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The New Anatomy of Emotion

How Brain Science Can Teach Couples Emotional Literacy

Brent Atkinson • 10/5/2017 • 1 Comment

By Brent Atkinson - Even among couples who do make progress in therapy, a disheartening chunk relapse. Why? A lack of emotional literacy. Good clinicians help couples effectively calm their anger and fear circuits as well as stimulate the more vulnerable, connection-generating states. The therapist acts as a kind of neural chiropractor, making regular, finely tuned adjustments to each partner's out-of-sync brain.

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Pinpointing Suicidality with Brain Science

Can the Brains of the Dead Give Hope to the Living?

Charles Barber • 9/12/2017 • No Comments

By Charles Barber - For the last three decades, Victoria Arango has been studying the brains of people who committed suicide, and has discovered that the biochemistry of their brains differs significantly from that of people who don't commit suicide.

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VIDEO: Rick Hanson on Using Brain Science to Build Inner Strengths

Cultivating Positive Emotions, Attitudes, and Virtues in Ourselves and Others

Rick Hanson • 8/16/2017 • No Comments

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. In the following clip from his Symposium Keynote, he explains how understanding the brain can help therapists and their clients grow inner strengths.

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What Traumatized Children Need Most

Most Therapeutic Experiences Don't Take Place in Therapy

Bruce Perry and Maia Szalavitz • 7/18/2017 • 1 Comment

By Bruce Perry and Maia Szalavitz - While working with child survivors during the 1992 Waco siege, I found that we had a group of children that had essentially been marinated in fear. The only way we could get them the help they needed was to apply our understanding of how fear affects the brain and then consequently changes behavior. We quickly learned that people, not programs, change people.

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Why Does Neuroscience Matter for Psychotherapy?

Working with Clients in an Objective, Non-Shaming Manner

Louis Cozolino • 6/2/2017 • 2 Comments

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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How Neuroscience Can Change the Way You Practice

Knowing about the Brain Can Actually Change It

Bonnie Badenoch • 5/25/2017 • No Comments

By Bonnie Badenoch - Initially, it can seem like a huge leap to link abstruse and complicated brain science to the relational world of therapy. But, some day, it may seem absurd that we didn't study the processes we're expected to treat. Once my clients understand where their brain wiring is underdeveloped, they become eager to do whatever it takes to build better neural connections.

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VIDEO: Dan Siegel on the Difference Between the Mind and Brain

. . . And How Understanding the Mind Can Help Us Create a Kinder, More Tolerant World

Dan Siegel • 5/10/2017 • No Comments

According to neuropsychiatrist Dan Siegel, we've spent much of modern history thinking that physiological brain activity determines everything, and ignoring what goes on in the mind. In the following video clip from his 2017 Networker keynote, Siegel challenges us to help the mind rise above the brain's inborn, evolutionary vulnerabilities.

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VIDEO: Stephen Porges on the Building Blocks of Healthy Relationships

What Co-regulation Actually Looks Like

Stephen Porges • 4/19/2017 • 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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Neuroscience and Psychotherapy

Dan Siegel on the Craft of Rewiring the Brain

Dan Siegel • 2/3/2017 • 1 Comment

By Daniel Siegel - The past 40 years have given us a view of the mind that encompasses an emergent, self-organizing, embodied, and relational process that regulates the flow of energy and information. We now know that where attention goes, neural firing flows, and neural connection grows. Helping people develop more neural integration goes beyond reducing symptoms: it helps them thrive.

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The Power of Memory Reconsolidation

Unlocking Emotional Learning for Transformational Change

Bruce Ecker • 7/5/2016 • 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, recent brain research shows that, under certain conditions and within a brief timeframe, we can not only unlock these neural pathways, but actually erase them and substitute new learning.

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