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The Neuroscience Of Psychotherapy: Healing The ...



The effective therapist must have knowledge of evolution and neuroanatomy, as well as the systems of our brains and how they work together to give rise to who we are, how we thrive, and why we suffer. This book will give clinicians all they need to understand the social brain, the developing brain, the executive brain, consciousness, attachment, trauma, memory, and the latest information about clinical assessment. Key figures and terms of neuroscience, along with numerous case examples, bring the material to life.




The Neuroscience of Psychotherapy: Healing the ...



The first edition of this book tackled these important questions of interpersonal neurobiology - that the brain is a social organ built through experience - using poignant case examples from the author's years of clinical experience. Elegant explanations of social neuroscience wove together emerging findings from the research literature to bring neuroscience to the stories of our lives.


What makes us happy? What makes us sad? How do we come to feel a sense of enthusiasm? What fills us with lust, anger, fear, or tenderness? Traditional behavioral and cognitive neuroscience have yet to provide satisfactory answers. The Archaeology of Mind presents an affective neuroscience approach - which takes into consideration basic mental processes, brain functions, and emotional behaviors that all mammals share - to locate the neural mechanisms of emotional expression. It reveals - for the first time - the deep neural sources of our values and basic emotional feelings.


Written by experts and authorities in the field and professionally narrated for easy listening, this crash course is a valuable tool both during school and when preparing for the USMLE, or if you're simply interested in neuroscience. The audio is focused and high-yield, covering the most important topics you might expect to learn in a typical medical school neuroscience course. Included are both capsule and detailed explanations of critical issues and topics you must know to master neuroscience.


This is a book for enthusiasts only. It is long on the detail of neuroscience and not so long on the psychotherapy portion. And due to the detail, I often lost the thread of what would be important working with someone.


However, after the extensive research on the neurobiology of psychiatric disorders, now, we have begun to understand the neurobiological basis of mental processes and mental illness. The growing research in the field of neuroscience of psychotherapy has established that psychotherapy allows and helps in bringing a change in the brain. Evidence of neurogenesis and neural plasticity has opened newer possibilities of interventions for increasing our ability to alter the brain. Psychotherapy that had long been dubbed as an unscientific and an invalidated dogma is beginning to find its neurobiological underpinnings and regaining its value as an immensely scientific method of intervention. This has led to the convergence between neuroscience and psychotherapy which earlier followed totally divergent paths opening a new era of research in this field.


In the last two decades, important new understanding of how the brain affects mental illness, addiction, and other psychosocial conditions has occurred. Social work education must integrate neuroscience into its curricula to prepare students for professional practice that reflects this knowledge.


In 2002, Louis Cozolino, PhD, a clinical psychologist and professor of psychology at Pepperdine University, published The Neuroscience of Psychotherapy: Healing the Social Brain, a look at the neurobiological foundations of human behavior and the neuroscience behind why and how therapy works. Dan Siegel, MD, coedited a comprehensive work in 2003, Healing Trauma: Attachment, Mind, Body and Brain that outlined the neurobiological foundations of understanding and treating trauma. The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog by Bruce Perry, MD, further delineated the depth and breadth of a neurobiological understanding of human behavior in the face of trauma.


Why should social work concern itself with neuroscience? Social work is not medicine, and social workers are not medical professionals, including neuroscientists. So why should our profession be concerned with integrating knowledge about the brain into social work practice, policy, research, and education?


Attachment and Early Childhood Development Interpersonal neurobiology has shed light on the clinical significance of attachment and the first three years of life (Perry & Szalavitz, 2006). There are implications for preventive, protective, and promotive factors in early childhood development and education that facilitate optimal neural development, which minimizes risk and promotes resiliency in children. Educational psychology and contemporary education have long embraced the principles of cognitive neuroscience and its applications for teaching and learning in the classroom environment. Therefore, social work should follow suit in policy advocacy and practices with families with young children.


For example, we know from neuroscience research that consistent, responsive, emotionally attuned caregiving in the early years facilitates neural growth and development in the brain and provides young children with the neurological capacity to self-soothe (Perry & Szalavitz). This promotes emotional regulation and behavioral control, preventing symptoms of hyperactivity, impulsivity, and oppositional and aggressive behavior. There are more symptoms of disorders such as ADHD or oppositional defiant disorders in children with disrupted or dysregulated attachment schemas due to abuse, neglect, and other traumatic or stressful life events (Siegel & Solomon).


Traumatic Brain Injury and PTSD With droves of soldiers returning from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, the need to understand, assess, and treat this population is paramount. The current VA administration is struggling to meet this need (Abramson, 2012). Neuroscience provides an enlightening platform from which to understand and treat veterans. Social workers can help by maximizing the effectiveness of evidence-based treatments through findings from clinical and translational neuroscience. They also can maximize outcomes for soldiers and their families and be more sensitive to the clinical nuances of their challenges.


Social workers can utilize knowledge from neuroscience to target and prevent addictive behaviors, and pharmacological interventions for addiction are more sophisticated than ever thanks to brain research.


No Magic Bullet Is neuroscience a panacea? A magic bullet to solve all of our problems? Of course not. I do agree with some scholars that an oversimplification of the brain and its associated functions can be dangerous. But as a social work practitioner and educator, I am constantly forced to be flexible, adaptive, and creative based on science, evidence, and experience. Social and clinical problems are evolving and becoming more complex every day. The environment in which we treat these problems has become more difficult, too. 041b061a72


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