Training the Brain for Well-Being


Experience shapes the brain, for better or worse. Richard Davidson & Bruce McEwen review the ways that adverse early experience create measurable changes in the brain, and how such things as physical exercise, counseling and meditation can change the brain for the better in “Social Influences on Neuroplasticity: Stress and Interventions to Promote Well-Being,” now online in Nature Neuroscience. “These are practices which cultivate new connections in the brain and enhance the function of neural networks that support aspects of pro-social behavior, including empathy, altruism, kindness,” says Davidson, who directs the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds at UW-Madison.

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Neuroplasticity – article documents benefits of multiple practices

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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected].


  1. This has been known for more than 2,000 years – that Buddhist practice improves peace of mind and wellbeing. Its nice to see that it can be backed up scientifically.
    The biomedical Fraud was about blocking real recovery. Look at the way the drug brain damage was blocked. There’s always been plenty of recovery.

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