Topic - Brain Science & Psychotherapy

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

How to Help Our Nervous Systems During a Pandemic

… Finding Ventral Vagal for Our Clients and Ourselves

Deb Dana

We have a biological need to be in connection with others that’s being challenged right now. Even if we’re staying at home with others—children, a partner, a mammalian pet—our nervous systems are asking to be cared for in a way that we're not used to doing.

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A Polyvagal Primer

A Three-Part Exercise to Create Safety and Trust

Deb Dana

By Deb Dana - The three elements of our autonomic nervous system act as our largely subconscious surveillance system, working in the background to read subtle signals of safety or threat. Here's how to help clients become aware of their patterns of response to ease and distress.

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How Do Neuroscience and Therapy Mix?

Knowing About the Brain Can Actually Change It

Bonnie Badenoch

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: The Building Blocks of Healthy Relationships

Stephen Porges Explains What Connection Actually Looks Like

Stephen Porges

Stephen Porges, originator of the Polyvagal Theory, transformed the way we understand the underlying mechanisms of traumatic response and how safety, caring, and trustworthiness are conveyed unconsciously. Here, he explains how to spot healthy connection in the body.

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

…And How Brain Science Can Help Us Create a Kinder World

Dan Siegel

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 Networker Symposium keynote, Siegel challenges us to help the mind rise above the brain's inborn, evolutionary vulnerabilities.

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How I Came to Rethink Children’s Challenging Behaviors

Doing Away with the Blame Game

Mona Delahooke

By Mona Delahooke - What’s at the root of children’s aggressive, defiant, and oppositional acts? And how can we better help the children who exhibit these behaviors? Polyvagal Theory shows that the drive to avoid threat and secure safety is what guides human behavior. As such, what we often label as “bad” behaviors are actually fight-or-flight behaviors.

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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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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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