Lifetime Therapy | Case Study



Lifetime is a people-centred practice founded by therapist Malachy Dunne. Lifetime has a distinct and compelling philosophy, summed up by Malachy's statement: "given the appropriate conditions, every individual has limitless capacity to heal." It was important that visitors to Lifetime and to the Lifetime Therapy website would feel a sense of peace and perhaps even recognise their own potential to heal.


As Malachy and I spoke, and as I read through his notes, I was struck by two recurring themes that I labelled horticulture and humanism. Linking these two themes was the idea that was to become the central message, or "golden thread" of Lifetime's story: that humans, like plants, will thrive if they are given the right conditions.


Having established the key themes and message of Lifetime's story, Malachy and I talked again to make sure that I was on the right track. I expressed my delight in his use of horticultural language. I felt that words borrowed from this field would add texture, depth and helpful connotations to his work. "It's strange" Malachy said, "I was a landscape gardener for a long time before I became a counsellor." Happy that we were on the same page, I defined the key values that would underpin Lifetime's identity as growth, healing and compassion.


We decided that Lifetime Therapy’s voice should be immersive and collaborative. The first person plural (we) is used to emphasise inclusion and phrasal verbs use ‘in’ rather than ‘on’ ‘at’ or ‘to’ where possible. For example ‘rooted in’ is preferred to ‘based on’. The tone is quiet and non-confrontational so direct speech, imperatives and questions are rarely used. Respect and restraint and conveyed, but this voice is also warm, welcoming and distinct in its use of words semantically linked to growth, healing and compassion.


The next step was to produce a lexicon to be used by Malachy and his team and anyone else writing or speaking on behalf of Lifetime. Lifetime Therapy words draw on lexical fields associated with horticulture and humanism to establish a characteristic voice and to articulate Lifetime’s belief in tending to the self and others to achieve healthy restoration and growth. Verbs, nouns and adjectives were carefully selected for their constructive associations with growth, healing and compassion.


The final stage was to write engaging new copy for the Lifetime website and to edit existing content for consistency and the avoidance of confusion. Having followed a story-led process, this stage was easy and enjoyable. Whenever we were uncertain we simply reminded ourselves of the "golden thread" and plundered the lexicon for phrases that felt perfectly Lifetime.

To say that Sarah just helped me with copy writing would be a huge understatement. By identifying the underlying themes I wanted to convey and devising a lexicon to support that, she has been part of creating a website that perfectly reflects my approach.
— Malachy Dunne





Through mindful acceptance, supported by an empathic and honest practitioner, improved mental health and freedom from distress can be found.  




Lifetime therapies tend to your wellbeing, cultivating growth, change and self-acceptance