Full Course Description

Brain Care: Applying the Neuroscience of Well-Being

Program Information


  1. Explore how to implement lifestyle choices that protect the physical brain as our clients age, and extend the “health span” portion of our lifespan
  2. Explore how to apply the tools of self-directed neuroplasticity in therapy that help reverse the impact of stress and trauma on emotional regulation, learning and memory, and empathy
  3. Explore how to engage clients with practices such as guided visualizations and process journaling that can enhance the higher brain’s capacity for response flexibility, discernment, planning, creativity, and imagination
  4. Explore how to apply interventions that help prevent/reverse addiction to digital technology and recover capacities for focused attention and concentration, relational intimacy, introspection, and self-reflection
  5. Explore how to use valuable resources in the latest findings about the brain and the mind-body connections



  • Brain structure, overlapping areas of physical pain, emotional pain and temperature
  • Modalities impacting brain structure
  • Multiple approaches, experiences change the brain
  • Consciousness remains unexplained
  • Mindfulness, compassion
  • Burnout and compassion fatigue
  • Macro and micro approaches to self-care
  • The impact of exercise on brain chemistry and development
  • Telomeres, longevity, types of movement
  • The impact of sleep and rest on brain chemistry and development
  • Cognitive impairment, depression
  • Sleep improvement strategies
  • Brief restorative strategies
  • Nutrition supports for brain function
  • MIND diet
  • Neurotoxins
  • Impact of obesity
  • The role of play in sustaining healthy brain function
  • Social relationships and well-being
  • The four intelligences of well-being
  • Body based tools for healing trauma
  • Reactivity and healing
  • Emotional regulation
  • Priming the neuroplasticity of the brain
  • Relational intelligence
  • Mindful awareness
  • Modifying perceptions and reactions
  • Exercise:  Increasing somatic intelligence
  • Exercises:  Breath, posture and movement
  • Positive psychology and neuroscience research
  • Contraction and reactivity
  • Resilience and health
  • Ability to shift perspective
  • Mindful self-compassion and acceptance
  • Exercise: Hand movement, mindfulness and emotion
  • Exercise:  Visualization and self-compassion
  • Exercise:  Moments of kindness
  • Exercise:  Guided visualization toward self-acceptance
  • Exercise:  Playing Parts and self-integration
  • Exercise:  Integrating the inner critic

Brain Switch: Apply Polyvagal and Memory Reconsolidation Theories with Parts Work, Somatic, and Mindful Approaches

Program Information


  • Use the insula to reduce visceral sensations
  • Find sensations to rewind them
  • Teach clients to release endorphins
  • Transform brain research into interventions
  • Change the brain’s negative bias
  • Externalize & personify negative thoughts
  • Rapidly activate centers for positive emotions
  • No‐fail homework assignments
  • 4‐step method to overcome negative self‐talk: demonstration and practicum
  • Replace controlling, critical inner voices with compassion and curiosity
  • Use memory tricks to increase mindfulness
  • Learn the prerequisite for deep therapeutic change
  • Mix everyday tech savvy with neuroscience


  1. Explore the therapeutic impact of activating brain centers that neutralize stressful neurochemicals
  2. Explore how to regulate sensations from disturbing emotions by balancing them with uplifting neurochemicals
  3. Explore the power of visual images to externalize distress, enhance attunement, and create pathways to implicit memories and inner assets
  4. Explore ways to integrate a variety of therapeutic approaches into a three-step, brain-based protocol that can be used with diverse populations and ages

Copyright : 03/22/2018

Calming the Anxious Brain

Program Information


  1. Use examples to illustrate how the anxious brain functions and how to use that information in session to improve treatment outcomes. 
  2. Describe the role of the amygdala and cortex in maintaining anxiety disorders s for purposes of client psychoeducation. 
  3. Explain how learning about the neuroscience of anxiety can improve client engagement. 
  4. Use neurologically informed CBT techniques to help clients reduce anxious responding by making changes in both the cortex and the amygdala. 



  • Disclosures
  • Limitations
  • Scope of Practice
  • Learning Objectives

Using Neuroscience in the Treatment of Anxiety

  • Neuroscience & Anxiety
  • Neuroscience & Therapists
  • Using Neuroscience to Enhance Client Engagement
  • Treatment Goal Selection
  • Neuropsychologically Informed CBT
  • Neuroplasticity
  • Reconsolidation
  • Two Pathways to Anxiety

Understanding Anxiety in the Brain: The Amygdala Pathway

  • Fight, Flight, Freeze
  • Language of the Amygdala 
  • Triggers Created in the Amygdala
  • Neuroplasticity in the Amygdala
  • Amygdala-Focused Interventions

Understanding Anxiety in the Brain: The Cortex Pathway

  • Relationship between the Cortex & Amygdala
  • Neuroplasticity in the Cortex
  • Cortex-Based Interventions

Calming the Anxious Brain - Part 2

Copyright : 03/22/2019

Helping Clients Unlearn Their Pain: The New Neuroscience of Pain

Program Information


Knowledge about Psychophysiologic Disorders (PPD)

