Topic - Brain Science & Psychotherapy

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We've gathered Psychotherapy Networkers most popular posts and arranged them here by topic.

It's Never Too Late

Dan Siegel Shares a Life-Changing Therapeutic Moment

Dan Siegel

By Daniel Siegel - A therapist’s skill base and experience are vital to good therapy. But they’re rarely enough. The following story, taken from Daniel Siegel's 2017 Networker Symposium Dinner Storytelling piece, highlights the need to bring vulnerability and some measure of risk into the treatment room, letting go of any secret ambition to become a Master of the Therapeutic Universe. There’s no such person.

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VIDEO: Building Inner Strength with Brain Science

Cultivating Positivity and Virtue in Yourself and Your Clients

Rick Hanson

Weaving together insights from evolutionary biology, modern neuroscience, positive psychology, and mindfulness practices, neuropsychologist Rick Hanson claims the difficulty at the core of human experience is our perpetual struggle to overcome the negativity bias wired into our brains. Here, he explains how understanding the brain can help therapists and their clients grow inner strengths.

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Does Neuroscience Matter?

The Biological Power of the Talking Cure

Louis Cozolino

By Louis Cozolino - Some therapists bristle at the integration of neuroscience and psychotherapy, calling it irrelevant or reductionistic. But it's hard to grasp how the brain could be irrelevant to changing the mind. Knowing about neuroscience is invaluable for therapists, not because it offers specific new techniques or clinical theories, but because it provides a deeper understanding of the biological power of the "talking cure."

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A Polyvagal Primer

A Three-Part Exercise That Taps Into the Nervous System to Create Safety and Trust

Deb Dana

By Deb Dana - The three elements of our autonomic nervous system—ventral, sympathetic, and dorsal—act as our largely subconscious surveillance system, working in the background to read subtle signals of safety or threat. That’s why I help clients create a clear map of their own autonomic nervous systems, so they become aware of their patterns of response to ease and distress.

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VIDEO: Peter Levine on Trauma Treatment's "Greatest Tool"

Tapping into the Power of the Body

Peter Levine

According to trauma specialist Peter Levine, the body is the therapist's greatest tool in helping clients understand and heal from a traumatic event. So rather than focus on the event itself, Levine asks clients to focus on how their body manifests the trauma. In this brief video clip, he shares his method.

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The Healthy Parenting Brain

What Neuroscience Reveals about Good Parent-Child Bonding

Dan Hughes

By Jonathan Baylin and Daniel Hughes - Parenting isn’t a cookbook activity for managing children’s behavior: it’s an ancient mammalian mind–heart process, which allows a caregiver to stay engaged and regulated enough to sustain the mind-to-mind, heart-to-heart connections that are vital for a child’s development.

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Are You Missing Your Client's Signals?

Lesser-Known Ways of Strengthening the Therapeutic Alliance

Steve Andreas

By Steve Andreas - Getting immediate, nonverbal feedback from clients is essential to knowing how they’re responding in a session, and in maintaining the therapeutic relationship, which research shows is essential for successful therapy. Here are some strategies to increase your sensitivity to nonverbal shifts.

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VIDEO: Stephen Porges on the Building Blocks of Healthy Relationships

What Co-Regulation Actually Looks Like

Stephen Porges

In developing the Polyvagal Theory, psychophysiologist Stephen Porges transformed the way therapists understand the underlying mechanisms of traumatic response and how safety, caring, and trustworthiness are conveyed unconsciously in our body language, voice tonality, facial expression, and eye contact. In this video clip, he explains what healthy co-regulation looks like in the body.

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The Siren's Song of Neuroscience

Neural Reductionism Puts Therapists—and Their Clients—on a Slope of Declining Responsibility

Rick Hanson

By Rick Hanson - It’s perfectly natural to be enthralled by the explosive growth of neuroscience. But people come to therapists because they want something to change: they want to feel or act differently or understand themselves or others better. These changes of mind, of course, require changes of brain. But in many ways, the essence of therapy is developing inner strengths.

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The Brain's Key

A Three-Step Process for Undoing Negative Emotional Learnings

Bruce Ecker

By Bruce Ecker, Robin Ticic, and Laurel Hilley - While most neuroscientists once believed that implicit memories, avoidance reactions, and rigid schemas were locked permanently in the brain’s synaptic pathways, brain research shows that, under certain conditions, we can not only unlock these neural pathways, but actually erase them and substitute new learning.

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