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Counselor Morgan Randall's blog, bookstore and more. A place to explore the paradigm shift to systems thinking that views body and mind as one

Bibliotherapy (book therapy)

A big reason counseling works better than psychopharmacology is because you and your therapist share a healthy human relationship; a trusting, confidential communicative relationship just between the two of you.

Homo sapiens evolved as relational beings like chimpanzees, meerkats or elephants (unlike more individualistic creatures like possums, panthers, or turtles who do not live in social groups). The human brain builds its cellular networks primarily in response to relational activities. Even as an adult, you can literally grow a new brain with new neural pathways.

Through healthy relationships and Bodymind Counseling you can create a nervous system that works better than the one you have, which may have been damaged in relationship with members of your family of origin through unconscious poor behaviors by them or other people important in your life.

A limitation of psychotherapy can be that you only see your counselor once a week, so it can take awhile to see the results of true healing. While psychotherapy takes longer, it is very different than the quicker masking of symptoms from pharmaceuticals which cannot cure you and can have deleterious side effects.

So an important question is:  how can you amplify the value of the processing, information and insight your counselor provides and invoke her presence other days of the week to shore up the relationship and facilitate positive neuroplastic growth resulting in more permanent positive feelings and functional behaviors?

Seven ways to enhance counseling are:

1. by setting the intention to heal in a therapeutic relationship and demonstrating your commitment to yourself by consistently showing up for weekly sessions.

2. through following through on the simple individualized homework that may be recommended between sessions, and practicing suggested changes to your behavior.

3. through reading occasional informational emails from your counselor.

4. by calling your counselor on the telephone if you find yourself in an emotional emergency.

5. by attending workshops or other educational events.

6. by reading weekly posts on the Bodymind Counseling website’s blog.

7. or by reading books she may recommend or may be calling to you from the internet, library or bookstore shelf.

Reading a good book eases existential loneliness, stimulates curiosity and provides novelty helpful to growing a healthier bodymind. It facilitates deeper understanding of things you’ve learned about yourself in therapy.

The Bodymind Counseling Reading List contains descriptions of the books that may be recommended to clients during sessions. Feel free to explore this list and ask your librarian or favorite local bookstore to find books of interest to you.

January 31st, 2013 | Permalink

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