Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Building new neural connections in your brain with corrective embodied experiences

What I love about my work these days is providing corrective experiences for my clients. Grieving about what has gone wrong in life or has been missing and neglected is a part of counselling, but it is also necessary to make use of the plasticity of our brain: 
Our brain can build new neural connections throughout life, especially in times of transitions (becoming a parent, puberty, moving to a new location, changes in life) and so it is really important to give my clients new positive experiences so the brain can build these new positive pathways. Otherwise one follows the old negative "highways" in the brain that always lead to worrying, fear, tension, depression and anxiety.

 It starts for my clients with feeling save in counselling sessions with me as their therapist (trust your gut instincts as a client and don't continue therapy if you don't "click" with your therapist), being in a carefully created beautiful environment, helping the discovery of resources in themselves and around them and creating or remembering safe places and supportive people in their lives. I assist remembering these with all senses so it can become a lived and embodied experience that can be taken back into every day life. Here I often use simple techniques I learnt in EMDR which strengthens the new pathways immediately. Once the new neural pathway has been created my clients are encouraged to start using this new pathway as often as possible between sessions so that an alternative inviting road can be created in addition to the good old negative highways in our brain. In the beginning the new pathway will be thin like a path only trodden once, but when you start walking down that new lane more often it will become a visible track. And the more you use it, the bigger and wider and easier to walk it will become until one day the old highways are no longer attractive. Life is so much better when you can travel on new nourishing routes. Save and happier travels!

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