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The Neuroscience of Psychotherapy: Healing the Social Brain

Dr Louis Cozolino, PhD

Held 26-27 May 2011

This seminar explored psychotherapy and the social brain with a special emphasis on the causes and consequences of trauma. As a foundation, the seminar discussed the evolution, development, and neuroanatomy of the brain with the goal of highlighting its vulnerability to dysregulation and dissociation. Participants came to recognise and better understand the neural networks responsible for stress and trauma and the challenge of keeping the government of systems which comprise our brains integrated and functioning smoothly. The seminar then discussed how psychotherapy, in its multiple forms, attempts to reshape the brain in the service of mental health. And finally, Dr Cozolino explored the process of healthy aging, especially for therapists who are confronted with trauma on a day-to-day basis. The seminar was held at the Sydney Masonic Centre and was attended by 178 people.


Dr Cozolino was very generous in allowing the lectures from this seminar to be filmed by Psychevisual. They can be viewed for a small fee.


Dr Cozolino was also interviewed for an article published in the STARTTS’ publication Refugee Transitions about The Neuroscience of Education.

Comments from participants

“Excellent. He was funny, accessible, thought provoking.”

“Grounded, engaging, knowledgeable, interesting, articulate, terrific story teller, stimulating, respectful, great sense of humour.”

“Engaging speaker who exudes a lively curiosity about and interest in his topic which is catching.”

About Dr Louis Cozolino, PhD

Dr. Cozolino is a Los Angeles private practice clinical psychologist, a Professor of Psychology at Pepperdine University in California, USA and an Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry at UCLA.  He holds degrees in philosophy and theology from Harvard University and the State University of New York, as well as a doctoral in clinical psychology from UCLA. He has conducted empirical research in schizophrenia, the long-term impact of stress and matters of child abuse. Recently, his interests have turned to neuroscience and its relation to psychotherapy. Dr Cozolino is a highly engaging and stimulating presenter with over 20 years experience in teaching. He is the author of four books, The Neuroscience of Psychotherapy (2002, 2010 2nd Ed), The Making of a Therapist (2004), The Neuroscience of Human Relationships (2006), and The Healthy Aging Brain (2008) all published by W.W. Norton.  He has authored and co-authored articles and book chapters on topics from child abuse and schizophrenia, to language and cognition including (with Daniel Siegel), the chapter on Sensation, Perception and Cognition for The Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry.