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Purser, G.S. (2013). Neuroplasticity isn't Just About the Brain …: Review of a Webinar by Pat Ogden on 20th February 2013.. Att: New Dir. in Psychother. Relat. Psychoanal., 7(2):214-217.

(2013). Attachment: New Directions in Psychotherapy and Relational Psychoanalysis, 7(2):214-217

Webinar Review

Neuroplasticity isn't Just About the Brain …1: Review of a Webinar by Pat Ogden on 20th February 2013.

Review by:
Gülcan Sutton Purser

In this informative webinar broadcast, Dr Pat Ogden talked about how incorporating an understanding of the working of the brain, along with the mind and body, can make therapeutic approaches with people who are survivors of trauma more effective.

Most recent research done by pioneers such as Allan Schore, Dan Siegel, Pat Ogden, and Stephen Porges, focuses on the integration of the body, mind, and relational context more and more. My thoughts are that the mind, body, interpersonal context, inter-related world, emotions, sensations, and the cognitive all go altogether.

When we experience trauma, it stimulates our survival responses which shut down the frontal lobes and so the thinking brain is not active. Dan Siegel (2010) says in his fascinating book The Mindful Therapist that under extreme conditions of stress, the fight, flight, and freeze response floods the body with a chemical called cortisol, a chemical that has been shown to block the hippocampal function. Anything that blocks hippocampal function also blocks the explicit memory. This is comparable to a black out as a result of alcohol, but in this case is the result of excess cortisol. The fact that there is no explicit memory and the amygdala is producing high levels of adrenalin brings out incredibly vivid and enhanced implicit memory. Implicit memory involves the perception of details, behavioural reactions, any bodily sensations, perceptions, free floating memory fragments, and incredibly vivid flashbacks.

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