The Mind

The Mind

 

Neuroplasticity

The Mind/Brain Connection

 

The mind is thought to be the seat of perception, self-consciousness, thinking, believing, imagining, remembering, hoping, desiring, willing, judging, analyzing, evaluating, reasoning, etc.

 

The mind is not a physical object. It cannot be seen with the eyes, nor can it be photographed or repaired by surgery. The brain, therefore, is not the mind but simply part of the body. Interestingly, changes in one will cause changes in the other.

 

Learning causes the growth of new connections and thus developing the mind. The condition of these connection points is crucial to the brain’s ability to think. The vast amount of information and experiences that we store inside our brain are all interconnected and related with each other, some more strongly or loosely than others.

 

Brain Scan

 

Complexity of the Mind

 

Originally, and for thousands of years, the subject of psychology involved the study of the human spirit, soul or mind. This involves things and functions not obviously visible to the physical senses. You can’t “feel” a thought with one’s hands. You can’t place an emotion on a scale and weigh it. You can’t detect imagination, even with sophisticated electronic detection devices.

 

Current technology measures various electronic pulses or signals when you are asked to imagine something does not at all mean that they are “measuring imagination”. What they are measuring is some brain reaction that occurs when you initiate the act of imagination. There is a relationship between the mind and the brain, but this relationship is almost completely unknown and not understood. The same is true for any chemical reactions or events that occur concurrent with imagination, thoughts or feelings. There is some relationship, but it is poorly understood.

 

Developing New Connections

 

Learning causes the growth of new connections and thus developing the mind. The condition of these connection points is crucial to the brain’s ability to think. The vast amount of information and experiences that we store inside our brain are all interconnected and related with each other, some more strongly or loosely than others.

 

Brain MRI

 

Psychotherapy Changes the Brain

 

Psychotherapy outcomes have typically been investigated by measuring changes in symptoms, psychological abilities, personality, or social functioning. Until recently it has become clear that our psychological processes are reflected by changes in the functions or structures of the brain.

 

So far, nearly 20 studies on brain changes after psychotherapy for depression, anxiety disorders, and borderline personality disorder have been published. So what does this mean? These studies suggest that cognitive-behavioral therapy, psychodynamic psychotherapy, and interpersonal psychotherapy alter brain function in patients suffering from depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, specific phobias, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

 

Finnish studies have measured molecular level changes after psychotherapy, and in this way directly tested the hypothesis that psychodynamic psychotherapy could lead to changes in gene expression through learning, by altering the strength of synaptic connections between nerve cells and inducing morphological changes in neurons.

Read  “How Psychotherapy Changes the Brain”

Neuroplasticity and Psychotherapy

I chose to write about “Neuroplasticity and Psychotherapy” because as an experienced Toronto psychotherapist  and a …

Toronto Anxiety Therapy

Anxiety Therapy

I have decided to write about the benefits of psychotherapy for anxiety to offer hope for those suffering from this debilitating …

Blog

Archives December 2016 November 2016