The Stress-Proof Brain: The Neuroscience of Stress and ...

The Stress-Proof Brain: The Neuroscience of Stress and ...

The Stress-Proof Brain: The Neuroscience of Stress and Research-Based Skills for Resilience

Presented By: Melanie Greenberg, PhD | Saturday, March 11, 2017 | 9 am – 1 pm

Location: CIP, 1330 Lincoln Avenue, Suite 201, San Rafael, CA 94901

Cost: $75 early registration fee up to 10 days prior to seminar, $85 after. 

CIP Member Discounts: $50 early registration, $60 after 

CEs: 4 CEs for LMFTs & LCSWs and 4 CEs for Psychologists

Melanie Greenberg Bio:

Melanie Greenberg, PhD, is a clinical psychologist and author in Marin County, California, who specializes in stress, trauma, and relationships.  She also writes The Mindful Self-Express blog for Psychology Today and is an expert for national media. Prior to going into private practice, she was a psychology professor for more than a decade. She has published articles in scientific journals and presented talks at national conferences and Continuing Education workshops for health professionals. Her new book The Stress-Proof Brain will be published in January 2017 by New Harbinger. For more information, visit her website: 

http://www.drmelaniegreenberg.biz

Course Description:

This class first presents an overview of the stress response, including the interplay of the amygdala and prefrontal cortex and the cascade of hormones and neurotransmitters that comprise the “fight, flight, freeze” response. It discusses the difference between acute and chronic stress, the upside and downside of stress, and the psychological and physical effects of specific stressors like caregiving, marital discord, and unemployment. Next, it presents an integrated program for developing a “stress-proof” brain that includes the following components: mindfulness, self-compassion, perceiving control, becoming cognitively flexible, overcoming hyper -vigilance and rumination, finding healthy coping strategies, and developing a growth mindset. The class will provide information about the mind-body effects of stress, interactive exercises, and practical tools to use with clients. 

Source Material: 

The burgeoning field of Health Psychology expands the emphasis in clinical practice beyond a sole focus on mental health to the underlying physiology and brain processes and social and environmental influences on human behavior and emotions. It takes advantage of new research-based knowledge in brain science and social psychology. Yet many psychologists are not aware of this broader perspective and how it might inform their conceptualizations and clinical methods. A key aspect of this approach is the concept of “stress” which is defined as a mind-body response to acute events or chronic circumstances perceived as threatening or challenging.

 This class is based on new research in neuroscience, clinical, health, and social psychology. It overviews the neuroscience and physiology of the “fight, flight, freeze” response and what happens when stress becomes chronic. It presents research that illustrates the impact of stress on work performance, health, and relationships. It also teaches research-based stress-management strategies that can be incorporated into clinical practice.

This program is derived from the following works:  

Greenberg, M.A. (2017, in press) The Stress-Proof Brain, CA: New Harbinger.

Gross JJ, Thompson RA. (2007) Emotion Regulation: Conceptual Foundations. In: Gross James J., editor. Handbook of emotion regulation. New York, NY, US: Guilford Press.

Davidson, R. J., Kabat-Zinn, J D et al (2003). Alterations in brain and immune function produced by mindfulness meditation. Psychosomatic Medicine, 65, 564-570.

Miller, G.E., Chen, E., & Zhou, E.S. (2007). If it goes up, must it come down? Chronic stress and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical axis in humans.Psychological Bulletin, 133, 25–45.

Seery, M. D., Holman, E. A., & Silver, R. C. (2010). Whatever does not kill us: Cumulative lifetime adversity, vulnerability, and resilience. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 99, 1025-1041. 

Learning Objectives:   

Upon completion of this workshop participants should be able to: 

1. Explain the neurophysiology of the stress response, including the roles of the amygdala, hypothalamus, sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, and the effects of cortisol and adrenalin. 

2. Describe the difference between acute and chronic stress and the longer-term effects of chronic stress on mind and body.  .

3. Explain the concept of mindfulness, how it affects the brain, and demonstrate mindfulness-based interventions in therapy.

4. Present research suggesting the efficacy of self-compassion and how to increase self-compassion in clients facing stress.

5. Establish the importance of perceived controllability and prepare to increase clients’ perceptions of control and self-efficacy to manage their stressors.

6. Show how stress and anxiety narrow cognitive focus and learn techniques to help clients be more cognitively flexible in the face of stress.

7. Provide research suggesting that positive emotions can undo the physiological effects of negative emotions. Learn techniques to help clients increase their positive emotions.

8. Demonstrate how rumination exacerbates the effects of stress and how to help clients interrupt and curtail ruminative cycles and gain cognitive distance from negative thinking.

9. Compare and contrast how a growth mindset differs from a fixed mindset and how to incorporate this concept into therapy.

Course Schedule/Outline:   

8:30 am - 9:00 am  Registration

9:00 am - 10:15 am The presenter will explain the neurophysiology of the stress response, including the roles of the amygdala, hypothalamus, sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, and the effects of cortisol and adrenalin. She will then explain the difference between acute and chronic stress and describe the longer-term effects of chronic stresses like caregiving, chronic work stress, or marital discord. She will differentiate healthy stress from unhealthy stress. The presenter will describe how to apply the above concepts to mental health issues we see in clinical practice.

10:15 am – 11:00 am The presenter will discuss how uncontrollable stress differs from controllable stress and how to help clients target different coping strategies to different types of stressors. She will also introduce an exercise to increase self-efficacy to manage stress as well as presenting research showing the efficacy of self compassion and how positive emotions can undo physiological effects of negative emotions.

11:00 am – 11:15 am Break

11:15 am – 12:00 pm  The presenter will describe how mindfulness strategies reduce chronic stress in the brain and body and help our brains manage stress. She will demonstrate how to teach mindfulness skills to clients and how to help clients de-fuse from negative thoughts.

11:15 am – 12:00 pm The presenter will describe how stress and anxiety affect client’s thinking so they focus narrowly on the perceived threat and get caught in ruminative and negative thinking cycles and avoidance. She will demonstrate some clinical strategies to help clients reduce rumination and avoidance and find healthy coping strategies.

12:00pm – 1:00 pm  The presenter will discuss how a growth mindset differs from a fixed mindset and how to help clients develop a growth mindset and become more resilient in the face of stress. 


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