Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Trauma, Healing & the Brain with Dr. Earl Henslin

I attended a Trauma, Healing and the Brain conference. Here is some of what I learned from Dr. Earl Henslin.

Dr. Earl Henslin


  • Earl has a doctorate in clinical psychology. 
  • Author of This is your Brain in Love and This is your Brain on Joy
  • Is there a normal brain? How can there be when we all experience such different things.
  • Bumps to our head can change a lot about our lives.
  • The real reason to not do drugs: They damage your brain and limit your potential.
  • Everything we put in our mouth has an affect on our brain.
  • Prefrontal cortex: front part of the brain that runs executive functioning. It is the "adult on board" that helps us make good decisions. Drug and alcohol abuse damages the prefrontal cortex.
  • Any 12 step addiction program tells us that recovering addicts shouldn't make any life altering decisions inside of the first year of being sober. A sponsor and mentor is needed to help make up for the damage done to the prefrontal cortex.
  • Exercise and movement is the best thing we can do for the brain. Sleep is the second best thing we can do for our brain.
  • 10 years of alcohol and nicotine abuse quadruples the risk of Alzheimer's and dementia.
  • Head trauma can be the cause of depression, anxiety, anger, etc.
  • Neuroplasticity = the brain can change
  • Before we jump into education and therapy, we should make sure the child's basic needs and health are being met. Eat, sleep and movement. There may be organic brain damage that we need to address.
  • Basal ganglia is the part of the brain responsible for anxiety
  • Heal the brain, help the soul.
  • Without a healthy brain, the half-life of talk therapy and education can be from the classroom/office to the playground/parking lot.
  • Quiet the Mind is a great book on calming our thoughts
  • Energy drinks are doing more damage to our brains than we understand.

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