Dr. John Arden is a psychologist with over 40 years of experience providing psychological services and directing mental health programs. His study of neuropsychology has inspired him to integrate neuroscience and psychotherapy, synthesizing the biological and psychological into a new vision for psychotherapy, known as Brain-Based Therapy. John is the author of 15 books, including “Rewire Your Brain,” “The Brain Bible,” and his latest publication “Mind-Brain-Gene,” which will be released on January 15th, 2019.
In this interview, John starts by discussing his focus on integrating various psychological perspectives and finding common denominators. He describes the main schools of psychology and gives examples of similar therapy approaches that use different language. John goes on to talk about secure and insecure attachment styles in both children and adults. He then gives some examples of how insecure attachment affects our brains and our behavior.
Next, John debunks some pop psych myths and clarifies the difference between motor functions and how the cortex responds to and interprets our environment. He explains how anxiety and depression lead to avoidance, which makes those problems even worse. He then talks about temperament, and how we’re all born with different emotional patterns. John also describes how we can rewire our brains and adopt new behaviors through nurturing. He provides examples of how to nurture self-care by challenging ourselves and expanding our comfort zones.
Chris gives an example of working through issues with a client. John explains how exposure helps us overcome anxiety and induces neuroplasticity in the brain. He gives additional examples of how humans are exceptionally adaptive. Chris and John then share their insights on what might be driving the current political and social regression. John also explains how stress and fear make us more reactive and inhibit our ability to process complex ideas, and Chris offers some examples of this from his own life.
John then discusses the five main factors of brain health: social connection, exercise, education, diet, and sleep. He describes how each of these factors affect our physical and psychological health, and offers strategies for optimizing them. Finally, John talks about how traumas are imprinted in our memory. He shares advice on how to depreciate these patterns and balance our stress response so that we can connect more deeply with ourselves and others. He also explains the concept of epigenetics and how lifestyle influences gene expression.
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