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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Depression, Anxiety, Stress . . . Could Mindfulness Group Therapy Help?

It can be really exciting to come across research offering insight into new techniques . . . . . . particularly when the method allows us to reach more people than we usually can. A team of researchers out of the Center for Primary Health Care Research, Lund University, Sweden, led by Jan Sundquist, MD, PhD, wanted to compare the outcome of mindfulness-based group therapy against that of individual-based cognitive therapy (CBT). They conducted an 8-week randomized controlled trial that included 215 patients (between the ages of 20-64) who exhibited symptoms of depression, anxiety, or stress. Participants were randomly assigned…

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One Powerful Trauma Intervention for Working with a “Fear-Driven” Brain

When we treat patients who have experienced trauma, we’re often working with a brain that’s driven by fear. So for practitioners, it can be essential to know just what part of the brain to focus in on, and more importantly, what you can do once you know where to look. According to Sebern Fisher, MA, there’s one powerful intervention that can help . . . . . . and it can be a resource for patients who are trying to calm a frightened brain after trauma. Check out the video clip (below) for more – it’s just 3 minutes. Click…

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Depression and Traumatic Brain Injury: Can Mindfulness Help?

It can happen in the blink of an eye . . . . . . a healthy person on the way to work is suddenly blindsided by another car, and the aftermath can impact not only the driver, but her family and friends as well. Months, maybe even years of surgery, physical therapy, care giving, and treatment may follow and, in the case of traumatic brain injury (TBI), lingering depression may result. That’s why Michel Bédard, PhD, and fellow researchers at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine wanted to look at the effectiveness of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) to reduce…

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Using Mindfulness to Change the Brain: A Different Way to Deal with Pain

It’s probably safe to say that most people have experienced pain at some point in their lives, be it acute or chronic. . . . . . and many of us have heard the phrase “mind over matter,” but when it comes to pain, does it actually work? It turns out that there is a certain area of the brain that plays a big role in pain response. And according to Kelly McGonigal, there’s one simple way you can help client’s train their brain to deal with pain more effectively. I hope you’ll check it out. It’s only 4 minutes….

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Brain Science Has No Borders: Changing Brains (and Transforming Lives) Around the World

Brain science is one of the most fertile areas that we, as practitioners, have right now to help our patients . . . . . . from improving relationships, to strengthening focus, and turning negative experiences into positive ones, the benefits of brain change are astounding. And better yet, the pool of knowledge about neuroplasticity is growing every day – which means so many more life-changing discoveries are yet to come. Over the past few weeks, we’ve heard from world-renowned brain science experts, and each and every one of them had valuable suggestions for keeping the brain in top shape….

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