills to amplify them. This kind of happiness comes from savoring life and being mindful of the simple pleasures of everyday life.

The Good Life: This consists of knowing your signature strengths, and designing a life that allows you to express your signature strengths in your loves, friendships, work, and leisure time.The good life is full of a sense of flow, or an immersion that transcends self. The Meaningful Life: This consists of using your signature strengths in the service of something larger than yourself. Finally, you can lead the Full Life, which includes them all:

The Full Life includes a positive view of the past and the future, savoring positive feelings from the pleasures of daily life, deriving abundant gratification from using your signature strengths, and using these strengths in the service of something larger than yourself.

Values as Core Attractors:

Complexity theory argues that these strengths and values serve as core attractors. "Attractors" are like magnets that attract thought-action patterns that govern how people see the world. They form the cornerstone for long-term successful relationships for individuals, families and businesses alike. They inspire people to do things that are difficult, to make commitments that require discipline, and stick to plans for the long haul.

When family's values form the heart of a business's culture, vital synergies arise. An enduring commitment to values is the greatest strength a family can bring to business ownership. Values can have great power in shaping the business's performance and results. The impact of these values changes when the attractors change. For example, an attractor can change from "money" for personal pleasure, to "money" as a contribution to a community foundation. These attractors reflect our level of conscious awareness, which can range from feelings of shame and guilt to the higher levels of compassion, love, joy and peace (Hawkins, 1998). Higher levels of consciousness exert a greater magnetic power, are more inclusive, and encompass a wider range of influence than the lower levels.

When we use our values and strengths at higher levels of consciousness they reflect higher states of well being and prosperity. At lower levels of conscious individuals many not even be aware of the higher values that can impact their lives. At Lifetree Solutions, we help individuals and families identify their core values and strengths to help raise their consciousness and promote a legacy of happier, more prosperous lives.

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