The Inside Scoop on Brains
By Zur Institute
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Today's psychotherapists are living in an exceptionally exciting time. This period could rightfully be called, "The Era of The Brain." Our understanding of the brain used to be relatively static and, in many ways, that meant our knowledge of the brain was frozen. The functioning of the living brain was so opaque to us that the early behaviorists insisted we shouldn't pay any attention to it, referring to the brain as an unknowable "black box." The evolution of improved, powerful brain imaging tools, such as the MRI, has led to a quantum leap in our understanding of the brain.
It used to be that would-be therapists would be required to take a course titled something like, "Physiological Psychology." A large part of such a course would be devoted to the brain. As recently as 30 or 40 years ago, this coverage of the brain mostly involved learning the names of the various structures in the brain. We knew the names but not much about what these structures did! We especially didn't know how these structures related to one another, how groups of them function as systems, or the underlying electro-bio-chemical processes that allow them to communicate with one another. Many of today's psychotherapists are discovering they need to do some serious remedial work to stay abreast of developments in neuroscience and its impact on clinical practice.