Psychotherapy can help change the brain – this was the compelling take-away thought from Margaret Wilkinson’s excellent seminar on neuroscience and its applications to therapy. Margaret reminded us how early childhood experiences shape not only our emotions and thoughts but our actual neuro-biology. However, these learned patterns and response do not need to be set in neural stone.
New developments in neuroscience
Margaret outlined how recent insights from neuroscience indicate that the brain is plastic, creating new neurons and new connections throughout life. This means that whilst old patterns of thinking and feeling may be deep-seated and habitual, they can be changed. The empathic and boundaried psychotherapeutic relationship is a place which promotes this change, literally helping the brain think and feel in a new way.
Margaret helped us reflect on this through insights from her own clinical work, questions from the group and an interesting interactive exercise in which we practiced wordless empathy – simply receiving and responding to our partner’s body language and unspoken energy.
This was a good day’s learning, with plenty of food for thought and scope for exploring in our own work.
Briony Martin (delegate)
(Counsellor and Psychotherapist in private practice and in an agency setting with clients presenting with addiction issues)
We are delighted with the scores from 19 delegate feedback forms:
Overall assessment of event: 4.63 out of 5
Speaker (Margaret Wilkinson): 4.58 out of 5
Value for money: 4.58 out of 5
written comments from delegates:
“great organisation, lovely venue”; “excellent, clear, knowledge and experience shines through”; “speaker engaging, very knowledgeable and able to share this in a easy way”
Thank you to everyone who gives us feedback, which we take seriously and use to improve what we do.