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Making Therapy's Epiphanies Stick

Creative Memory Techniques to Help Clients Retain Insights and Skills

Danie Beaulieu • 11/30/2017 • No Comments

By Danie Beaulieu - Back in the routine of their daily lives, it's all too easy for our clients to return to old patterns without stopping to examine their actions and reactions in light of what they've recently learned. Fortunately, some creative memory techniques can reduce the need to repeat ourselves with our clients. Once you get used to them, you'll be amazed at how simply and effectively you can apply them.

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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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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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Why Torture Doesn't Work

What Neuroscience is Showing Us

Diane Cole • 1/31/2017 • 5 Comments

By Diane Cole - Using a broad swath of scientific, psychological, and medical evidence about brain function, Shane O'Mara, a professor of experimental brain research, delves into—and disproves—popular misconceptions about the brain under stress, memory, and the psychological state of torturers.

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What's Really Behind a Good (or Bad) Decision?

A Simple Practice for Retraining the Emotional Brain

Brent Atkinson • 1/12/2017 • 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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What Is Mentalization?

How One Approach is Helping Clients Better Understand Themselves and Others

Steven Krugman • 8/9/2016 • 2 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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What Does a Healthy Parenting Brain Look Like?

What Neuroscience Can Tell Us About Effective Parent-Child Attachment

Jonathan Baylin and Daniel Hughes • 6/21/2016 • 2 Comments

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. Parenting is rooted in openness and safety, not in survival-mode self-defense.

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The Power of the Emotional Brain

Using Brain Science to Spark Behavioral Change

Brent Atkinson • 6/2/2016 • No Comments

By Brent Atkinson - Throughout history, we’ve been operating under a great deception—we tend to believe that our thoughts and actions result largely from our conscious intentions. In fact, while our rational mind has a degree of veto power, the inclinations that fuel our perceptions, interpretations, and actions primarily come from neural processes that operate beneath the level of awareness. The emotional brain plays a crucial role in the machinery of rationality: the brain generates quick, gut-level emotional reactions that collectively serve as a guidance system for reasoning.

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The Power of the Enneagram as a Therapy Tool

A System for Tapping into Clients' Unconscious Beliefs and Patterns

David Daniels • 5/18/2016 • 1 Comment

By David Daniels - As a clinician, the typology that I’ve found most helpful in organizing my own work and understanding the most enduring lifelong patterns in my clients’ lives is the Enneagram, a system of personality types. When we can witness, or self-observe, 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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Creating Adventure and Play in Therapy

How to Spark the Emotional Brain

Courtney Armstrong • 2/26/2016 • 1 Comment

By Courtney Armstrong - How many times have you surprised yourself by jumping at the scary part of a movie or shouting something hurtful at someone you love when you feel angry? You know the villain in the movie isn’t real and the insult to your loved one will only make things worse, but your emotional brain ignores this logic and leaps into action. The more we learn about the emotional brain, the clearer it becomes: to have real therapeutic impact, we need to create experiences that help clients learn to relate to themselves and the world in entirely new ways.

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