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VIDEO: Stephen Porges on the Building Blocks of Healthy Relationships

What Co-regulation Actually Looks Like

Stephen Porges • 7/18/2018 • 8 Comments

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 Nine Personality Types, According to the Enneagram

Are You The Giver, The Performer, The Observer, or Something Else?

David Daniels • 7/13/2018 • 2 Comments

By David Daniels - The typology I’ve found most helpful in organizing my own work and understanding my clients’ lifelong patterns is the Enneagram, a system of personality types. When we can witness our own habit of mind and its repetitive, limiting pattern in a nonjudgmental way with gratitude—which this system facilitates—we gain great leverage in changing our patterns.

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The Labels We Use

When It Comes to Addiction, Sometimes a Diagnosis is a Client's Best Motivator

Margaret Wehrenberg • 7/5/2018 • 2 Comments

By Margaret Wehrenberg - The labels we use to describe clients’ behaviors have important therapeutic implications. Sometimes using the word addiction and explaining its neurological basis can help clients focus on the consequences of their behavior. But how do we parse the tenuous line between addiction and habit?

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What Successful Couples Are Doing Right

The Gottmans on Mastering the Brain’s Seven Pathways to Emotional Connection

John Gottman, Julie Gottman • 6/20/2018 • No Comments

By John and Julie Gottman - John and Julie Gottman have spent decades developing an evidence base for couples therapy, honing their techniques for stabilizing marriage through research with nearly 3,000 couples. In the following excerpt from their 2018 Networker Symposium keynote address, they explain what research has revealed about the crucial role the brain’s seven different command systems can play in enhancing the quality of couples’ emotional connection.

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The Heart of Emotional Intelligence

Illuminating the Connection Between What We Feel, What We Want, and How We Act

Steven Krugman • 6/18/2018 • 3 Comments

By Steven Krugman - Mentalization refers to the mind’s innate capacity to make sense of social experiences and implicitly know how to respond to them. But while mentalization fosters an empathic awareness of the moods and mindsets of others, it also enables us to know what our own states of mind and body mean.

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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 • 6/14/2018 • No Comments

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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Myths and Realities of the Asperger's Experience

Normalizing and Mobilizing Clients and Their Families

Richard Howlin • 6/8/2018 • 2 Comments

By Richard Howlin - Adults with Asperger's syndrome often behave as if they were confused actors walking onto a stage and being the only ones who don't know the lines or the plot. One of my initial goals in therapy is to help them realize the role their brain plays in their everyday practical and social understanding. Then, we embark on a step-by-step process of skill training, life planning, and helping clients integrate their unusual and obsessive talents into a productive life.

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The Brain's Key

A Three-Step Process for Undoing Negative Emotional Learnings

Bruce Ecker • 6/7/2018 • 2 Comments

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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How Much Are We Really in Control?

Retraining the Knee-Jerk Brain

Brent Atkinson • 5/18/2018 • 1 Comment

By Brent Atkinson - Conscious understanding and effort aren’t the mighty forces we assume they are. Our automatic urges and inclinations are much stronger than most of us ever imagined. Even so, there's something we can do to retrain the emotional brain.

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Inhabiting the Moment with Traumatized Teens

Three Strategies to Rewire Young Brains for Safety and Attachment

Martha Straus • 4/26/2018 • No Comments

By Martha Straus - What we therapists have to offer our young clients, more than anything, is our well-regulated, fully developed adult brain, with its mature capacity for awareness, perspective, appraisal, curiosity, and forgiveness on full display. According to the approach I use, Developmental-Relational Therapy, we’re both the mechanism of change and the intervention. Here are a few strategies that can rewire the teen brain for safety and intimacy.

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