Neuroscience and Healing
Online Course Materials: Audios Articles
Developed by David Van Nuys, Ph.D.
Course includes the works of Bruce Ecker, MFT, Dr. Jaak Panksepp & Dr. Mark Solms
General Course Description
Psychotherapy often focuses on emotions, without much attention to clients’ brains. But, there is much to be learned from the rich world of the brain.Unlike the heart or kidney, it has agency, feelings, and the power to end a life as a matter of choice. Those who view emotions as separate from the brain are mistaken; the brain feels a great deal. It is central to our emotional arousal, sexual arousal, and physical and emotional pain. Happily, it is also a center for immense healing. The brain, well cared for, can be a place of growth and wholeness. Left to spin with the effects of trauma, it can also be our undoing.
In this advanced level course, Dr. David Van Nuys interviews eight experts in the areas of neuroscience, somatics, and healing. All of these interviews come with transcripts. In the first section, Somatics, Dr. Eleanor Criswell discusses frontiers in somatic therapy. Dr. Michael Heller covers an overview of body psychotherapy and somatic psychotherapy, and Dr. Stanley Keleman discusses the body and embodied living. In the second section, Neuroscience, Dr. Paul Swingle speaks to neurotherapy. Dr. Robert Scaer discusses trauma and PTSD, and Bruce Ecker sheds light on the emotional aspects of the brain. In the final interviews Dr. Mark Solms shares his wisdom on neuro-psychoanalysis and noted animal researcher Dr. Jaak Panksepp takes us through the evolutionary archeology of emotion. Additional resources and references are provided for further study, but they are not part of the course.
“The brain has feelings, and its feelings have causal effects on behavior.”
– Dr. Mark Solms
- This course will teach the participant to
- Explain the benefits of somatic psychotherapy.
- Recommend yoga and mindfulness practices.
- Discuss the effects of moving slowly versus moving quickly on mental health.
- Recommend brain scans for certain patients.
- Report on important differences between the brain and other organs.
- Interpret the physical movements of ADD kids more accurately.
- Question the notion that all memories can be recalled.
- Explain the evolutionary development of emotion in the brain.
- The brain’s emotions
- Evolution of the emotional brain
- Brain injuries
- Mood changes
- Conscious vs. Unconscious
- Why some memories cannot be recalled
- Intergenerational trauma
- Comparison with stress
- Storage in movement patterns
- Effects on the brain
- The importance of self-regulation
- The healing potential of biofeedback
- Emotionally focused therapy (EFT)
- Why initiative is important
- The power of choice
- Exaggerating a pattern for therapeutic purposes
- Basic principles of somatic psychotherapy
- Comparison with talk therapy
- Yoga and mindfulness practices
- Revitalization through physicality
- The effects of movement on the brain
- Eastern Approach vs. Western Approach
- The emotions of animals
- Core mammalian emotions
- The purpose of rage
- Motivation for play