Neurological Insights Into Healing

Again, all these notes are through Dan’s filter, and do not necessarily what is actually being taught in the class.

We watched a fascinating video on a man who had his right and left brain hemispheres separated to lower epileptic seizures.

The right brain reads faces. The left brain reads details. A face made out of fruit is interpreted by the left eye (right brain) as a face, by the left as, as the individual fruits.

Neurons can potentially link up with billions of other neurons, creating exponentially more possibilities than the most advanced computers.

Neurons are “connected” by synapses, that carry electrical impulses, across a small gap, neuron to neuron. At the end of each synapse are neurotransmitters. Dopamine and other drugs enhance or diminish the neurotransmitters. For brains to think clearly, we need the normal functioning of our neurotransmitters.

Mood, energy level, thinking clearly, problem-solving, all are highly affected by our neurotransmitters.

Dead end thinking will re-shape your neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitter issues will re-shape thinking. It’s chicken and the egg, complex questions of what affects what.

If you’ve become dependent on a videogame, TV, or coffee, your neurotransmitters will give you a shot of dopamine. Over time, certain things destroy seratonin levels.

In order to overcome and addiction, there must be a period of “emptiness” from that thing that is releasing dopamine.

Addiction and Grace by Gerald May

Statistics show that as many people break from alcoholism and become moderate drinkers, as break and stay away from it completely.

We consciously process about 40 of the 11,000,000 bits of information that our senses take in per second. The vast majority of our brain activity takes place without our conscious awareness.

Our left brains have an insatiable tendency to explain things regardless of whether those explanations are available or not. The explanations, even while being honest at some level, may well have nothing to do with our actual motivations, feelings or thoughts. In other words, self-deception is a neurological fact.

Our left brain will make up a story to make sense, even if it doesn’t have all the facts. The right brain will seek to keep the left brain honest. Or, the right brain will initiate actions that the left brain will justify.

The consistency of actions, emotions, dreams and other visible things can tell us more about what is happening inside than the explanation a left brain is giving. Words don’t mean as much as consistent actions for what is going on. Hence, a biblical principle – what we do means alot.

Therapy can help put words to actions. “i.e. You’re blaming that person because they remind you of your mother, not because they’re horrible.”

A strong left brain can create stories for the craziest of activities.

While we could fight for the roots of all our personal issues, our core beliefs from childhood, we must remember that the mental health journey is not the only journey.

Healing is particularly enhanced by increasing neural connections between emotion/memory centres (largely right brain) and linguistic/logical centres (largely left brain). Depending on the emotional/personality resources that a person bring with them, trauma creates disconnects between these different neural areas. Therapy can actually enhance and multiply neural connections, even re-connect. The Holy Spirit working, and working with/through therapy can do the same.

PetScans show more diverse blood flow in a greater amount of area when a situation is resolved.

Narratives are one of the most inherently whole-brained activities that we have, music is another. Stories are more linguistic, music is mathematical as well. It changes and flows over time, both story and music. Can heal over time. A static image may need more “time” to linger.

My Best Thought: Creative process can be more healing than a finished product. Your piece of art can articulate the emotion.

Building the connections across the different parts of the brain builds complexity, and that is good when talking about the brain. We want more neural connections.

Rebuilding The Brain: Neuroscience and Psychotherapy

Gaining new information and experiences across the domains of cognition, emotion, sensation, and behavior.

1. Telling stories, and
2. Safe Emergency are the heartbeats of effective therapies.

Combining safety (nurturing, loving, supportive environment in the presence of Jesus) with allowing the emergency to occur. You don’t use the relationship to protect them from the emergency, but rather to go with them into the emergency. Without the healing, the emergency overwhelms.

Narratives that make sense out of the high’s and low’s of life; and “safe emergencies” that walk a person through an experience of stress and pain in the context of a supportive relationship help to make those connections.

