Brain Science

“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.

Four Pathways to Joy

Four Pathways to Joy

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.

Medicating Anxiety

Medicating Anxiety

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.

Weed and Yoga, Maybe Not?

Weed and Yoga, Maybe Not?

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.

Nerdo Science

Nerdo Science

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.

The “Feeling” Brain

The “Feeling” 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.

The Importance of Practice

The Importance of Practice

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.

Food for Thought

Food for Thought

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

Emotional Regulation

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.

Resilience

Resilience

Some people, either genetically or intuitively, are born with more resilience than others. They’re the ones who smile in the face of adversity, reframe bad events as opportunities, and adopt a wait-and-see attitude about future threats.

Path of Mindfulness

Path of Mindfulness

Being open to who we are, exactly as we are in this moment, requires a stance of gentleness toward ourselves. This is what it means to befriend the self. We treat ourselves with the same sweetness we would a friend.