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Connecting resilience with neuroscience

Connecting resilience with neuroscience

There is a strong theoretical underpinning of the work that we do based on neuroscience. Psychological disciplines such as psychoanalysis, psychotherapy, counselling, and coaching started to develop long before there was significant scientific understanding of the brain, based on techniques such as trial and error, introspection and analogy. Ideas from diverse sources such as classical Greek myths, literature, theology, and mysticism were all incorporated, giving rise to some strange terminology (eg. “ego”, “id” and “Oedipus Complex”).

Although much of this material is impenetrable to the non-specialist, some of the discoveries of neuroscience are filtering down to the therapeutic fields, allowing therapy to be put onto a scientific footing. Neuroscience can now identify systems in the brain responsible for cognition (eg. memory, recognition of faces), emotions (eg. fear, anger), and certain disorders (eg. tics, dementia, schizophrenia).

This demonstrates the link between thoughts and memories (cortex, thalamus, hippocampus), emotions (amygdala, hypothalamus) and the body through the mechanism of neurotransmitters and receptors.

Whereas pharmacology attempts to manipulate the neurotransmitters to achieve its effects, psychological therapists say that in many cases it is possible to achieve the same results by working on the thoughts, feelings and memories.

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