Is Memory Reconsolidation the Key to Transformation?
New research into the complexities of memory reconsolidation offers important clues about how we can make the most elusive of consulting room events—the deep, therapeutic breakthrough—a regular occurrence.
Translating cutting-edge neuroscience into practice
For the firs time, we're beginning to understand how to directly delete emotional meanings attributed to disturbing past events.
Finding the neural key to transformation
Findings about memory consolidation in the brain have opened up the possibility that transformational therapeutic change is more feasible than we previously believed.
Look for the Emotional Truth behind the Symptom
To focus on the unconscious psychological roots of an individual's anxiety has become an anachronism. But how many of us, with a toolbox full of today's methods, reliably bring about a decisive cessation of our clients' intense anxiety and panic? In the first few years of my clinical career, I found that with standard methods I could often help clients mildly relieve their anxieties, but that I rarely achieved a radical reduction of symptoms. Yet there were occasional sessions in which I abandoned conventional clinical wisdom and tapped into a deep layer of personal meaning in the symptoms. When I did that, clients' symptoms often ceased from one session to the next, and never recurred. For several years, I systematically examined what was different about those sporadic sessions that yielded such profound change. What I found was a surprise.
Profound Change in Brief Therapy Is a Real Possibility
In much long-term therapy, breakthrough experiences seem to come almost randomly, and then only after months or years. In briefer therapies, on the other hand, deeply rooted emotional realities are often ignored altogether in favor of "reframes" and other forms of cognitive or behavioral change.
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