- May 11, 2018
- Dr. Peter Breggin
Third Recipient of the Honored Researcher Award
in Ethical Human Sciences and Services
|The CSET HONORED RESEARCHER AWARD recognizes “Inspired and Courageous Contributions in Human Sciences and Services” and provides recipients an open platform to publish whenever they wish without fear of censorship. We aim to create a publication site where a limited number of outstanding contributors can freely publish their pioneering ideas and where viewers can easily locate them. The first Honored Researcher Award recipient is Peter C. Gøtzsche, MD, the Danish physician and scientist who cofounded the Cochrane Collaboration in 1993, whose courageous scientific and advocacy work helped to inspire this award.|
Introducing Caroline Leaf, PhD
Caroline Leaf is the third recipient of the Honored Researcher Award. From the first moments that she and I talked on the phone, our shared values and goals were an inspiration for both of us. Caroline has a PhD in communication pathology and after years of clinical work in South Africa, often amongst the poorest of the poor, she has turned her efforts in America to informing the world about the truth about neuroscience—that human values and free will can transform our brains, enabling us to live happier, fuller and more loving lives.
Unlike most of us who focus and work largely through the secular community, Carolyn is inspired by her Judo-Christian heritage and travels throughout the world to let millions of people know that they are not victims of their brains—that they can control their destinies by controlling their minds and brains. For many years I have wished to have more communication with the worldwide Christian community and Caroline is helping me toward that goal. Meanwhile, on her own, she has become one of the most effective critics of psychiatry in the world and a great inspiration for people to take charge of their lives.
Caroline’s outreach is enormous. She speaks to millions of Christians and others as she travels around the world, appears on her own TV show, uses social media, and writes her books. As of today, her Facebook page has 317,000 likes! Her social media presence in all categories is more than double that and her book Switch on Your Brain is in the top 100 in four categories on Amazon.
What Caroline has done so amazing well is to develop and to broadcast a narrative that counters and liberates people from the prevailing psychiatric dogma that “your brain controls you.” She counters the prevailing drug-company dominated neuroscience with the science-based message that we can influence our own brains and our destiny. That’s among the most important insights needed on Earth. Caroline is liberating millions of people to take their lives into their own hands based on sound values and beliefs, and especially on love. Caroline, I am grateful to be working with you! And thank you for accepting this Honored Researcher Award.
Can the Mind Control the Brain?
Dr Caroline Leaf, PhD
Thirty years ago, I set out to answer a question that was considered at the time to be ridiculous: “can the mind change the brain?” Back in the eighties many scientists believed that a damaged brain could not change. Healthcare and therapy professionals like myself were taught to help their patients compensate for brain disabilities and mental ill health; total recovery was, for the most part, out of the question.
Materialism and Science
Materialists believe that the mind emerges from the brain and that the mind (or soul) is an artifact of the brain. This has been the prevailing paradigm in the western scientific world, including research on mental health, since the modern era. Recently, however, there has been growing dissent in the area of neuroscience, psychology and psychiatry because the result of adherence to the materialists’ philosophy in the lives of patients, where the rubber meets the road, has been devastating .
Interestingly the discovery of the baffling area of quantum physics at the beginning of the last century  marked the beginning the crumbling of materialist philosophy. Denial of the power of the mind, and by extension the immaterial soul, in the treatment of patients with mental and even physical disorders, has led to poor treatment outcomes in many cases. The materialist position, therefore, is becoming increasing untenable.
Much of my research and work has centered around my belief in the power of the mind to change the brain, influenced by my Judeo-Christian heritage, which presents the view of the soul or spirit and the body as different, but intimately integrated entities. As a communication pathologist and cognitive neuroscientist, I believe in the power of the mind or soul to change the brain, and therefore cognitive, emotional social and academic behavior. The patients I have encountered in my private practice, in the disadvantaged schools I worked in, as well as in the churches I have spoken at, have shown me that the human mind is far more resilient, and far more formidable, than what “science” at any one point in time claims.
How It All Began
One of the turning points in my career came when I encountered a 16-year-old girl who had a traumatic brain injury (TBI) as a result of a car accident. I will never forget this remarkable story. She had recently come out of a two-week coma and was operating around a fourth-grade level at school instead of a twelfth-grade level like her peers. Using the self-regulatory, mind-driven five-step learning process I had developed,
I worked with this young lady on a one-on-one basis. She was determined to catch up with her peer group, and I believed she could achieve her previous levels of academic performance again. Within eight months the “miracle” happened: this young woman was able to graduate high school with her own class and went on to university.
In fact, compared to before the accident, her IQ increased twenty points and her overall academic performance improved. (I have documented this case in my master’s thesis.) This was highly unusual, as research at that time showed the opposite was normally the case in TBI; however, a negative trend was turned into a positive trend through intentional mind work. Yet that is not the end of the story. The young woman’s emotional, self-evaluative, and self-monitoring skills also improved, even though they were indirectly treated during her clinical sessions, indicating that mind change includes intellectual and emotional changes.
