Interpersonal Neurobiology in Trauma Therapy with Dan Siegel

In this workshop we will explore the consilient findings of interpersonal neurobiology (IPNB) and how current empirical research can be synthesized in understanding the impact of trauma on the mind, the embodied brain, and relationships and how psychotherapy can harness these insights to enhance psychotherapeutic interventions.

Recent findings in the field of neuroscience can be combined with our understanding of consciousness, cognition, and culture to see how the lack of belonging in various forms of developmental trauma—from abuse to neglect—involve the isolation of the individual from a sense of connection with others.  The lack of trust in such a relational field of disconnection can be exacerbated by what researchers call a violation of “epistemic trust,” the ways we turn to our attachment figures to rely on the nature of what is real and true.

The research on the impacts of such developmental assaults on secure attachment reveal impediments to the  growth of the brain’s interconnectedness—as see in effects on the hippocampus, the corpus callosum, the prefrontal cortex, and the connectome.  Each of these integrative neural systems, while impaired in trauma, can also be healed and stimulated to grow with interventions such as mind training that involves the focus of attention, the opening of awareness, and the cultivation of compassion and kindness.  The lecture will explore each of these aspects of relational and neural integration at  the heart of healing.

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