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Danielle's picture

 Neurological Changes Associated with Psychotherapy      

            Thank you to everyone who participated in the conversation this past Tuesday! Also, thank you to Dr. Yadin for joining our discussion and sharing with us her knowledge of CBT. I think everyone brought up some very interesting and important points when thinking about psychotherapy, pharmacotherapy and the brain.

            From our discussions, the idea that the brain can heal itself without medication is extremely valuable. Perhaps pharmacotherapy seems like the easy route to take, but what ends up making a person move past their states of depression, for example, is either a cruise (as proposed by Professor Grobstein) or CBT. CBT is extremely effective because it can be modified to treat or change a person’s behavior accordingly. With pharmacotherapy there are many extremes that do not cater to the wide spectrum of symptoms as seen in depression. Also, CBT provides patients with the tools so that they can change, what psychologists call, maladaptive behaviors. Dr. Yadin brought up a very important point that the brain is extremely plastic and that we should work with our own mechanisms to create change. As said by Dr. Yadin, CBT activates what we already have. I think that by activating what we already have allows us to truly change our brains and behavior in a way that is more permanent than the effects of psychotropic drugs. How can we be sure that psychotropic drugs are not affecting many systems within the body?

            The main question is, do we assume depression is a disorder or is it just a particular brain state? The world is extremely heterogeneous so are these mental “disorders” another form of diversity? 

            I think that it is very easy to over simplify the brain, when in fact it is an extremely complex organ which is still not completely understood.

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