Understanding How the Brain Works

I talk to my clients a lot about how the brain works.  It’s important for a few reasons, not least it helps people understand why it is that we suffer from anxiety, depression, anger issues or a myriad of related conditions.  More importantly, understanding how the brain works provides ideas on ways to fix whatever it is that is going wrong that is making us feel miserable.

Our Brain is not a Machine

I drive a car.  I know how to make it go, I know how to change gear, I know how to make it stop.  If everything is working properly that is all I need to know.  Unfortunately, sometimes things go wrong.  When that happens, I hand it over to a garage who fix it for me.  They may identify, from the state of the car, that I am driving it in such a way as to cause parts to wear prematurely.  They may advise me to change my habits and explain the consequences of not doing so. Ultimately though, I can surrender my car for a day (or, more worryingly, a few days) and it comes back fixed (although my wallet may be somewhat lighter).


It would be useful if I had the skills to fix it myself.  To do so I would have to learn how all the various parts work, how they relate to each other and what a broken part looks like.  Ultimately being a hunk of metal, plastic, glass and rubber which does one job, get me (my dog and/or my family) from A to B.  The worst that could happen if I could not get it fixed is that I could not get from a to b as quickly and conveniently as I might like.  Fortunately, there are plenty of people who understand all of that stuff really well that can take it away for me and fix it in less than half the time.

The Brain is More Complex.

The central control unit of everything that we are, everything that we do and everything that we think.  If we continually drive it in such a way that causes damage or premature wearing of parts, we don’t just lose our ability to get from A to B quickly and conveniently.  We potentially lose a whole heap more.  We can’t just surrender our brain for a day or two to someone else to have a poke about and return it to us like new.

An Investment

It therefore makes sense to invest a little time into understanding what is going on under the hood of our minds.  Learning about what makes it work well (and what doesn’t). We can then make the very best use of it, without causing unnecessary wear and tear.

Jaak Panksepp is credited as saying that we have an inner urge to seek, to know, to understand.  And this urge is no stronger than when we think about ourselves.  Freud might have tried to explain it through our relationship with our parents.  Our upbringing is clearly important. I prefer to explain to my clients why they feel or behave the way they do through the lens of neuroscience.  That lens shares the theory of neuroplasticity, which suggests our brain can learn, change and grow out of the traps we may have created in our past.

Are you ready?

If you are ready to invest time into understanding how your mind works, what makes it work well and what hinders it, then please contact me to book an Initial Consultation.