A lot of people are aware these days of the amazing research that is coming out on the human brain and how its chemistry can be changed with certain techniques and interventions – but what does this mean?

Brain change therapy (BCT) assumes that effective therapeutic change includes a repatterning of a person’s neural pathways, says Carol Kershaw and William Wade in the 2011 book “Brain Change Therapy.” This means any time YOU change the way you think, believe or perceive, your brain chemistry also changes. This can be achieved three ways – conscious refocusing of attention using techniques of mindfulness; circumventing the conscious mind; and state change therapy. Brain change therapy uses all three.

Conscious refocusing of attention using mindfulness. What you focus your attention on matters and it directly affects how you feel – a person who thinks negatively feels badly. Processing information negatively carves neural pathways that make thinking negatively a person’s first impulse. To change these bad habits or impulses, this refocusing technique involves teaching a person how to be aware of their thoughts and how their thinking affects how they feel. A person is taught how to consciously stop a destructive or negative thinking pattern and switch it to a positive pattern, thereby creating an immediate energy shift. The repeated ability to shift energy from positive to negative creates new neural pathways or roads that the brain will begin to take BEFORE and INSTEAD of older, negative pathways.

Circumventing the conscious mind.  Long-entrenched neural pathways are difficult to dispel.  Our brain gets used to functioning a certain way, and will stay that way until we work to get it functioning differently. Talk therapy works to do this, but it takes a long-term commitment to the process, and many clients are resistant to change, even though they may consciously know it is in their best interest. The conscious mind that is resistant to change can be circumvented through hypnosis and reaching a person at the subconscious level where judgment, fear and conscious thinking do not reside.

State Change therapy. The brain can be trained to use different, healthier, brain frequencies that a client may not be consciously able to adjust using techniques such as neurofeedback, biodfeedback, EMDR and devices such as the DAVID PAL.

Using the three methods above that are scientifically proven to create permanent and lasting brain change, a client can receive the best possible result. At this time my practice incorporates Conscious refocusing of attention using mindfulness using talk therapy, circumventing the conscious mind using hypnotherapy, and state change therapy using the DAVID PAL and other devices that teach individuals how to relax and focus. I have been trained extensively in neurofeedback, and though I don’t offer it myself, I have a highly recommended referral source for dynamic neurofeedback brain-training via the NeuroOptimal system. Click here to go to our neurofeedback page to learn more.