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Therapy and Neuroscience

 

Therapy has been around since the time of Freud in the late 1800’s, and since then there has been vast developments in the field. To date there are over 400 different types of therapy identified. Each different type has a theoretical foundation on which the therapy is based, some of which have evidence based research on their efficacy. Often though, there has been a lack of solid research findings to back up how therapy actually works. Until now!

In the last two decades, there has been an explosion of information from the different branches of neuroscience giving us a much clearer idea of how the brain and nervous system work. Although there is still much that we don’t know, the amount of information revealed in the last 20 years is staggering, and a lot of it supports what we as therapists have known, perhaps instinctively, about our work with clients, but until now have been unable to satisfactorily explain.

The area of Interpersonal Neurobiology has made discoveries that support the (research and anecdotal) evidence that the therapeutic relationship is an important factor in therapeutic change. We now have a better idea of WHY.

There is lots of new evidence that the brain is a social organ, and that relationships with other people who have brains, can change the structure and wiring within the brain! Isn’t that fascinating? That we each are affected by each other when we communicate and spend time together.

Of course, this effect works both ways. Relationships aren’t always healthy, and our brains can be adversely affected by relationships that are abusive, chaot