Yesterday on Radio 4′s the Today programme there was an item about coughing during classical concerts. Apparently these days it’s much more common and bothers many performers and concert goers alike. Research shows that people cough twice as often during concerts compared to ordinary life. On reflection I didn’t find that too surprising. What I did find surprising was how mystified everyone seemed to be about why it should be so. Continue reading
Neurotherapy at its broadest covers a wide range of techniques and therapies, including neurofeedback and biofeedback, transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS), Cranial Electro-Stimulation (CES) and Audio-Visual Stimulation (AVS). But how does a practitioner select which is appropriate for any given client?
In a recent blog post I reviewed Richard Davidson’s theory of emotional style (presented in his book, ‘The Emotional Life of Your Brain’ co-authored with Sharon Begley). I believe Davidson’s ideas offer a framework for choosing neurotherapies, and for tailoring therapy for the individual – in effect, for realising the goal of personalised health care. In this blog post I attempt to link some of the dimensions of emotional style to neurotherapy interventions. Continue reading
As long as I’ve been a therapist I’ve held that psychotherapy interventions should be rooted in an understanding of the biological systems that underlie mental and emotional well-being.
Professor Richard Davidson’s recent book, ‘The Emotional Life of Your Brain’ (co-authored with Sharon Begley), offers us a glimpse of a future in which mental health issues such as anxiety and depression are defined not in terms of their symptoms but rather which specific brain systems are out of balance or need to be strengthened. Such an understanding would naturally inform our choice of therapies.
Professor Davidson is a leading figure in the field of “affective neuroscience”, or the study of the brain mechanisms behind emotions. The book explores his theory of “emotional style”, a way of describing our emotional propensities based on a set of six dimensions, each representing a relatively independent trait and embodied in distinct brain circuits that can be measured objectively using the tools of neuroscience. Examples are resilience, or how quickly you recover from adverse events, and self-awareness in the sense of how well you perceive bodily sensations that reflect emotions. Continue reading