Trauma for one is not trauma for another. When a trauma overwhelms you, you tend to isolate it, don’t process it, don’t put it into words. Post-traumatic stress disorder comes from this. When you talk about it, open up about it, write it, it aids process.

Memory is as diverse as the amount of cells involved in the original experience. What’s remembered is the moment when all those associations were in one place. A memory is your brain reconstructing.

How do you have a court system when memory is so unreliable? It is possible that through hypnosis you can regain a memory, but it doesn’t necessarily extract an accurate memory – but rather a reconstructed memory.

You can heal a memory by reassociating it with another sense – maybe of God’s presence and nearness in it. The memory becomes encoded with that new association. When exploring memories, one must watch for suggestion – suggesting things even subtley can set off a chain, embedding the suggestion in the memory.

The feelings that come with a real memory are different than ones with a false memory. Seems more distant and unreal.

We believe in “everyone gets to play,” and that all the saints can do the work of loving ministry, yes. But, we don’t do a few training sessions and allow a person to do brain surgery. Some things need extensive training, and the mental health of the individual doing the training is of vital importance.


For example, up to 2 million people in North America believe that they have been kidnapped by aliens at one point. False memory research asked people to pretend that they’re hypnotized, and to describe the kidnappings. These reports are indistinguishable from others actually under hypnosis. 1) we all want to be special and this makes me special, and 2) it explains why my life is screwed up. We have all sorts of alien and abduction images, stories and scripts to draw from for our false memory, be it of alien kidnappings, sexual abuse, etc. Imagination can enhance this.

Satan Ritual Abuse (SRA), in the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s took a similar pattern as the alien abduction memory above – millions declared they had “real memories” of it happening. One reliable source said that today, we do not have one single, verifiable case of an SRA conspiracy. Humans, conspirators or not, are never that good at covering their tracks. And yet, millions of cases were reported. (There may be exceptions, of course). Memories can be created, and environment, relationships and many other elements contribute to this neurotransmitter phenomenon.

Look for much corresponding evidence before indictments are made, as our memories may have been shaped by suggestion, experience or a wide variety of input.

I don’t believe that Jesus was with me in my difficult experience because I had a beautiful inner healing experience. My belief system tells me that He is with me in all things, therefore I applied that reality to the inner healing experience. My faith does not come from my inner healing experience, rather my inner healing experience comes because of my living faith in Christ.

The “brain wash” occurs in fetal development in boys, dissolving many of the synapse connections in the corpus collossum.

Rich imagination (remembered or constructed) and sensory expeirnece are neuurologically very similar. To a large extent, one experiences what one imagines. Contructed thoughts and memories can greatly affect your mind.

Wow. There are incredible implications to this, for our healing. The Holy Spirit can and will greatly aid this process.

If a person is getting healed through a process involving a memory, it may indicate that the memory is true. Studies show that therapy working through a false memory bring a degradation to the condition.

Some say there is a God-spot in the brain where religious activity/spiritual experience is often centered. The atheist says “See, there’s a place that we all want to have stimulated.” Believers say, “See, we’re built to experience and to know God.”

Again, all these notes are through Dan’s filter, and do not necessarily what is actually being taught in the class.


Sheltering Mercy: Prayers Inspired by the Psalms

Sheltering Mercy, along with its companion volume, Endless Grace, helps us rediscover the rich treasures of the Psalms—through free-verse prayer renderings of their poems and hymns—as a guide to personal devotion and meditation.

The church has always used the Psalms as part of its prayer life, and they have inspired countless other prayers. This book contains 75 prayers drawn from Psalms 1-75, providing lyrical sketches of what authors Ryan Smith and Dan Wilt have seen, heard, and felt while sojourning in the Psalms. Each prayer is a response to the Psalms written in harmony with Scripture. These prayers help us quiet our hearts before God and welcome us into a safe place amid the storms of life.

This artful, poetic, and classic devotional book features compelling custom illustrations and foil-stamped hardcover binding, offering a fresh way to reflect on and pray the Psalms.