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Calm Under Stress

Want to remain calm no matter what stresses are going on or who is provoking you? Want to experience more rewarding relationships?

Want to learn more about simple “brain exercises” to help change the brain, and why they work?. – New Research on the Brain, Neuroplasticity and Psychological Well-being

Scientists have now gained a greater understanding of how some very simple “brain exercises” and therapy processes can help bring about more permanent changes to the brain and rewire those habits of thinking that continually undermine our best intentions.

Particular Interventions that help calm the ancient parts of the brain like the “Amygdala”, – which governs our flight fight response – help allow us to maintain access to the higher functions of our brain’s prefrontal cortex that can therefore allow us to remain calm and even handed in the face of life’s challenges. These exercises and processes can rewire the brain and help make people less reactive and more able to resolve conflict and help build and enhance a more secure attachment to ourselves and in our relationships. Working with clients using these interventions can greatly enhance the therapeutic effect of counselling and psychological therapies and lead to permanent changes.

Also simple exercises like “Breath Awareness” exercises, relaxation strategies, mindfulness and certain meditation practices, some of which have been common for centuries in some eastern philosophies, are gaining new credibility due to research and findings from the science of Neurobiology and notions of Neuroplasticity. These findings help to inform various therapies and practices and make it easier to explain to clients, why these exercises and therapy processes are well worth the time and energy, because of their ability to make brain changes that can transform our lives more simply and easily.

Recent lectures I have been taking to understand this further, on the neurobiology of the brain, have been absolutely fascinating. These exciting lectures with leading Psychiatrist, and researcher in the field of Interpersonal Neurobiology, Dr Daniel Siegel at UCLA, expand on this research and teach lots of creative ways to bring clients to better health and more satisfying relationships and the ability to live in the moment and enjoy life to the full. New research and information about Neuroplasticity being discussed in lectures and papers by Norman Doidge confirm that the brain can permanently change itself. The quality of our relationships and our stress levels have a significant effect on our ability to function as well as the health of our body and mind, and can actually effect the structure of the neurones in the brain. These neurones firing together in new ways start to wire together in more healthy ways and create new neuronal patterns and and more healthy and functional habits of thinking.

As a Clinical Psychologist in private practice at MacKinnon Positive Psychology in Mosman, I am truly more passionate than ever about this work and the benefits it can bring to us all. I look forward to sharing some of these insights as I work with my clients. Applying some of the suggested interventions in my work with clients is already producing some very positive outcomes.

How does Mental Imagery help clients achieve the outcomes they want from therapy?

Mental imagery is a very effective tool to enhance our effectiveness in a wide range of areas, from olympic athletes wanting to improve their performance to you and I in the achievement of our individual goals for our work our relationships and most areas of our life.  This evidence based tool helps provide individual clients with a proven strategy for positive change and its maintenance, for improving self-esteem and increasing capacity for reaching our full potential.

I recently attended Dr Lydia Ievieva’s training ,which teaches Mental Imagery Techniques based on applied neuroscience for optimising client outcomes.  This powerful tool has many useful applications in treatment and in ongoing daily practice to enhance our lives.  It is very exciting, incorporating this powerful imagery work in my Clinical Psychology Practice at MacKinnon Psychology Mosman.