Thursday, April 09, 2015

Neuroscience and Psychotherapy

Last week, I was sharing with a group of men about a discovery from modern neuroscience. It pertains to not only "intellectualizing" where men are good at, but putting information into one's heart for application.  In that way, we can be whole (not split!) and become the persons we are meant to be.

Neuroscience describes two types of mental processing. One is the "left brain" mode of mental operation that sees the world in a logical, linear fashion. The other is "right brain" mental operation where emotional elements, values, and passions are contained. Both "left brain" and "right brain" must be integrated and balanced together for life to thrive.

We live in a world that merely values knowing or seeing things as objects. Of course, this manner of mental processing (left brain) is important and good. But it dominates so much our cultural way of thinking to the extent that the other equally important part of the brain (right brain) is underappreciated. Any time the brain is conditioned to be imbalanced or fragmented will exert a major influence on the mental health of individuals, families, and communities.

I look at psychotherapy or healing of the mind in a similar angle. The field of neuroscience can add to our understanding of how we have come to be who we are and why we do what we do over time. I propose that neuroscience has surprising connections with our emotional well being and spiritual practices that can transform our life and relationships. We need a fully integrated mind and that requires paying attention to the disparate aspects of our mind that we often ignore.

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