How Does Neuroplasticity Work? [Infographic]

When neuroscience began to discover more about the brain’s remarkable ability to change, it opened up new ways of thinking about our work with patients.

By harnessing the power of neuroplasticity, we can help patients think more clearly, learn more easily, develop greater focus, and manage reactive emotions.

And that can help them find new ways to respond to a wide range of conditions including brain injury, stroke, learning disabilities, traumatic experiences, depression, and anxiety.

But neuroplasticity involves a number of complex processes, and it can be a difficult concept to convey to patients. Want to teach your clients about neuroplasticity? Give them this: @RuthBuczynski Click To Tweet So we created this as a way for you to help patients understand how neuroplasticity works. Because if the brain can change, your patients’ lives can change.

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If you’d like to print a copy to share with your clients, just click here: Color or Print-friendly black & white

Now we'd like to hear from you. How could you use this in your work with patients? Please leave a comment below.
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142 Comments

  1. Rev. Kim Carter says:

    I am a student of Metaphysical Science and I am beginning my work on my Master’s/Doctoral thesis and dissertation. Specifically I want to prove my theory that neuroplasticity, with the help of metaphysical teachings and understands, can help people fully recover from addiction. I noticed on the above flyer that addiction was mentioned and I wanted to request any further information or research that you may know of to assist me in “re-creating” our rehab programs to bring these lovely people back to a state of health and wellness. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  2. Belen Bazan says:

    Very grateful. This certainly will make sense to many patients. Thanks again.

  3. This is great! I love using brain science with our couples. It helps create a new sense of empowerment as they discover there’s a “neurology underneath love”. This will be a great addition alongside the model brain I have them hold. The 3-pound universe :)

    Thanks again! You are much appreciated!!!

  4. Leslie Menke says:

    Thank you! Neuroplasticity in the brain is an amazing and exciting discovery!

  5. renee friedman says:

    some of my clients enjoy studying the”science” of neiroscience and beleive it will give them more understanding of what’s going on for them

  6. Mark Sever says:

    As a Physical Therapist, most of my clients have chronic pain issues, and we know that the more they know how the nervous system can and does change, the more they can work with it. Each tool I can use to help them understand, gives them more ways that they can connect with the information. Every client I see is taught about neuroplasticity.

  7. Betsy Kramer says:

    I love teaching in the community about resilience, neuroplasticity, and mental health. What a great, clear explanation to pass on to the community. Thank you.

  8. Brenda Hayes says:

    Excellent graphic! Will prove very useful as a physical and visual reference to verbal information.

  9. Josephine B Burleson says:

    This handout will validate the verbal information provided to the client regarding rain-changing activities.
    We know so much more now than when I was in graduate school and realized that I was experiencing math anxiety. At the time I discovered brain changing exercises to enable me to make an A in my statistics class and a 100 on the statistics portion of my licensing examination. That personal achievement has been useful throughout my years as a therapist.

    THANKS for this information.

  10. Jacquie Wise says:

    This is a brilliant and very clear summary which provides visual support for any explanations. thank you Ruth for developing resources of such high standard. Jacquie Wise Australia.

  11. Jane says:

    Thank you — it’s beautifully encapsulated the tomes about neuroplastiicity. Very helpful!

  12. This is a wonderful summary of neuro-psychological processes. I can easily use it with clients in counselling and when offering reassessment recommendations. Thank you!

  13. Graham Rhodess. MCP says:

    An excellent graphic presentation for use in psycho-educational sessions.

  14. Maggie Baumann, MFT, CEDS says:

    The topic of neuroplasticity and the brain is an important one when I am working with my clients with trauma, depression, anxiety … To share there is hope in developing new neural networks for healing and health is such a gift to clients.

    This is a great visua to explain to my clients in more detail about neuroplasticity is … thank you!

  15. Lexi Meinhold says:

    Thank you! I’m going to be using this next week.

  16. Glenda says:

    This is great! Thank you so much for all the wonderful resources from NICABM over the years. Because of NICABM, I am a more informed therapist.

