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     While working as a therapist, I became fascinated by  the human brain and  nervous system.  Many individuals I worked with had been victims of childhood sexual abuse, traumatic life experiences and/or suffered from the disease of addiction.  Starting out in the field of human services with a sociologically oriented perspective, continued experiences and study have provided  convincing evidence supporting the significant influence  neurological make up has on  psychological functioning.  Yes, unconditional regard, respect and the therapeutic relationship are critical.  But there are additional scientific explanations which explain why some individuals respond to specific interventions.  

I have become increasingly drawn to  working with  individuals who have primary symptoms originating from exposure to traumatic events.  These  individuals seem to benefit from a combination of cognitive behavioral and insight oriented therapy approaches.  The work of Bessel Van Der Kolk is worth further investigation if you would like to learn more about the impact traumatic events can have on a person's functioning and how to effectively treat this population.   

The  human brain is an amazing and  intriguing organ which can influence and be influenced by human behavior. Bessel Van Der Kolk integrates information about neurological responses  to trauma and provides insight into how practitioners can utilize acquired knowledge about the brain to provide more effective interventions for trauma survivors. 

Research provides convincing evidence about the tangible realities of mental illness.  These realities are frequently overlooked by uninformed professionals and lay people alike because of the stigma associated with illnesses of the mind.  After all, assessments of mental disorders rely heavily on subjective reports and it is difficult to empathize with symptoms which are invisible to the human eye.   Educating people is the key.  When society comprehends that the human brain is changed by stress , by therapy and that thoughts  have the ability to alter a human being's neuro-chemistry, progress will occur. Today, still such a mystery the human brain remains an unsolved puzzle.   With so much yet to be discovered about how this intricate organ operates, it is the minority and not the majority who embrace the latest findings on the mind.   Continued study and empirically based research will allow for the advancements necessary for talk therapy, pharmacological treatments and the vast array of therapeutic tools used by behavioral and social scientists to become readily accepted.  Eventually evidence will convince the uninformed that mental illnesses are real, that they are not the result of poor character and that will power is not a substitute for effective treatment.