Loving with the Brain in Mind: Neurobiology and Couple Therapy (Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology) (Hardcover)
Facilitating change in couple therapy by understanding how the brain works to maintain—and break—old habits.
Human brains and behavior are shaped by genetic predispositions and early experience. But we are not doomed by our genes or our past. Neuroscientific discoveries of the last decade have provided an optimistic and revolutionary view of adult brain function: People can change. This revelation about neuroplasticity offers hope to therapists and to couples seeking to improve their relationship. Loving With the Brain in Mind explores ways to help couples become proactive in revitalizing their relationship. It offers an in-depth understanding of the heartbreaking dynamics in unhappy couples and the healthy dynamics of couples who are flourishing.
Sharing her extensive clinical experience and an integrative perspective informed by neuroscience and relationship science, Mona Fishbane gives us insight into the neurobiology underlying couples’ dances of reactivity. Readers will learn how partners become reactive and emotionally dysregulated with each other, and what is going on in their brains when they do. Clear and compelling discussions are included of the neurobiology of empathy and how empathy and selfregulation can be learned. Understanding neurobiology, explains Fishbane, can transform your clinical practice with couples and help you hone effective therapeutic interventions.
This book aims to empower therapists— and the couples they treat—as they work to change interpersonal dynamics that drive them apart. Understanding how the brain works can inform the therapist’s theory of relationships, development, and change. And therapists can offer clients “neuroeducation” about their own reactivity and relationship distress and their potential for personal and relational growth. A gifted clinician and a particularly talented neuroscience writer, Dr. Fishbane presents complex material in an understandable and engaging manner. By anchoring her work in clinical cases, she never loses sight of the people behind the science.
About the Author
Mona DeKoven Fishbane, Ph.D., is the former director of the couple therapy training program at the Chicago Center for Family Health. A clinical psychologist who received her Ph.D. at the University of Massachusetts in 1979, Mona lectures and gives workshops nationally and internationally. She is an advisory board member of the journal Family Process, and has served on the board of the American Family Therapy Academy. Mona has published numerous articles in professional journals and book chapters on couple therapy, intergenerational family relationships, and interpersonal neurobiology. She was named Family Psychologist of the Year in 2017 by APA (Division 43). Visit her webpage at www.monafishbane.com
Noted neuropsychiatrist Daniel J. Siegel, MD, is clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of California–Los Angeles School of Medicine, and executive director of the Mindsight Institute in LA. He is founding editor of the Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology.
You know this book is going to be good when you learn it is part of the Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology and that the Foreword is written by Dan Siegel. Mona DeKoven Fishbane has created an intelligent classic – 266 pages packed with useful information that will enlighten therapists for years to come. . . . I not only recommend this book, I have also quoted from it on numerous occasions. . . . Fishbane has given therapists an extraordinary gift, and after reading this book, I think readers will agree.
— The Milton H. Erickson Foundation Newsletter
Mona DeKoven Fishbane has written an innovative and very readable book for both new and experienced clinicians. . . . [She] provides couple therapists, as well as the couples that they treat, with a scientific, evidence-based foundation for hope and optimism for the future.
[A] masterful book. . . . [S]oak in the wisdom of this elegant and illuminating synthesis.
— Daniel J. Siegel, MD, from the Foreword
Mona Fishbane thoroughly researches the new neurobiology and deftly draws its implications for couple therapy. She combines the erudition of a scholar with the wisdom of a master clinician.
— Dan Wile, Assistant Clinical Professor at the University of California, Berkeley; Author, After the Honeymoon
Finally, a terrific and very readable book that combines what we know scientifically about healthy relationships with what we are learning about the functioning of the brain. This book should be part of every clinician’s library.
— John M. Gottman, Ph.D., author of What Makes Love Last?
This book gently guides us through the science behind one couple’s everyday struggles and victories, allowing all those who work with couples to appreciate and learn from their psychological and neurobiological journey.
— Sue Johnson, developer of Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy (EFT); author of Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love
In this beautifully crafted book, Dr. Fishbane brilliantly weaves together a wealth of neuroscience research findings and her invaluable wisdom as a master couple and family therapist and inspiring clinical educator to demonstrate how the brain influences our most intimate bonds. Offering useful practice suggestions and vivid case illustrations, she explains how, with the brain’s plasticity, we can shape and change patterns of interaction to bring out the best in loving relationships over the life course. I recommend this book most highly to deepen and enrich the practice of all seasoned clinicians as well as beginning therapists.
— Froma Walsh, PhD, Co-Director of Chicago Center for Family Health; Mose & Sylvia Firestone Professor Emerita at School of Social Service Admin and Dept of Psychiatry, University of Chicago