The LAB Method

By Polly Ely

Founder, The LAB Method

What is the LAB Method?

The LAB Method started out as framework to guide partners and parents in every day relating to build a deeper, more secure connection.  In its 5th year of development, it has become an ever-evolving method to guide individuals in modern day relating. What makes the LAB Method stand out is it’s offering of specific language to use, borrow, and make your own to help you move through the many sticky moments we face in every day parenting, partnering and relating.

What does LAB stand for?

LAB stands for Leadership, Attachment and Boundaries.  Developer of the method, Polly Ely, MFT has identified these three concepts as foundational principles of the method. 

L - Language: In Polly’s journey to learning how to speak with her kids in the tough moments, she found herself at times utterly speechless, sometimes cold and punishing and at other times overly coddling and too passive. Where was the middle road and what did it sound like? She wanted to know and when she figured it out, she wanted to share it. She crafted a new kind of talk for parenting in tough moments that fills in the gap between yelling, shutting down or giving up. The LAB Method teaches you how to stay in ‘the middle’, get unstuck quickly and use your words to become a clear and steady talker even in the messiest of moments. (Uh buh-bye, shaming, blaming, threatening, and punishing language of yesteryear).

A -Attachment: How we are with our kids today will create a lasting blueprint for who they will become. Learn how to attune to your kids and play with them too. Find out how to let go of the routine. Learn to accept the child you got rather than trying to shape them into the child you thought you wanted. Learn how to move through breakdowns together and most of all, discover the profound rewards from learning to repair with your kids along the way. How we get through the hard moments and whether we repair, heal and recover together along the way, will determine the health of their future relationships and their future mental health. 

B -Boundaries: Kids flourish, develop optimally and succeed in the world when boundaries are clear and understood.  In order for relationships to thrive and for kids to show up as their best selves, they need to understand the boundaries and trust that someone will calmly hold them in place. We teach the “how” of setting and holding relationship boundaries, emotional boundaries and physical boundaries to create respectful interactions that feel good for the leader and safe for the follower.

The LAB Method is a framework that can be adapted to your home, your values and your family.  It is a method that can be used with all ages and for all time.

Last and most certainly not least, this method was born out of a desire to get ahead of mental illness and prevent the development of anxiety, depression and addiction.


What Can I Say? Cards empower parents to lead peacefully and turn stuck moments into opportunities to grow closer. If you hear yourself pleading, shaming, bribing or blowing your top, grab a card and practice a new kind of talk that builds remarkable, lasting connections.

Feel & Deal Telegrams help families communicate authentically, 
relate deeply and heal at home.  The telegrams are designed to help parents, partners and children process feelings and discover what they need to feel better. 

Dealing with a Difficult Experience, Dealing with Difficult Feelings and our Clean up Telegrams will be especially supportive to families going through divorce.

About the Author


Polly Ely, LMFT

contact the lab method
Psychotherapist with a private practice in Marin County, California. Founder of the LAB Method, Speaker & Author

Polly dedicates her professional energy to fiercely standing guard of each family that she has the privilege to work with. She believes firmly in being a clear minded, caring and protective "other" who is willing to take a stand for each family member's innate strengths, guide them all in slowing down and help them to know themselves as a unit of separate yet connected people where differences and needs can be expressed AND honored.

Polly also works as a parent coach and provides classes to parents, which she calls LABs. Polly's Parent LABs create an interactive, vibrant forum to get practical parenting tools & language that help immediate life with children become more fluid and easeful. Polly teaches parents how to be leaders to their children without threats, attacks, major ruptures and shaming.

Polly graduated from the Wright Institute with a Master of Counseling.

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