The Transformative Power of Optimal Stress: Reprogramming the Mind and Rewiring the Brain 2020

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Martha Stark, MD

Martha will demonstrate the transformative power of “optimally stressful” psychotherapeutic interventions that repeatedly juxtapose “unhealthy defense” and “healthier adaptation” – such that the tension created by the patient’s experience of this mismatch will ultimately prompt the locking in (or “reconsolidation”) of new, updated, and more empowering narratives in the place of the old, outdated, and disempowering ones. She will propose that “therapeutic memory reconsolidation” is indeed the organizing principle whereby the mind can be reprogrammed and the brain rewired in both short- and long-term intensive psychotherapies – such that a more evolved perspective can be achieved and new meaning made of previously unmastered early-on relational traumas.

Specific learning objectives:

Upon completion of this course, you will be able to:

1. Elaborate upon the transformative power of optimally stressful interventions that precipitate disruption in order to trigger repair
2. Demonstrate a working knowledge of the differences between defensive reactions (“cursing the darkness”) and adaptive responses (“lighting a candle”)
3. Explain the importance of prompting clients to tap into their intrinsic ability to self-correct in the face of optimal challenge.

Program Code: PPP20-2
Credits: 18
Fees: $525

Additional Information

This course is fully online and takes place over 4 weeks. Each week runs from Saturday to Friday. The schedule is below:

Week 1: October 10-16, 2020
Week 2: October 17-23, 2020
Week 3: October 24-30, 2020
Week 4: October 31-November 6, 2020

While there are no "live" requirements, there are some modest weekly deadlines that you will be expected to meet. Each week is comprised of a lecture, readings, discussion board, and brief quiz. Additionally, there will be at least one opportunity for a live conference call with Dr. Stark.

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