Through wonderful new inventions in neuro-imaging, we now know that the brain changes and adapts as we grow, it is not static and unchangeable as we used to think; it is plastic – dynamic, pliable and adaptable. And that makes sense – the brain is, after all, the organ that learns and it does so all the time. We now know that repeated mental activity in particular actually changes the brain on a neuronal level, that is, it changes the structure microscopically. Dendritic and synaptic connections have been demonstrated to rewire themselves through experience, and, most intriguingly, through mind training. There is also exciting research about the brain’s ability to heal itself with focussed stimulation, giving hope to so many people who have experienced loss of function through strokes and injuries.
What does this mean for psychology and helping people think and feel better? Well, if our wonderful brain has the ability to change and heal itself in response to mental experience and create new neural pathways to adapt to our world - that means we can harness that power. And we can do that because as humans, we have the ability to think about thinking, and thereby adapt our thoughts to bring us better outcomes. We are quite possibly the only species on earth that have this ability.
The basic fact is that thought changes the brain. The second fact is that changing thoughts changes feelings and experiences. The trick is to make that work for us by using thoughts that change our brains, and our lives, for the better.
A variety of techniques are being investigated for their efficacy in bringing about neural change. Some have been proven, such as meditation, and some are showing promising results. At our practice we aim to bring you the best of this cutting edge science, whether it is tailored to your specific circumstances and challenges or within a group format where themes are addressed with practical techniques that have been proven to make a difference. Please join us to discover what your brain can do!