The Geodesic Learning Theory
My initial research on the neuroplasticity of the brain (the ability of the brain to change) back in the 80s motivated me to continue my work, and for my PhD I trained teachers and therapists to teach students in my Switch On Your Brain with the 5-step Learning Process, measuring the students’ academic performance over time. This is an intentional directed neuroplasticity process based on applying my theory into my clinical practice. After many months of research, I saw remarkable statistically significant results in the teachers’ classrooms, and consequently formalized my theory of learning and thought: The Geodesic Learning Theory.
Essentially, the Geodesic Information Processing Theory™ describes the science of thought stating that there are three levels: (1) Nonconscious metacognitive level; (2) Conscious cognitive level; and (3) Symbolic output level.
The Nonconscious metacognitive level, where 90-99% of the action in your mind is, operates at 400 billion actions per second 24 hours a day and drives the Conscious cognitive level. The Conscious cognitive level, where up to 10% of the mind action is, operates at 2000 actions per second when we are awake drives the Symbolic output level. Finally, the Symbolic output level incorporates the 5 senses, with which you receive information from the outside world, and the means by which you express yourself, through speech or writing for example. Thoughts cycle through the 3 levels from Nonconscious metacognitive to Conscious cognitive to Symbolic output and vice versa. As thoughts cycle through the 3 levels they change and change the thoughts connected to them in a dynamic interrelationship.
Switch On Your Brain
This theory is based on mind-brain research, the nonconscious and conscious mind and the neurophysiology of the learning process. The Switch On Your Brain with the 5-Step Learning Process® is one of the main applied techniques of my theory, and trains how to build memory effectively and in an integrated way, strengthens the dendritic growth and stabilization of neurons in the brain to ensure information is retained in long-term memory, and ensures that the consolidation, integration and application of knowledge occurs. Each step of my theory is meticulously designed to stimulate the best possible chemical, electrical and quantum flow through the brain in the most efficient way possible to guarantee effective learning and emotional growth.
The Power of the Mind
Over the past 30 plus years, I have worked with hundreds of thousands of teachers and students in low income areas and squatter camps in South Africa, Rwanda, Namibia and the US. The individuals I worked with came to school contending with poverty, abuse, hunger and social violence. Many students were orphaned by AIDS. These students, hungry to learn, worked hard and saw their grades improving using my mind techniques based on my Geodesic Learning Theory. One high school student, a 24-year-old pimp and drug dealer, said “Dr. Leaf, now I know what to do with my pen.” He went on to graduate high school, and became a change agent in his community.
I have worked with many individuals confined and boxed in by supposedly scientific labels: ADHD, bipolar disorder, depression, autism, and so on. Disillusioned with the lack of conclusive research behind the ADHD and other so-called psychiatric disorders and the chemical imbalance theory, the predominantly biological focus of our current system of mental health and the overuse of psychotropic drugs, my research and experience indicated that many of these conditions were influenced by, or originated in, a disorder of the mind that was either caused by a trauma or negative thinking patterns. Using the principles of my theory I helped my patients understand that their brains can change if they chose to develop healthy, focused thinking and learning habits, and that it was never too late to heal, and change the brain with their mind. I am currently continuing my research, looking at the psychological and neuropsychological effects of my non-pharmacological mind techniques in subjects with mental health and neurological issues.
I also teach at conferences and churches around the world. My passion is to help people see the power of the mind and the link between science and belief as a tangible way of controlling their thoughts and emotions, learning how to think and learn and finding their sense of purpose in life. Linking scientific principles of the brain to spiritual, intellectual and emotional issues in simple and practical ways, I help people understand how they can renew their minds and take their thoughts captive, transforming their communities and making the world a more beautiful place.
After 30 years of research and teaching, and with the development of quantum physics, I have come to appreciate how, through focused, determined mind-action, the brain can be stimulated to change. I now teach millions around the globe through my TV show, The Dr. Leaf Show, and various platforms. It is my hope that we realize the potential for mental and physical health inside all of us. Not only do we direct our behavioral, emotional, and intellectual changes but we also create structural change in our brains and bodies as a result of our individualistic and complex thinking processes.
I constantly emphasize the fact that, even though we cannot control our circumstances, we can control our reactions to our circumstances—we are not just victims of our biology. I have researched and experienced the evidence of the mind-brain connection, and recognize the need to help people realize that we all have incredible minds, minds that are able to cope and prosper with all of life’s circumstances as we learn to operate in love.
For more information and my books see www.drleaf.com
And also see The Dr Leaf Show
 Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2005 Jun 29;360(1458):1309-27. Quantum physics in neuroscience and psychology: a neurophysical model of mind-brain interaction. Schwartz JM, Stapp HP, Beauregard M.
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