  17. Wonderful infographics, may i add two small suggestions, to change “diet” for “nutrition” and “new experiences” (OK) as with a time-frame > new positive experiences/per weekend or per month or per year, especially as i work with adolescentes/Young and traumatized clients and when neuro plasticity is so importante!

  18. Donna Sewell MS Utah Brain Gym(R) and Body Code Facilitator says:

    I will be delighted to use this as back-up to what I’ve been teaching in Brain Gym(R). These charts will make it just a little bit clearer for them. Thanks again for all you share.

  19. Thanks, Great information!

  20. Sarah Bell says:

    To give them hope of positive change

  21. Thank you, Ruth,

    Everything you put out is very helpful. Just can’t keep up with it!

    Best,

    Irini Rockwell

  22. Thank you. Clear, concise and informative (hope-inducing even).
    We will use this as part of our 8-week couple’s communication workshop here on Maui, as well as-needed when coaching dialogue skills and practice.

  23. Cynthia Holmes says:

    Terrific handout. Thank you!

  24. Dear Ruth
    Thank you for this wonderful information
    I thought you might enjoy this chapter from my newest book

    NEURAL HYPNOSIS
    BY SHELLEY STOCKWELL-NICHOLAS, PhD
    (Excerpted from her new book “THRIVE: Medical Hypnosis For Yourself and Others” feel free to contact her at shelleynicholas@cox.net)
    With every thought, your dynamic brain reorganizes itself in structure, connections and function. Thoughts change your cells and your cells change your thoughts. Your very perception can enhance or interfere with your cell activity, performance, happiness and wellness.

    In this moment, billions of embryonic stem cells repair and/or replace your tissue and organs creating five to ten thousand new cells a day! This explains how you recover from stroke, injury and physical.anomalies.
    New cells and new connections are created as you learn and remember. Old cells and their connections are weakened and may fade away when not called upon.
    Clever marketers re-brand hypnosis with veiled titles like “neuroplasticity,” “neurobiology,” “neuroscience hypnosis,” “self-directed neuro-immunology,” “neural meditation,” and “epigenics” (meaning “above genes”). All celebrate that mind-over-matter matters when it comes to brain matter…

    • Suzanne Lamarre says:

      Dear Shelly,
      Most interesting your excerpt of your new book “Thrive”! Thanks for sharing it!
      Thanks to Ruth also!
      I completely agree with Rebecca’s comments and I am a psychiatrist.
      Ruth and her collaborators are outstanding for addressing new ways to help mentally ill patients and to prevent mental illness mostly based on neuroplasticity and not on DSM diagnoses only.

      Neuroplasticity is not yes integrated in our medical and psychiatric practice. We are still mostly working on the neurotransmitters (and cognitive distortions at times with CBT) according to our diagnoses without addressing the environmental and brain connecting issues.

      Too often people spend their energy in becoming more and more depressed and anxious rather than in constructing connections, all type of energizing connections for the brain to be working for them. I like the comment in the dark side that the brain is neutral : “it doesn’t know the difference between good and bad”. Up to us to be aware of this fact: the thoughts I entertained are not neutral. it gives the direction to my emotions and interferes with my connections around me and in my brain synapses. For example, blaming oneself for a problem does not mean one is a responsible person but that one is a guilt ridden person with negative thoughts deepening one’s depressive state. Recognizing mistakes is completely different from staying in a guilty trip.

      Becoming aware of neuroplasticity brings our attention not so much on symptoms but on how we create and maintain them. It gives us tools to be healthy with or without a disease. Very good to know for a psychiatrist.
      Suzanne Lamarre MD

  25. Thank you so very much! I printed two copies, one for me and one for my son and his wife. I also posted it on Facebook. I am not a professional, but I have spent my adult lifetime getting mentally healthy. Your site has helped me so very, very much. I don’t know how I got on your mailing list, Miss Ruth, but I praise God. How wonderful that you make this knowledge available to the average person who does not have five degrees in psychology and who does not have a shingle hanging outside. I think making this info mainstream is the way to educate the masses. There are many like me who are very smart and very motivated to get and stay well– and help others. Our lives have often been spent in raising children and a plethora of other careers– not psychology. If I had the money, I would take almost every course you offer! Blessings, Rebecca Hobbs, Jackson, Mississippi

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