Neuroscience is the newest force in counseling and psychotherapy.

Neuroscience is defined as the scientific study of the nervous system.[1]

Traditionally, neuroscience has been seen as a branch of biology. However, it is currently an interdisciplinary science that collaborates with other fields such as chemistry, cognitive science, computer science, engineering, linguistics, mathematics, medicine (including neurology), genetics, and allied disciplines including philosophy, physics, and psychology (includes mental health).


  1. Neuroplasticity
  2. Neurogenesis
  3. Attention
  4. Understanding Emotions
  5. Focusing on the Positives

Research finds that any pattern, healthy or unhealthy, is the result of repeated brain activities in response to the same circumstances, Beitman noted. A woman with a social phobia, for example, may have had repeated negative emotional experiences with the same frightening people when she was a child. In reaction, her limbic system's "fight-or-flight" response got activated each time she was in the situation, so that eventually, her brain took that route each time she encountered strangers, even when they were not dangerous.

Right now, whether you are aware of it or not, your body is adjusting to meet the demands of the moment. That might mean shifting positions in your seat to get more comfortable, clicking the mouse on your computer when you are ready, or reaching for your water bottle because you are thirsty. Your body is intelligent enough to react and adjust, refine and habituate, and find some semblance of balance in any scenario. Your body is always doing its thing whether you choose to listen to it or not. In our work together, you will learn about the subtle cues your body is giving you so that you can make conscious decisions about living your life fully.

How and why are neuroscience and cognitive science relevant to counseling practice? First, neuroscience provides comforting research that suggests most of counseling theory and practice is on target. But it also gives us a clearer understanding of why what we do actually works. Moreover, it imparts ideas for improving our work with clients. Instead of just traditional talk therapies, our work together will include also include a more body-centered, holistic approach that is based in neuroscience.