Loving with the Brain in Mind: Neurobiology and Couple Therapy

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Overview

Facilitating change in couple therapy by understanding how the brain works to maintain—and break—old habits.
Human brains and behavior are shaped by genetic predispositions and early experience. But we are not doomed by our genes or our past. Neuroscientific discoveries of the last decade have provided an optimistic and revolutionary view of adult brain function: People can change. This revelation about neuroplasticity offers hope to therapists and to couples seeking to improve ...

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Loving with the Brain in Mind: Neurobiology and Couple Therapy (Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology)

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Overview

Facilitating change in couple therapy by understanding how the brain works to maintain—and break—old habits.
Human brains and behavior are shaped by genetic predispositions and early experience. But we are not doomed by our genes or our past. Neuroscientific discoveries of the last decade have provided an optimistic and revolutionary view of adult brain function: People can change. This revelation about neuroplasticity offers hope to therapists and to couples seeking to improve their relationship. Loving With the Brain in Mind explores ways to help couples become proactive in revitalizing their relationship. It offers an in-depth understanding of the heartbreaking dynamics in unhappy couples and the healthy dynamics of couples who are flourishing.Sharing her extensive clinical experience and an integrative perspective informed by neuroscience and relationship science, Mona Fishbane gives us insight into the neurobiology underlying couples’ dances of reactivity. Readers will learn how partners become reactive and emotionally dysregulated with each other, and what is going on in their brains when they do. Clear and compelling discussions are included of the neurobiology of empathy and how empathy and selfregulation can be learned. Understanding neurobiology, explains Fishbane, can transform your clinical practice with couples and help you hone effective therapeutic interventions.This book aims to empower therapists— and the couples they treat—as they work to change interpersonal dynamics that drive them apart. Understanding how the brain works can inform the therapist’s theory of relationships, development, and change. And therapists can offer clients “neuroeducation” about their own reactivity and relationship distress and their potential for personal and relational growth. A gifted clinician and a particularly talented neuroscience writer, Dr. Fishbane presents complex material in an understandable and engaging manner. By anchoring her work in clinical cases, she never loses sight of the people behind the science.

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Editorial Reviews

Daniel J. Siegel
“[A] masterful book. . . . [S]oak in the wisdom of this elegant and illuminating synthesis.”
John M. Gottman
“Finally, a terrific and very readable book that combines what we know scientifically about healthy relationships with what we are learning about the functioning of the brain. This book should be part of every clinician’s library.”
Dan Wile
“Mona Fishbane thoroughly researches the new neurobiology and deftly draws its implications for couple therapy. She combines the erudition of a scholar with the wisdom of a master clinician.”
Sue Johnson
“This book gently guides us through the science behind one couple’s everyday struggles and victories, allowing all those who work with couples to appreciate and learn from their psychological and neurobiological journey.”
Froma Walsh
“In this beautifully crafted book, Dr. Fishbane brilliantly weaves together a wealth of neuroscience research findings and her invaluable wisdom as a master couple and family therapist and inspiring clinical educator to demonstrate how the brain influences our most intimate bonds. Offering useful practice suggestions and vivid case illustrations, she explains how, with the brain’s plasticity, we can shape and change patterns of interaction to bring out the best in loving relationships over the life course. I recommend this book most highly to deepen and enrich the practice of all seasoned clinicians as well as beginning therapists.”
PsycCRITIQUES
“Mona DeKoven Fishbane has written an innovative and very readable book for both new and experienced clinicians. . . . [She] provides couple therapists, as well as the couples that they treat, with a scientific, evidence-based foundation for hope and optimism for the future.”
The Milton H. Erickson Foundation Newsletter
“You know this book is going to be good when you learn it is part of the Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology and that the Foreword is written by Dan Siegel. Mona DeKoven Fishbane has created an intelligent classic – 266 pages packed with useful information that will enlighten therapists for years to come. . . . I not only recommend this book, I have also quoted from it on numerous occasions. . . . Fishbane has given therapists an extraordinary gift, and after reading this book, I think readers will agree.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393706536
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/30/2013
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 485,521
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Mona DeKoven Fishbane, PhD is the director of the couple therapy training program at the Chicago Center for Family Health.

Daniel J. Siegel, M.D. is a graduate of Harvard Medical School and completed his postgraduate medical education at UCLA with training in pediatrics and child, adolescent, and adult psychiatry. He is currently a clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine, founding co-director of UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research Center, founding co-investigator at the UCLA Center for Culture, Brain and Development, and executive director of the Mindsight Institute, an educational center devoted to promoting insight, compassion, and empathy in individuals, families, institutions, and communities. Dr. Siegel’s psychotherapy practice spans thirty years, and he has published extensively for the professional audience. He serves as the Founding Editor for theNorton Professional Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology which includes over three dozen textbooks. Dr. Siegel’s books include Mindsight, Pocket Guide to Interpersonal Neurobiology, The Developing Mind, Second Edition, The Mindful Therapist, The Mindful Brain, Parenting from the Inside Out (with Mary Hartzell, M.Ed.), and the three New York Times bestsellers: Brainstorm, The Whole-Brain Child (with Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D.), and his latest No-Drama Discipline (with Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D.). He has been invited to lecture for the King of Thailand, Pope John Paul II, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Google University, and TEDx. For more information about his educational programs and resources, please visit: www.DrDanSiegel.com.

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