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Brain Talk: Integrated therapy that includes a discussion about the brain with the client Part 2 of 8

Brain Talk: Integrated therapy that includes a discussion about the brain with the client Part 2 of 8

Part 2 of 8

The Brain-Based Common Denominator

  • New discoveries in neuroscience that inform psychotherapy
  • Neuroplasticity – the need for a moderate degree of activation
  • Neurogenesis – motivation to exercise and learn
  • Affect asymmetry – establishing new set points
  • The amygdala – fast and slow tracks
  • Default mode network – making daydreaming useful

The Social Brain-Based Therapy

  • Polyvagal Theory – social engagement system
  • Mirror neurons and spindle cells – increasing empathy
    and emotional intuition
  • Attachment and temperament – earning security
  • Facial expressions – enhancing mood
  • Attachment and transference – earning security
  • Outcome management – monitoring the relationship

Maintaining Healthy Brains: Planting SEEDS

  • Social support – activating and maintaining the social brain networks
  • Exercise – balancing moods, boosting cognition and stimulating neurogenesis
  • Education – broadening cognitive reserve and expanding adaptability
  • Diet – providing the building blocks to a healthy brain
  • Sleep – maintaining sleeping hygiene to keep moods balanced and cognition clear

REST from Generalised Anxiety

  • Parasympathetic activation – somatic exercises
  • Cognitive reframing and thinking reasonably
  • Flooding the worry circuit – scheduled worrying
  • GAD – The Orbital Frontal Cortex and exposure to ambiguity
  • Client education: the mnemonic REST

BEAT Panic

  • Desensitising the amygdala – learning to avoid avoidance
  • Exposure – learning how habituation deactivates the amygdala
  • Interceptive exposure exercises – teaching clients to embrace their body sensations
  • Speeding up the slow track – getting the left pre-frontal cortex involved
  • Client education: the mnemonic BEAT

SAFE from Posttraumatic Stress

  • Phase 1 – Stabilisation
  • Phase 2 – Integration
  • Phase 3 – Posttraumatic Growth
  • Client education: the mnemonic SAFE

Healthy ORDER

  • Engaging attention – helping clients shift out of automatic behaviours
  • Developing more adaptive behaviours
  • Exposure – to habituate to discomfort
  • Response prevention – from urges to engage in compulsive behaviours
  • Client education: the mnemonic ORDER

TEAM for Depression

  • Restoring physiology – sleep hygiene techniques
  • The Effort-Driven Reward Circuit – Behaviour activation
  • Hippocampus – Providing realistic context to break out of mood
    congruent thinking
  • Kindling the left PFC – Countering negativistic thinking with inquiry and
    details, affective labelling and approach behaviours
  • Mindfulness – quieting ruminations and neutralising monotony
Speakers: Dr John Arden