New Doors to Healing
How a New View of the Brain is Opening New Doors to Healing in Troubled Times
Recent discoveries in neuroscience tell us that the body and brain are constantly responding to perceived threats from our environment, deciding, on a cellular level, whether we are safe, or unsafe.
How safe we feel in the world profoundly affects not only our physical and immune health, but brain health, which, in turn, determines mental health. In this talk, individuals will learn the latest neuroscience on the biophysical link between trauma, inflammation, and mental health, while deepening their understanding of how early trauma sets the stage for mental health concerns in adulthood and how chronic stressors in adult life exacerbate these potential ill effects. This talk will also address how our communal state of trauma and isolation during the the troubled pandemic era in which we live is affecting brain health. Participants will also learn why these emerging findings in neuroimmunology are crucial to intervening and treating mental health disorders in clients, novel approaches that promote resilience and healing, including the transformative power of narrative writing-to-heal, Neural Re-Narrating™, neurofeedback, and other practices which can help ease suffering and open new doors to emotional well-being.
1. Describe how the body and brain constantly respond to perceived threats from our environment, and how the brain decides, on a cellular level, whether we are safe, or unsafe.
2. Describe the emerging neuroscience on the cellular link between our physical and mental health.
3. Explain why the brain responds to emotional stress as if it’s physical stress.
4. Describe how early trauma sets the stage for brain health in adulthood, and how chronic stressors in adult life exacerbate these potential ill effects.
5. Describe the emerging scientific understanding on the biophysical link between trauma, inflammation, and mental health across the lifespan.
6. Describe the epigenetic effects of chronic stress and trauma on the brain, behavior, and mental health.
7. Explain how immune cells in the brain crosstalk with the body’s immune cells, and how chronic stress and trauma create neural changes that in turn can lead to mental health disorders, addiction, cognitive decline, and neurological disorders.
8. Describe the importance of intervention and describe different tools to address trauma, inflammation and brain health, including neurofeedback and narrative writing.
9. Explain how understanding the cellular cross-talk behind the mind-body and the brain-immune connection can help us to promote flourishing.
Donna Jackson Nakazawa
Award-winning journalist, internationally-acclaimed speaker, Donna Jackson Nakazawa explores the intersection of neuroscience, immunology, and human emotion. With a mission to translate emerging science so that individuals can find new layers of healing, she is the author of six books. Her newest, The Angel and the Assassin: The Tiny Brain Cell That Changed the Course of Medicine (Random House/Ballantine), named one of the best books of 2020 by Wired, elucidates the biological basis behind the mind-body connection and offers us a radically reconceived picture of human health.
Donna’s other books include Childhood Disrupted: How Your Biography Becomes Your Biology, and How You Can Heal (Atria/Simon & Schuster, 2015), and more. Her writing has been widely published, including in Wired, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, Aeon, Parenting, AARP The Magazine, and Glamour. Having appeared on The Today Show, National Public Radio, NBC News, and ABC News, she is also a regular speaker at universities, conferences, and hospitals, including the 2020 Harvard Division of Science and Harvard Cabot Science Library Series, 2016 Johns Hopkins Conference on Trauma-Informed Healing, and the 2012 International Congress on Autoimmunity.