Playing the brain for a change!

The Exciting Results of My Work with NICABM

I’ve been busy but have not been blogging.  I was just looking at my last post, and it’s been close to two years since I shared the news with you that I had joined my fellow licensed psychologist, Ruth M. Buczynski, PhD, President of The National Institute for the Clinical Application of Behavioral Medicine (NICABM) in the Next Level Practitioner community.

Since then, I learned from the featured experts in the Next Level Practitioner programs representing various psychotherapy approaches. Doing so ignited my interest in researching and developing brain-based concepts to use in teaching continuing education courses and in helping psychotherapy and coaching clients. I now use the science at hand today to arrive at the best clinical practices.

Striving to Be the Best

In fact, when NICABM asked, “Are you the kind of practitioner who has a burning desire to find the best ways to help people change and who will go way beyond expectations to be the best that you can possibly be? If so, come join us as we identify what it is that makes these innovative thinkers so successful in their work.”

I said, “Yes! Sign me up!”

I was already interested in what makes for a great psychotherapy session.  I’d been learning and researching the neuroscience of transformational change, interpersonal neurobiology, neuroplasticity, and memory reconsolidation for over a decade. I joined the NICABM Next Level Practitioner program because those in the program shared my interest in using brain science to effectively help clients change their lives in unexpected ways.

The Lone Brain-Based Ranger

Plus, as a NICABM member, I no longer felt I was the lone brain-based provider.

Indeed, before joining I felt I was a lone neuroscience geek interested in finding the keys neuroscience might provide to improve the effectiveness of psychotherapy.  I wanted to explain and teach other psychotherapists about the brain and how it changes. For over 25 years I’d used hypnotherapy to facilitate transformational change, but I wanted to really understand the neuroscience behind this rapid and lasting intervention.

Bridge Neuroscience and Effective Practice

When I started by company, MindWorks Psychology, the mission was to help and serve others by bridging modern neuroscience into effective clinical practice.  I especially wanted to help other psychotherapists have the best science to achieve results.

In 2013, I began offering many continuing education programs in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, where I live and work. These trainings attracted other mental health professionals to the restorative gorgeous white sand beaches and waters of the Emerald Coast of Florida. They, too, were curious about how neuroscience could be used to improve their effectiveness and interventions. These therapists told me they didn’t want to just add neuro-speak to psychobabble with clients, or to memorize brain anatomy or complicated neurotransmitters systems to sound smart.

Use Neuroscience to Connect and Affect Clients

My attendees at MindWorks Psychology workshops wanted to know how to utilize neuroscience to truly connect and affect so they would get outstanding results with their clients. Despite hundreds of hours of trainings in therapies, they were confused and wondered how and when to incorporate these new non-talk treatment interventions (such as, eye-movements, tapping, hypnotherapy, mindfulness, guided-imagery, and neurofeedback). They didn’t understand the science of brain change or how to best present and discuss these new non-talk interventions with clients in sessions.  They shared how previous instructors of neuroscience programs they attended had struggled to frame the complicated scientific language into what to actually say and do in therapy sessions.

In my courses they were thrilled to learn applied neuroscience for practical clinical use. They wanted the neuroscience keys to a brain-changing conversation, and they got them along with first-hand experiences. Together we reviewed what to say in sessions. We looked at transcripts, videos, and laser-coaching exercises, and we practiced with each other.

The therapists who attended my programs were delighted to understand what’s actually done in-sessions to promote change. They finally knew how to go back to their offices and connect and affect their clients to produce transformation.

Practical Neuroscience in Daily Use

I wanted to bring neuroscience to client sessions in a practical way and in a manner easy for therapists to adopt and use. And I wanted to develop tools that wouldn’t hurt the therapeutic alliance and would create quick and lasting change in clients.

That’s why I created a scientific approach to emotional pain intervention that involves having a brain-changing conversation with clients. I call it Emotional Pain Intervention (EPI®). This methodology also allows clients to use what they learn in sessions with their therapists outside of sessions. The interventions I create and teach promote self-directed neuroplasticity.  Clients immediately understand and benefit from the conversation and tools.

Support Wields New Therapy Tools

NICABM programs supported my creativity with access to great thinkers and evidence-based research. And that helped me further develop EPI®. I took the keys from common factors in psychotherapy research and brain science and created a simple, effective, and practical guide for brain-changing conversations that easily can be integrated with evidence-based psychotherapies you already use.

I’m a firm believer that cutting-edge and relatively new brain science can change lives. That’s why I joined and promote NICABM’s Next Practitioner program.  I’ve been listening to these seasoned clinicians for two years now, and it’s helped me become a thought leader and an effective teacher as well as a better therapist. Like other science-based practitioners, I am never satisfied by the status quo.

I’m so grateful to Dr. Ruth Buczynski and her experts (or, as she calls them, her “good buddies”), for igniting my passion to help and serve by inspiring me to commit to using the best science has to offer with clients.  Thanks to the weekly programs, I felt supported by likeminded clinicians as I created EPI®, an effective and innovative approach for getting deep and rapid suffering reduction while also enriching people’s lives. EPI® isn’t a psychotherapy; it’s a science-informed guideline for having brain-changing conversations, and it integrates with evidenced-based therapies already in use.

I’m thrilled to be considered an expert on how to have brain-changing conversations.  I have become a more-creative practitioner in the process of this work, and I now you can, too.

These days, I teach, write about, and offer an exceptional brain-based approach that changes lives. I’ll be sharing some of these same principles here on my blog. And I will continue to teach other practitioners how to get the same results with their clients. For more information about my trainings, click here. (For specific training dates, click here.)

That means I’m back to blogging. Watch for more posts from me.

Have you ever discussed the brain and change in your session work with clients?

Let me know in a comment below.

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One comment

  • I use the analogy that the emotional brain finally releases the trauma that the event is not occurring,now. It is a past event and no longer occurring in the Now” moment. I have used whole brain integration exercises exercises such as Educational Kinesology since 1989 and various forms of hypnosis for healing since 1995. The neuroscience now explains how the process I used personally worked and assisted me in a 3.92 GPA in graduate school. Thus I adopted the assurance that if I can do it so can my clients. I have so long admired your email responses regarding trauma resolution and neuroscience. Keep the blogs coming. Even thought I have closed my office, I continue to be fascinated by the brain and the inner mind. Human beings are amazing!

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