Rewiring the Brain to Buffer Social Pain

Whether it’s being picked last for softball after school or not getting invited to an important social gathering, being left out can cause a lot of emotional pain. Being excluded hurts. But what can you do about it? It’s just part of life, right? That answer wasn’t good enough for Dr. Paolo Riva and his colleagues at the University of Milano-Bicocca in Italy. They wanted to see whether there was a way to change the brain to alleviate the pain caused by exclusion. In particular, they hypothesized that specific regions of the brain might be able to “buffer” against social…

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Changing the Brain with Meditation: What’s Sleep Got to Do With It?

When a busy day is done, and you’re finally tucked in bed and fast asleep, your brain gets a break from that seemingly endless daily barrage of stimulation. For researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, that made for an ideal opportunity to take a look at brain waves in their most natural, uninfluenced state. They wanted to find out if long-term meditation could increase gamma power. Basically, gamma is a pattern of brain waves that’s usually associated with perception and consciousness – as well as some plasticity-related processes like attention, learning, and memory. Under the guidance of psychiatrist and neuroscientist…

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Is There a Cost to Avoiding Conflict?

Dealing with conflict is seldom easy. That’s why, in the face of conflict, many people’s default mode is to try to minimize it or avoid it outright. But is there a cost involved when we shy away from confrontation? Tara Brach, PhD says that this kind of avoidance is actually a “false refuge.” She shares more in the video below. Check it out, it’s just 3 minutes. How do your clients use false refuge to avoid conflict? Please leave your response in the comment section below.


The Brain on Long-Term Love

What activates the pleasure and reward centers of the brain, calms parts of the brain associated with fear and anxiety, and is available to anyone without a prescription? Long-term relationships. Researchers Bianca Acevedo, PhD and Arthur Aron, PhD took ten women and seven men who had been married an average of 21.4 years and did fMRIs to look at their brains. They wanted to see what was happening in their brains while participants looked at photos of their partners. For a comparison, they also saw photos of a highly familiar acquaintance, a very close, long-time friend, and a less familiar…

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Mindfulness and Self-Worth – What’s the Connection?

Feelings of unworthiness, shame, and self-hatred seem to show up all too often in daily life – we see it in our work, our families, and maybe even experience it ourselves. But there’s at least one person in the world who’s not especially familiar with such feelings. In fact, he didn’t even know the meaning of the term self-hatred. Jack Kornfield, PhD, reveals more in the video below, and shares two strategies that can help people heal a negative self -image and learn to love themselves. Take a look – it’s just over four minutes. How have you used mindfulness…

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How to Become Who You Want to Be – with Tara Brach, PhD

“I’m not as good as I should be.” It’s a common refrain from many of our patients. Helping them trade self-judgment for self-compassion is an essential first step in creating real change. Watch below as Tara Brach, PhD, talks about what needs to be in place before we can become truly free and open to changing ourselves. Breaking out of a long-held cycle of self-judgment can be difficult – but it isn’t impossible. In our free report, Tara Brach outlines 4 steps that can help us begin to turn judgment into compassion – click here to request your copy. How…

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