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The Precarious Present

Why is it So Hard to Stay in the Moment?

November/December 2006
All of us ruminate, bringing up the cud of old, unresolved problems. But far from being idle mind chatter, most of these mental distractions are actually the brain's attempt to protect us from the prospect of mortal danger.

A Week of Silence

Quieting the Mind and Liberating the Self

November/December 2006
How would it feel to sit completely still for a week, not communicating with anyone, just tuning in to the seemingly chaotic jumble of your own thoughts? A neuropsychiatrist takes us along on the ups, downs, and surprising twists of his journey into mindfulness.

Being There

The Dalai Lama Gets Buddhism and Neuroscience to Go Face to Face

January/February 2006
In Washington, D.C., this fall, the Dalai Lama brought together a distinguished group of contemplatives and world-class scientists to explore the links between stress, health, and meditation. The result was a sometimes laborious, sometimes luminous conversation that suggested that spirituality and science may not be so irreconcilable after all.

Alice in Neuroland

Can Machines Teach Us to Be More Human?

September/October 2005
As neuroscience was becoming the topic du jour of the therapy field, we sent Senior Editor Katy Butler to MIT on a mission. The result was, literally, a mind-expanding article that thrust readers into the larger, brave new world of behavioral neuroscience. Nominated for a National Magazine Award for Feature Writing, this piece conveys both the excitement and eerie strangeness of therapists’ plunge into a “new rabbit hole into the psyche.”
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Visionary or Voodoo?

Daniel Amen's Crusade Has Some Neuroscientists Up in Arms

September/October 2005
What's made Daniel Amen such a lightning rod within the world of academic neuroscience and psychiatry?

Mindsight

Dan Siegel Offers Therapists a New Vision of the Brain

September/October 2004
The publication of his first book earned him an audience with the Pope. Since then, psychiatrist Daniel Siegel has continued to demonstrate a visionary's ability to show how the physical matter of the brain creates the life of the mind, heart, soul, and spirit that's the glory of our species.

Mirror Mirror

Emotion in the Consulting Room is More Contagious Than We Thought

September/October 2004
Empathy may be the life's blood of good therapy, but scientifically, it's remained a rather fuzzy concept. Now a serendipitous lab discovery is showing how exquisitely vulnerable therapists are to "catching" their clients' vulnerabilities and perturbations.

Altered States

Why Insight by Itself Isn't Enough For Lasting Change

September/October 2004
Increasingly, neuroscience is making it clear that therapists rely too much on the consulting room drama of insight and not enough on good, old-fashioned, repetitive practice.

Riding the Waves

Neurofeedback: A Breakthrough with Learning Disabilities?

September/October 2004
Neurofeedback is one of a group of new technologies that promises not only to treat the symptoms of mood, attention, and learning disorders, but to address the brain-wave patterns that underlie them.

Applying the Brakes

In Trama Treatment, Safety is Essential

January/February 2004
Much as we don't like to admit it publicly, it's an open secret among therapists that the road to recovery from trauma can be fraught with clinical missteps. So my approach to trauma work is rooted in an experience I had when a friend asked me to teach her to drive. Sitting in the passenger seat next to her as she prepared to turn on the ignition, I suddenly panicked. I quickly realized that before I taught her how to make that powerful machine go, I had to make sure that she knew how to put on the brakes. I apply the same principle to therapy, especially trauma therapy. I never help clients call forth traumatic memories unless I and my clients are confident that the flow of their anxiety, emotion, memories, and body sensations can be contained at will.
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