Choose one of the prompts below and write a short essay response integrating and applying information from the readings and class lectures (no additional outside references are required). Please type your answer in 12-point font, double-spaced, 2 – 4 pages total. Use APA style and formatting and include a cover page, in-text citations, and a bibliography (no abstract is required). Have fun applying your creative and critical thinking skills!

1. Imagine that a future client asks you, “How can I have an emotion and not even be aware of it?” Write a dialogue between you, in the role of a somatic psychotherapist, and the client to answer this question. Be sure to describe, discuss, and apply the following concepts in your dialogue: embodied self-awareness, interoception, afferent and efferent feedback/pathways, the neurophysiology of Levels I, II, and III of self-awareness, and suppression.

2. Define, describe, and discuss the enteric brain, the gut-brain/mind axis, and the microbiome. How can this information be used to understand mind-body psychopathology/disease and mind-body health/wellness? How can this information be applied therapeutically? How might you apply this information personally and/or professionally?

3. What was happening “under the hood” and inside your body and brain when you were completing your brain poster? Describe your researching, learning, and poster creation process from a neuroscientific and somatic lens. Describe and apply the role of the following terms in your essay: afferent neurons, efferent neurons, corpus callosum, pons, dorsomedial prefrontal cortex, orbitofrontal cortex, posterior cingulate cortex, nucleus accumbens, pituitary gland, hypothalamus, dopamine, embodied self-awareness, and conceptual self-awareness.

4. Imagine that you are writing a grant proposal and seeking funds to implement an innovative program on brain-body health and neuroplasticity. In your grant proposal you need to convince your potential donors to fund your program and justify your funding request by providing research and scientific support for neuroplasticity and its benefits. Note – you are addressing the need and the significance of your neuroplasticity program in this essay by summarizing the latest findings and not describing the program design per se.

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