Volume 4 Issue 10 (October 2016)
Undoubtedly, one of the major paradigm shifts in our understanding of mental processes and mental health during the 20th century came in the form of a new understanding of memory formation and, in particular, the plasticity of the brain. Following close behind these revelations have been advances in our understanding of ”epigenetic” mechanisms by which experience can influence gene expression, constituting a second paradigm shift in genetics. We are not set in stone from birth, that much is clear—but just how astoundingly malleable we are is a matter of core concern to the psychotherapist. To this end we focus this month on epigenetics in our ninth instalment of the Psychotherapist’s Essential Guide to the Brain.
The first of our two features this month comes from narratologist Gail Noppe-Brandon, who canvasses the imperative of creativity for both clinician and client to progress toward healing in her article “Permissible Curiosity”. Gail is an innovator in the field of narratology (a synthesis of dramaturgy and therapy), and in this article she brings the wisdom of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and his seminal 1996 work Creativity to bear on her argument for a more creative process in therapy.
Also this month we present the conclusion of a two-part article by Alexandra Katehakis, drawn from a just-released new volume on sex addiction as affect dysregulation from Norton, in which she drills down to the specifics of the therapeutic process and relationship when dealing with clients caught in sex addiction. Alex pays particular attention to transference, countertransference, and the keen self-awareness a therapist must develop when involved with these clients.
Also in this issue we have a first-hand report on working with Syrian refugees in Jordan, a calendar of upcoming events, and recent neuroscience news. Barry Karlsson has The Last Word this month, with a thought-provoking muse on free will and psychotherapy.
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Narratologist Gail Noppe-Brandon talks about the essential element of creativity in the therapeutic process for healing to take place. Gail, who synthesises dramaturgy and therapy, brings together the wisdom of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi on creativity with her own experience in drama and therapy to argue for a more creative process in psychotherapy.
Sex Addiction: Holistic Treatment Goals and Protocols for Body, Brain, and Relationship (Part 2)
Alex takes us through some of the neurobiological complexities of sex addiction and offers a psychobiological approach to treatment as a useful framework from which to work. Many of the principles she expounds are highly relevant for other addictions and for psychotherapy in general.
- News In Brief
- Neuroscience (Guide to the brain part 9 – Epigenetics)
- Spotlight (The three stressors for civil war refugees – A personal view from work in Jordan)
- The Last Word (Barry Karlsson)