Dr. Schore, a prominent researcher in the fields of psychology, neurobiology, and attachment theory, talks and writes about the importance of relationships in our lives. So what is Attachment Theory? It refers to the original relationship between a young child and its caregiver, which is often the mother. The quality of this relationship has lasting effects on an individual’s life, and Dr. Schore researches those effects. There is now scientific evidence which indicates that healthy brain development is dependent on this original relationship.
What about adult relationships? Once the brain has reached its adult size and structure isn’t it too late to influence its function? New brain research suggests the opposite. Part of Dr. Schore’s message is that through the work of psychotherapy, it is actually possible to make changes in the brain. Yes, even the adult brain. The outcome of therapy depends largely on the quality of the relationship between therapist and patient. When the patient and therapist meet regularly in person, they can create a relationship which allows nonverbal communication to occur. This emotional communication which occurs “beneath the words” is an important part of the process and it helps people change their thinking patterns, reactions to stressful situations, and the ways they interact with others.
Current scientific tools can now observe what happens in the brain when patient and therapist communicate on this level. Brain imaging shows which areas of the brain are active during therapeutic encounters. This is true for the patient and for the therapist. Both brains are making new connections as they work together in therapy. So that “deep in your guts” feeling of connection we described as we wrote about online therapy is actually deep in your brain.
What does this mean for clients seeking therapy or wondering if they should? It means that after beginning a talk based therapy, once there is a productive bond being formed, that is the starting point on the path to change. Even when talking about difficult subjects, the connection is what makes talk therapy so powerful. If you would like to learn more about the process or how to get started, give us a call.