Overview of Program
In this workshop Susan Hart will bridge the latest decades of brain research with attachment theory and developmental psychology, focusing on a core insight in personality formation – that the brain interacts with the environment through experiences of being attuned with important others. The key to understanding and healing such diverse problems as stress, posttraumatic disorder and even disorganized attachment is that they are responses to massive misattunement processes.
Healthy personality development occurs in an interpersonal system that is co-regulated through attuned and synchronized ‘now-moments’ of interaction. This is the hallmark of the healthy parent-child dyad as well as the healthy psychotherapy relationship, where psychotherapists bear the primary responsibility for creating co-regulated synchrony with the client through the quality of their presence as well as their intentional methods and interventions.
Through video clips and experiential exercises Susan Hart will give a brief summary of child development from the autonomic (sensory and arousal) level, to the limbic (emotional) level, to the neocortical (mentalization) level of interaction. Organized in the Neuroaffective Compass Model, these three experiential levels offer a framework for insight into:
• healthy emotional development,
• the nature of dissociation,
• assessing the clients level of personality competence and proximal zone of development, and
• selecting the best interventions to help and support traumatized children, families and adults out of traumatic and disregulated states.
Attendees will be able to:
- Learn to identify relevant aspects of the Neuroaffective triangle: Theory – Method – Self-agency.
- Gain more knowledge of how trauma and insecure attachment arrest personality development.
- Discover resources and imbalances on the different hierarchical levels of the brain.
- Structure therapy according to the Neuroaffective compass model of personality development.
- Connecting bottom-up and top-down strategies - from sensorimotor interaction to mentalization, and back.
- Navigate a therapy session with the inquiry “What works for whom?”.
The relationship between windows of opportunity and the proximal zone of development
Nature – nurture
Establishing macro- and micro regulation
Structure, limits rules and rituals
Resonance and mirror neurons
The hierarchical brain
Quantum leaps of development and Paul McLean’s model of the triune brain:
Lack of development of neural structures and circuits
Regressive processes due to strain and psychological overload
Treatment goals for psychological imbalances
Emotional and personality development
Integration of dissociated structures – such as trauma healing
Mental development occurs at 3 levels:
The Neuroaffective Compasses
An overview on:
The autonomic compass
Autonomic self-protective strategies
Synchronization processes in normal development
Synchronization processes in therapy
The limbic compass
Limbic self-protective strategies
Attunement processes in normal development
Attunement processes in therapy
The prefrontal compass
Prefrontal self-protective strategies
Mentalizing processes in normal development
Mentalizing processes in therapy
Working from “Bottom Up” and “top Down”
From social engagement to mentalization
Connecting all levels in the hierarchical brain
Present moments in psychotherapy