2_NeurosciTherap-Format - Neuroscience and Psychotherapy...

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______________________________________________________________________________________ Issue 16-17, Summer 2006 9 Neuroscience and Psychotherapy Marilyn Morgan, SRN, B.A., MNZAP Editor’s Note : Marilyn Morgan is a master teacher and Certified Hakomi Trainer who has a special interest in the new and exciting developments in interpersonal neurobiology. In this article she introduces a number of currently relevant advances in neuroscience and weaves their implications effortlessly into the practice of psychotherapy. Marilyn Morgan, SRN, B.A., MNZAP is a psychotherapist and teacher of psychotherapy in Napier, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand. Marilyn has been a psychotherapist since 1981. She originally trained as a nurse, and has worked as a practice nurse and nursing tutor, as well as a community education tutor. She has a particular interest in trauma recovery, and in the use of art as a therapeutic tool. At present Marilyn teaches on the Eastern Institute of Technology Diploma in Psychotherapy programme, and on the Hakomi Training at EIT (Diploma in Integrative Psychology - Hakomi), and maintains a private practice in psychotherapy and supervision. ABSTRACT : Reviews structures of the tripart brain including hemispheric functions. Discusses differences of the brain and the mind in terms of complexity theory. Notes multiple memory systems in relation to attachment theory. Discusses social engagement theory and implications for contact and loving presence in relation to psychotherapy. Introduction In recent times there has been exploration into the vast mystery of the brain, such that the ten years of the 1990’s were been labelled `the decade of the brain’. There has also been an upsurge of interest in the impact of trauma and stress on human functioning, including the neurophysiology of traumatic injury, and the developmental changes in the brain that can result from childhood trauma and neglect. Attachment theory, beginning from observations of inter- actions between infants and their mothers, now includes detail on the shaping of brain structure and nerve pathways, including the wiring up of circuitry that will determine lifetime behaviour patterns. Modern brain imaging tech- niques have allowed us to see into the living brain in ways that have been impossible in earlier times. There has been a deluge of new findings on the brain and memory, the brain and behaviour, the brain and trauma, the brain and attachment and the brain and psychotherapy. This research has impacted on the ways we assist people to recover from the effects of unresolved trauma and developmental injury. Even though direct research on neurophysiological activity and change, before, during and after therapy is still sketchy, and much is still hypothesis and tentative conclusions from related findings, some strong possibilities are emerging.
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