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432 pages, Paperback
First published January 1, 2001
The results achieved with OCD supported the notion that the conscious and willful mind differs from the brain and cannot be explained solely and completely by the matter, by the material substance, of the brain. For the first time, hard science—for what could be “harder” than the metabolic activity measured by PET scans?—had weighed in on the side of mind-matter theories that . . . question whether mind is nothing but matter. The changes the Four Steps can produce in the brain offered strong evidence that willful, mindful effort can alter brain function, and that such self-directed brain changes—neuroplasticity—are a genuine reality. (93–94)As Schwartz observed, “This was the first study ever to show that cognitive-behavior therapy—or, indeed, any psychiatric treatment that did not rely on drugs—has the power to change faulty brain chemistry in a well-identified brain circuit. What’s more, the therapy had been self-directed, something that was and to a great extent remains anathema to psychology and psychiatry” (90).