Friday, September 22, 2017

What Is Neuroplasticity?

A Change of Mind: Neuroplastic Tools for Healing is the name for my groups and classes designed to help you feel better, work toward eliminating pain and discomfort, reduce anxiety, and get more done. Obviously, neuroplasticity is the core principle we use. What exactly does that mean?

When I was younger, we were taught that the brain doesn’t change in adulthood, except to lose cells in injury or disease. We now know that isn’t true at all. Neuroplasticity is the ability of the brain to change itself.

The brain changes itself constantly throughout our lives. The brain changes as our experience changes.

What does that mean, specifically?
  • Everything that we experience, think, feel, believe, and learn changes the physical structure of the brain, the chemicals in the brain, and electricity in the brain. 
  • This ability of the brain to change is called neuroplasticity.
Having pain, discomforts of illness, anxiety, and depression also changes the brain — because these are part of our experience.

  • Usually, those symptoms only last a short time and then go away, so the brain doesn’t change very much.
  • However, sometimes symptoms last a long time, and happen over and over.
  • With repeated experience, the brain “learns” those symptoms, and builds them into pathways that remain active in the brain.
  • Once the brain has established strong pathways leading to those symptoms, they keep going and going, even if the initial cause has been resolved.
  • At that point, if we want to stop the symptoms, we must work directly with the brain to “unlearn” the pathways that keep manifesting symptoms of pain, illness, anxiety, and depression. 


Image of tree branches superimposed on a brain representing neuroplasticity as taught in Dr. Danielle Rosenman's online group and in-person groups
Artwork by D┼żoko Stach
We can use the principles of neuroplasticity in many ways. Neuroplasticity lets us learn through our entire lives. The more often we repeat a task, the better we learn it. Repetition helps us learn things like reading, adding numbers, or playing a musical instrument. We often call this type of learning practice. Repeated practice creates strong pathways that make it easy to repeat learned behaviors.


When we understand how neuroplasticity works, we have the opportunity to change symptoms of pain, illness, anxiety, and depression. In my Medical Counseling practice, and in my support and educational groups, A Change of Mind: Neuroplastic Tools for Healing, I teach people how we can change the brain ourselves by understanding:
  • more about how the brain works;
  • the principles of neuroplasticity;
  • the neuroplastic brain-retraining method adapted from Dr. Michael Moskowitz and Dr. Marla Golden; and
  • a variety of techniques or tools.
New sessions of the Change of Mind groups begin in October 2017. Each group meets eight times, for two hours each.
New:
  • Online Group – Sunday afternoons 4–6 p.m., starting October 1, 2017
For information and to apply, please see: http://medicalcounseling.net/groupenrollpage.html 

Contact me — I'd love to hear from you! 

Danielle Rosenman
510-701-0134
drosenman@medicalcounseling.net




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