Our thoughts, emotions, and experiences can reshape the very structure of our brains, allowing it to adapt and change over time. This is known as neuroplasticity, and while it’s present throughout our lives the younger we are the more powerful it is.
On today’s episode, Dr. Caroline Leaf joins Rick and Forrest to explore how we can harness the power of neuroplasticity to clean up our mental mess…and teach our children to do the same. They detail Dr. Leaf’s five-step Neurocycle process, walk through a practical example, and explain how we can use mind-management tools to reshape our relationship with difficult thoughts and feelings. Dr. Leaf then shares how we can introduce these tools to young people, the importance of nurturing a child’s sense of agency, and the power of teaching through modeling.
About our Guest: Dr. Caroline Leaf is a clinical and cognitive neuroscientist who has been researching the mind-brain connection, the nature of mental health, and the formation of memory for over 40 years. She’s the host of the top mental health podcast Cleaning Up The Mental Mess, and her newest book How to Help Your Child Clean Up Their Mental Mess.
1:00: The five steps of Dr. Leaf’s NeuroCycle
6:30: A walkthrough of the process using an example from Rick
13:50: Helping kids have a sense of agency in difficult environments
20:35: Teaching children through modeling, and building connection with different age groups
26:55: What motivates us to take action and reckon with our past
33:20: Empowering kids to have thoughts and feelings without ‘being’ them