Dr. Norman Doidge: Application of Neuroplasticity for the Future of Mental Health

Dr. Norman Doidge is a psychiatrist, psychoanalyst, researcher, author, essayist and poet. He is on the Research Faculty at  Columbia University’s Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research, in New York, and the University of Toronto’s Department of Psychiatry. He is a native of Toronto and author of New York Times Bestseller,  “The Brain that Changes Itself”.


Applications of Neuroplasticity for the Future of Mental Health

The discovery that the brain is plastic is the most important change in the understanding of the brain in 400 years. For four hundred years scientists thought the adult brain is hardwired, fixed, like a machine with parts, and unchanging. The mind could change, but not the brain, because the circuits of which were seen to be formed and finalized in childhood. This had major implicaitons for mental health and its treatment.  Neuroplasticity is the property of the brain that allows it to change its structure and function through mental experience.  It signals an end to neurological fatalism, has already brought about the development of new cures, and the refinement of existing forms of treatment. Using inspiring films of actual patients who had “incurable” conditions as they undergo neuroplastic change, this lecture will demonstrate some core principles of neuroplasticity. Showing and discussing films of people undergoing neuroplastic change, from his award winning documentary, Dr. Doidge will show how understanding plasticity can be improve our approach to mental health, deepen our understanding of how psychotherapy, brain exercises, and even medication can contribute to neuroplastic change for such conditions as schizophrenia, PTSD, OCD, learning disorders, chronic pain, and other mental health conditions.

“Norman Doidge…is a master at explaining science to the rest of us…the best possible guide.” Globe and Mail