Creative Arts Therapies and Brain Basics in Relationships: Unlocking Your Brain’s Love Map

To My Dearest  See-the-Big-Picture Subscribers,

For four years of my professional life as an art therapist, I had the privilege of being a research outcomes coordinator for the executive team, at the Amen Clinics Inc.,

Dr. Amen has pioneered a method of psychiatric practice that focuses on using brain scans and SPECT technology to provide accurate diagnosis and integrative treatment for mental health problems, poor nutrition, and other obscure conditions.

Dr. Amen has been a guest on CNN, PBS, Dr. Oz, Entertainment Television, Dr. Phil, The View, TedX, Rachel Ray, Larry King, and more. Currently, he has a show, Lying on the Psychiatrist’s Couch on PBS.

Two LIFE CHANGING things happened to me while I was working for the Amen clinics.

First, I got divorced.

Second, I was diagnosed with ADD.

Now, when the doctor told me, I scoffed and my ignorant pride replied, “What are you talking about? I was an A student! In all the advanced placement classes. I was valedictorian of my undergraduate class. I even faked mono to get out of gym class my senior year!”

The doctor nodded and said, “Well, sure, but how hard did you have to work for all that?”

And then I started to think about all the notebooks I have kept since I was a little girl; how I can’t bring myself to throw them away because in order to keep up with my cohort, I would basically have rewrite my text books by hand.

I also remembered how my mother used to tease me for biting my nails and wringing my hands all the time. Whenever she’d catch me white-knuckling it, she would laugh and narrate my inner state as if I were Oliver Twist. “Please Sir, can I have some more?” She would mock.

And, of course, it only made me wring my hands harder. But how was she supposed to know what was going through my head? Kids are reticent, mysterious creatures. And I thought it was just a weird, eccentric quirk of mine.

Now, I realize, it was how I embodied my anxiety.

I was academically successful because I was motivated and very good at drawing connections. But it took me twice as long and I had to work twice as hard as my friends, just to keep up.

You might be wondering, how did they know I had this diagnosis when it had gone undetected for 30 years of my life?

Well, Dr. Amen is known for using SPECT scan technology to diagnose and treat conditions like ADHD and others. SPECT is not necessarily a new technology, but it is used infrequently because the images that the SPECT machine creates are only tiny, thin slices of the brain. Like this image below:

But Dr. Amen had the idea to put all those slices together to create a three dimensional image that would give us a clearer picture of how all the different systems of the brain were functioning simultaneously. Like this image below:

This technique assisted in the development of reframing the brain and human behaviors into “Five Big Bosses.” And THAT helped him come up with the 7 Types of ADD, depicted below:

But what does all this have to do with getting divorced?


What we do, how we perceive the world, interpret other people’s actions and perceptions, process our bodily and sensory experiences–especially in LOVE and attachment relationships– are ALL a reflection of our brain function…and our brain function is a reflection of all these influences!

This is the heart of Mindfulness–as is within, so is without. 

We must acknowledge the interrelationship between mind and body, which is the basis for understanding how one mind and body interacts with someone else’s!

It is the resiliency and plasticity of the brain and body that makes real therapeutic and life changing experiences possible.

In our webinar this month,  Creative Arts Therapies and Brain Basics in Relationships, we will:

  • Explore “The Five Big Bosses of the Brain” in the context of relationships.
  • Conduct a self assessment.
  • And create our own Brain Maps, to foster consciousness around our experiences of love.

We will also explore:

  • 4 Deep versus surface structure communications
  • 3 Dimensions of interdependency
  • 3 Creative Arts Therapies Techniques for Affect Regulation and Communication
  • And explore a “Heart-Soul” Mindfulness-based experiential and guided meditation, focusing on fostering empathy and compassion in relationships, through mirroring and entrainment.

We will be offering this LIVE Webinar twice this month, so pick the day that works best for you! Registration is FREE.

If you are an LCAT interested in CE contact hours: the course materials, learning assessment and certificate of completion will be made available for $35.

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Creative Arts Therapies and Brain Basics in Relationships

A LIVE Webinar

Wednesday, April 26th, 2017 @ 8pm

Sunday, April 30th, 2017 @ 2pm

Applicable for self help and mental health professionals.

(1.5 Live event, continuing education contact hours for LCATs in New York State.)


We hope to see you there!

electronic signature

Briana MacWilliam ATR-BC, LCAT

Licensed and Board Certified Creative Arts Therapist

Author, Educator and Reiki Practitioner

YouTube Channel

If you have any problems or technical difficulties, please contact Briana MacWilliam at is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for Licensed Creative Arts Therapists. (#CAT-0014.)


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