  • How is pain produced and processed in the conscious and subconscious brain
  • What are some of the common manifestations of PPD
  • Relationship between stressful life events and PPD
  • Overview of treatment of PPD

How to assess if someone has PPD, including examination skills if appropriate (Medical assessment)

  • Medical history
  • Review of records and imaging studies
  • The search for discrepancies
  • Review of symptoms checklist lifetime
  • Medical examination or review of medical examinations

How to determine the psychological cause of PPD

  • Early childhood history—priming events
  • Teen and early adult history—triggering events
  • Later life history, search for themes and patterns
  • Connection between onset and exacerbation of symptoms and stressful life events

How to educate patients and personalize information about PPD

  • Explaining PPD 101—the information
  • Review themes and relate life events to onset and exacerbation of PPD symptoms
  • Obtain feedback and answer questions

How to implement the basic cognitive and behavioral elements of Treatment

  • Education as a basis of treatment
  • Understanding the concepts and applying them personally
  • Believing in them and self-confidence to allay doubts
  • Developing self-confidence for successful recovery
  • Affirmations for recovery
  • Challenging symptoms
  • Conditioned responses and outcome independence

Description of expressive writing exercises, handouts only

List of writing techniques (Lists):

  • Free writing
  • Unsent letters
  • Dialogues
  • Gratitude
  • Forgiveness
  • Barriers to recovery
  • Responding to life situations
  • Writing a new life narrative

Description of the role of meditative exercises, handouts only

  • Mindfulness practices
    • Attending to emotional states
    • Decreasing self-induced suffering
    • Tolerating symptoms as transient events
  • Guided meditations

How to guide a PPD patient in emotional awareness and expression exercises

  • Basic principles
  • Description of steps in the process
  • Demonstration of the process

Conclusions, Questions and Answers


  1. Discover an approach to distinguishing clients with psychophysiologic pain from those with more structurally caused pain
  2. Discover how to help clients understand the psychophysiological process for pain in ways that encourage their commitment to positive action
  3. Discover how to use mindfulness-based cognitive-behavioral techniques to address psychophysiologic pain in clients

Copyright : 03/24/2018

Treating Complex Trauma Clients at the Edge: How Brain Science Can Inform Interventions

Program Information


  1. Evaluate the extreme symptoms of trauma by determining if they are rooted in sympathetic activation or parasympathetic withdrawal to inform clinical treatment interventions.
  2. Articulate methods by which neuroscience can be interfaced with psychotherapy practices to improve clinical outcomes.


 Experiential Treatments - Integrating neuroscience and psychotherapy

  • Necessity of utilizing physical, emotional and relationship aspects in therapeutic intervention
Problems with traditional phase oriented treatment
  • Negative evaluation of symptoms - ignoring their protective function
Internal Family Systems
  • Understanding symptom presentation as positive efforts pushed to extremes
  • Welcoming and integrating all parts of an individual
  • Identifying intent of symptomology, importance of avoiding shaming
Redefining trauma related diagnoses and integrating overactive protective mechanisms
  • Disorganized attachment
  • Borderline Personality Disorder, Dissociative Identity Disorder
Therapist factors - vulnerabilities
  • Impact of therapist parts acting as separately as the clients we work with
  • Responding effectively to personal triggers
Symptoms of post trauma
  • Hyperarousal, hyperarousal, psychic wounds
  • Importance of obtaining permission before addressing psychic wounds
Experiential exercise - self-awareness, response to triggers
Mind-brain relationships
  • Neuroplasticity, neural integration
  • Neural networks associated with trauma
  • Implicit nature of trauma memories
Autonomic nervous system
  • Role of cortisol
  • Sympathetic hyper-arousal
  • Characteristics of extreme symptom activation and mixed states
Therapeutic responses
  • Choosing compassion or empathic responses
  • Providing auxiliary cognition
  • Strategies to avoid contributing to hyperarousal
  • Top down strategies to separate or unblend
Case presentation - example of permission seeking, direct access and unblending
Polyvagal Theory
  • Dorsal and ventral branches
  • Activating strategies, responding to hypo-arousal, blunting

Copyright : 03/23/2018

BONUS: Accessing the Deep Brain with Brainspotting with David Grand, Ph.D.

Program Information


Introduction to Brainspotting

  • Overview education of the components of the brain
  • Identifying the advantages of using brainspotting over talk therapy to overcome trauma and other clinical issues

Discussion/demonstration of how to use Brainspotting in a clinical session

  • Understanding the science behind why brainspotting works
  • Live demonstration of Brainspotting in action
  • Q&A session and audience comments on the implementation of Brainspotting

Concluding remarks from David Grand

  • Final remarks following session experience and enhanced attunement
  • Follow-up training opportunities with David Grand


  1. Identify how specific eye movements, including wobbles and microsaccades, as well as other facial cues and reflexes reveal specific “spots” in the brain
  2. Describe “brainspots,” the eye positions associated with the activation of trauma
  3. Instruct traumatized clients to attend to their inner experience as they move through dissociative blocks and maximize a process of self-healing
  4. Develop skills that allow you to pay attention to interactions with clients while staying attuned to the internal brain changes reflected in their eye movements

Copyright : 03/26/2015