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Experience changes brain structure and function. Beginning before conception, continuing in utero and throughout life, explore how environment, experience, and choice alter human DNA and impact brain structure and function. The human brain is pliable and changeable, and our experiences cause our brains to change. This change begins in our parents’ genes before our conception, continues in the womb, and persists throughout life. In the first part of this presentation, we will explore how parental choices affect the developing brain and follow that into childhood to explore how healthy nurturing, traumatic experience, diet, addictive substances, television, and even belief in God alter our genes, brain structure, and brain function. In the second part, we will explore God’s design parameters for life and health and how deviations from these parameters damage the brain and contribute to mental and relational illness. Understanding these principles will be vital to understanding treatments of mood and anxiety disorders.
- Discuss environmental influences on brain development; identify testable design parameters which life and health are built to operate upon and how deviations contribute to disease; identify specific interventions to promote healthy brain function; and discuss the cultural impact on mood and anxiety
- Identify fundamental elements of an interpersonal neurobiological approach to the mind; and identify the nine domains of integration and their role in the development and healing of anxiety and depression states
- Apply spiritual practices that support the integration of the mind and healing process of anxiety and depression states; and identify the ethical limits of the application of neuroscience findings in the treatment of mental and spiritual maladies
- Describe the basic features of Stephen Porges’ Polyvagal Theory and apply them to regulating emotional responses of anxiety and depression; identify the fundamental role of shame and implement tactics for its resolution; and employ mindfulness-based spiritual practices that facilitate the regulation of shame and activate the social engagement system of the brain as a means of healing
- Practice differential diagnosis consistent with DSM-5 standards and identify factors in each case that contribute current presentation
- Formulate interventions that restore the person to harmony with God’s design and, thus, bring health
Timothy R. Jennings, M.D., is a board-certified Christian psychiatrist, master psychopharmacologist, international speaker, a distinguished fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, and a fellow of the Southern Psychiatric Association. His books include Could It Be This Simple? and The God-Shaped Brain. Dr. Jennings is president and founder of Come and Reason Ministries and has served as president of the Southern Psychiatric Association and Tennessee Psychiatric Association. He obtained his MD degree in 1990 from the University of Tennessee College of Medicine in Memphis, Tennessee. He completed psychiatric residency at D.D. Eisenhower Army Medical Center in Augusta, Georgia, and has served as the division psychiatrist for the 3rd Infantry Division. Dr. Jennings is married and lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where he is in private practice.
Curt Thompson, M.D., is a psychiatrist in private practice in Falls Church, Virginia. He graduated from Wright State University School of Medicine and completed his psychiatric residency at Temple University Hospital. He is board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. His clinical focus has been the treatment of adults, adolescents, and families. He is actively engaged in learning and education as he supervises clinical employees and facilitates ongoing education groups for patients and colleagues. Throughout his career, his main focus of clinical and research interest has been the integration of psychiatry, its associated disciplines, and Christian spirituality. He is a frequent speaker on the topic at workshops, conferences, and retreats.
Harold Koenig, M.D., completed his undergraduate education at Stanford University, medical school at the University of California (San Francisco), and geriatric medicine, psychiatry, and biostatistics training at Duke University. He is Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Associate Professor of Medicine at Duke. Dr. Koenig has published nearly 500 scientific peer-reviewed publications, 100 book chapters, and more than 50 books, and is a recipient of the Oskar Pfister Award from the American Psychiatric Association in 2012.
BHNT 101: The Developing Brain
Timothy R. Jennings, M.D.
Dr. Tim Jennings gives a riveting explanation of the brain as it develops during pregnancy to up to age 27. Dr. Jennings expounds on the importance of genetics and environment on the developing brain.
Run Time: 55:10
BHNT 102: The Neurobiology of Depression and Drug-Free Treatments
Timothy R. Jennings, M.D.
Dr. Tim Jennings dives into the brain to demonstrate how depression can be analyzed through brain function and how genetics and environment can help and hinder depressive brain function.
Run Time: 57:42
BHNT 103: Interpersonal Neurobiology: From Imagination to Integration
Curt Thompson, M.D.
Dr. Curt Thompson illustrates how our brain has been created in a way that is both biological and relational in a way that allows us to see the brain be affected by relationships with others, especially the relationship with the counselor and with God.
Run Time: 1:00:07
BHNT 104: The Brain and Changes During Aging
Harold Koenig, M.D.
Dr. Harold Koenig tackles the major changes in neurobiology due to aging and how mental health professionals can aide in prevention of deficits of functioning through preventative measures.
Run Time: 54:16
BHNT 105: Chronic Pain, The Brain and Treatment Approaches
Harold Koenig, M.D.
Dr. Harold Koenig describes how chronic pain can affect a person’s brain and how there are various ways to relieve that pain to mitigate its changes to the brain structure.
Run Time: 1:01:54
5.0 CE Credits available for LPC, LMFT, and LCSW.
The American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC) offers some psychologists, therapists, counselors, social workers and play therapists Continuing Education (CE) credit due for good standing with certain states and a limited number of professional organizations. It remains the responsibility of each participant to be aware of state licensure and CE requirements. Participants should check their state and/or local regulations regarding required continuing education hours. For more information Light University Continuing Education programs, please visit: https://www.lightuniversity.com/continuing-education-statements/