Skip links

A layperson’s incomplete guide to neuroscience : how can we apply what is known about the brain to psychotherapeutic work? – Sarah McMichael

Tuesday 18th February 2020


There have been many important developments in the understanding of the brain particularly over the last 10-15 years : medical technology has allowed for closer observation than ever before of what goes on inside our brains in varied states of mind, such as when we feel upset, scared, angry and while re-living traumatic memories . This paper will explore in layperson’s terms some of these developments and what they might mean in terms of our overall understanding of how we think, feel, behave and react to people and situations: how might this knowledge be applied to working therapeutically with clients ? The question will be considered of how neuroscience and psychoanalysis can work together in helping us as practitioners to help our clients. 2 books in particular will be referred to :
Graham Music’s Nurturing Natures (2016) and Bessel van Der Kolk’s The Body Keeps the Score: Mind, Brain and Body in the Transformation of Trauma (2014).

Sarah McMichael has worked in varied settings as a counsellor /psychotherapist for 20 years , qualifying from Birkbeck’s MSc course in 2008 . She currently works as a specialist mental health mentor at the London School of Economics and Birkbeck, she is also a student counsellor at Kings College, a tutor at the Tavistock and an experiential group facilitator on a counselling certificate course.


Subscribe to get latest updates.