Neuro-lnformed Mental Health Counseling: A Person-First Perspective

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Counseling from a client-centered, person-first perspective involves walking with and experiencing relationship with another person. One person in this relationship happens to he in the counselor role, while the other is in the client role, but both are engaged in this relationship. An informed understanding of neuroscience principles can illuminate this approach to counseling and help counselors facilitate this experience with clients. Neuroscience can both complement and augment mental health counseling when used appropriately. Yet, as a result of tensions between biological and phenomenological perspectives, counselors may feel pulled into an allor-nothing, either/or dichotomy. We believe this dichotomy is unnecessary. Although much of contemporary neuroscience research is grounded in a materialist worldview that, on the surface, can seem fundamentally at odds with the more humanistic elements of counseling, we offer a conciliatory perspective on incorporating neuroscience into mental health counseling that preserves both a human and a scientific ethos.