We now know that the only way to change embedded, painful memories is to access the “emotional brain.” While talking continue to play a crucial role in therapy, it keeps us in our rational mind. To create lasting change at the deepest level, we must access the limbic system.
“Brain Science” is my umbrella term for interpersonal neurobiology and how neuroplasticity works in therapy. When people learn new coping skills, they are literally building the neural connections that promote resilience. As habits build, so do neural pathways. These new inroads replace the old routes that lead to unhealthy behaviors and cognitive distortions.
Did you know that there are four independent brain circuits that influence our lasting well-being? While each circuit contributes beautifully on their own, when joined by the other circuits they create magic – broadening our everyday existence to include a wider and more vibrant range of experience.
When choosing a medication, you should not only consider the immediate effect of it on anxiety, but also whether the medication has the ability to change the brain in ways that will help it become resistant to anxiety.
There are many reasons for developing a yoga practice, spiritual growth is just one of them. How yoga can assist us spiritually depends greatly on which path we are following. Not everyone’s spiritual practice is affected in the same way through yoga, though everyone can benefit physically, mentally and emotionally from yoga.
Think of this system as a presidential election. If you change the number of votes in a few key states by a tiny percentage of points, you can dramatically change the course of the county. The same is true for the brain.
While there are many important elements involved in the limbic system, for the sake of simplicity, we’re going to focus on four key players: the hypothalamus, amygdala, hippocampus and the cingulated cortex.
Mindfulness changes the way we respond to things by strengthening the prefrontal cortex. Different types of practices activate our thinking centers in different ways, similar to muscle use with exercise. No matter the course, all forms of mindfulness practice strengthen the attentional circuits and reduce fight-or-flight responses.
Before heading off to work, I got a call from a local reporter asking for my opinion on Pokemon Go! The fact that I’ve never own a cell phone or subscribe to social media didn’t seem to phase the reporter. So I took a deep…
I’m loving the intersection of science and psychotherapy. Did you know negative emotions narrow people’s perception, reflected by significantly reduced blood flow in a particular area of the brain called the parahippocampal? By contrast, positive emotions broaden and build perception. This data suggests what we…
Emotional regulation is a practice. You’re being asked to reflect and respond against something that feels natural to the parasympathetic nervous system. That’s why the bulk of the work is learning to titrate emotions. When all else fails and you’re feeling overwhelmed, ask yourself what matters most and try to choose love every time.