Relationship counseling, addictions counseling, counseling skills, counseling techniques...where to begin? I think a good place to begin is in the Central Nervous System, which means any counseling website has to consider recent discoveries about how our brain works, and how fast it works. Then we can begin to move to more traditional counseling topics.
How fast can your life change? How long does it take to fall in love? Where does the experience of vision exist?
Did you know that your brain can process sensory data (photons hitting the rods and cones in your retina, sound waves hitting your ear drums, pressure, scents, and tastes) twice as fast as you can blink your eyes? (1/10th second).
That is 1/18th second.
Facial expressions can be processed in 1/25th second.
At the rate of 126 bits of sensory information per second.
How do we decide what to pay attention to?
Any sensory experience can call up a memory, or foster a thought attempting to interpret the sensory experience, in much less time than it takes to blink your eyes. Your brain and body will move the necessary hormones to the necessary place in your body to drive a behavior and perhaps save your life, very, very rapidly.
Here is an example. Remember back to time when you walked into a party and your eye caught the eye of another person across the room, and instantly you knew that there was a level of attraction between the two of you, so you decided in that 1/18th second to approach and make conversation, which lead to a date, and who knows what else.
How did you know there was an attraction on the other person’s part? And the course of your life did change when you decided to act on the intuitive understanding you felt.
How Can Counseling Help With Awareness and Choice When Things Happen So Fast?
Welcome to AskMiketheCounselor2.com, where I hope you can find information which helps you understand those decisions you make so rapidly which change the course of your life. You may want to make more healthy decisions, or fewer unhealthy decisions, or you may want to be a counselor, which I think is a great idea.
There are something like 450 different models of counseling which attempt to help us understand our behavior. There are not as many models which have research reliability or validity or are supported by clinicians, but all of them emphasize three things; our thoughts, our behavior, or our feelings. Some of those models might emphasize our unconscious, or our spiritual aspects , and all of them have value.
The field of counseling is constantly undergoing change, and it is imperative that it do so.
Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), for example is allowing us to peer into the human brain and examine it in real time action.
Helen Fisher, Ph.D. has done just that with ‘in-love’ and ‘just-out-of-love’ brains for example, and her work is giving us a take on our human mating dance that we have never had before. Reading her work has helped me to understand how I operate in love with more clarity.
Looking at stalking behavior, for example, through the lense of Fisher's work offers a different understanding, a brain based understanding rather than a sociological understanding. Should Fisher's research have an impact on how the Criminal Justice System views stalking?
The counseling field is a diverse field. There are hundreds of models for counseling, and the research on those models and the process of counseling is astounding, and when you couple that with research on the human brain, which is where it all begins, it is really hard to keep up.
Two very astounding recent developments involve the discovery of neurogenesis and neuroplasticity, and the brain fitness boom which accompanied those discoveries.
Neurogenesis is the word that describes the growth of new neurons across the life span. The field of neuroscience is undergoing a rapid remodeling as a result of the discovery of neurogenesis.
Some researchers are saying that neurogenesis could be the antidote for addiction relapse. Certainly a brain fitness lifestyle would be a much healthier lifestyle.
Martin Seligman, Ph.D. and many others are involved in a new field called Positive Psychology, which is the study of what it is that we as human beings do well, so that we can all repeat it, and FLOW.
Paul Ekman, Ph.D. has studied facial expressions, and I know how quickly I respond to non-verbal communications, so I think his work is fascinating and uniquely important to human interaction.
In fact, I think his work is as important to the counseling process as a theoretical orientation.
Michael Merzenich, Ph.D. is an expert in something called ‘neuroplasticity’ or your brain’s ability to change itself, sometimes within minutes, when it learns something new. Neuroplasticity can be encouraged.
Neurogenesis, or the growth of new neurons, which is a recently discovered capacity of the human brain, should be a factor in every decision you make in regards to your life.
Some researchers are saying that neurogenesis could be the antidote to relapse in addictions.
So how do we encourage neurogenesis and neuroplastictiy or find out about how to live a life of FLOW or engage in Positive Psychology?
What are the discreet skills of relationship building? How about listening?
Does the grief process follow a series of stages?
How many thoughts do we have per day, and why does it matter?
Does meditation make your brain heavier?
If someone calls you a ‘fathead” should you feel pleased?
Why do we have feelings, anyway? What is involved in brain fitness?
Did you know that your heart has a brain of its own, which can learn and make decisions?
My website is designed to provide information for you in four broad categories, tools, techniques, recommendations, and discoveries, and rather than writing my website as if it were a text book, each page is based on a search term that individuals like yourself have typed into their browser search bar, and the information provided on each page will hopefully be new and helpful.
Many of the pages have a comment form provided, which can certainly be used for feedback about the information provided, to guide me in my research, and I would invite you to share. Before you do share however, please be advised that the feedback form does not substitute for a professional counselor, not can I engage in counseling online.
I believe that the counseling process works. I have been blessed to walk with folks who have made the most stunning life changes imaginable, and I have been saddened to see the consequences for others who could not or would not undertake the change process.
Please enjoy, and let me know what you would like to see information on.
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