Fuel the Brain, Not Anxiety
Simple tools for improving clients’ mental clarity, energy levels, and engagement in therapy
Having the same conversations over and over.
A distinct lack of clarity, engagement, and energy.
These are hallmarks of therapy when a client’s body is in survival mode.
More and more, the scientific community is finding that the nervous system is key to understanding our emotions, thoughts, and behaviors.
When our nervous system is dysregulated, our neurobiology is accessing survival systems like the amygdala, limbic system, and dorsal vagal system.
We feel unsafe, anxious, fearful, and scatterbrained. We lack mental clarity, physical energy, and the ability to learn effectively — all of which are necessary for meaningful change to occur in therapy.
So when a client is chronically dysregulated, they might have a firm grasp of cognitive and behavioral strategies…
But still, therapy goes nowhere.
On the other hand, having tools that downregulate the nervous system gives us access to our pre-frontal cortex and ventral vagal system and increased feelings of safety, connectedness, and curiosity.
This creates a stable environment that fuels mental clarity, energy, and learning.
Therapeutic frames such as ACT, polyvagal theory, and somatic therapies are effective, in part, because they help people understand and influence their nervous systems as they become more embodied.
But at the most basic level, creating this stable environment requires taking care of the body with a few simple components:
Food, sleep, exercise, and breath.
These are the fundamental building blocks of a regulated nervous system.
For example, if a client is frequently skipping meals or rarely eats protein-rich foods…
Or if they’re always operating on a few hours of sleep due to a wildly irregular schedule…
Or they avoid moving their body and breathe primarily through their nose…
It could be keeping their body and mind in a state of distress.
As surprising as it may seem, any of these situations can severely impact a person’s mental and emotional state, their energy levels, and their ability to participate in your work together.
So while psychological and emotional barriers can certainly slow therapeutic progress, even the most effective interventions will have little impact with a person whose body is deprived of these basic building blocks.
It’s imperative that clinicians have an understanding of how these elements impact the nervous system — and in turn the mind — so they can identify when they are contributing to a client’s struggles and address them directly.
Fortunately, this doesn’t require an advanced understanding of neuroscience, nutrition, sleep science, or breath work.
In fact, there are numerous simple practices and tools that can make both immediate and long-term differences for your clients and their ability to participate fully in therapy.
That is precisely what you’ll learn in this live online course.
Join us and Dr. Kristen Allott for a fascinating and actionable exploration of how caring for the body through food, sleep, movement, and breath impacts the nervous system’s polyvagal state.
By providing tools to shift your clients from a dysregulated and disembodied state to one that is regulated, embodied, and engaged, you’ll be better able to boost their resilience, energy, and clarity and help guide them toward their goals.
Inside the Course
In Fuel the Brain, Not Anxiety, you’ll explore the impact of nutrition, sleep, movement, and breathing on anxiety, depression, and mood disorders. And you’ll learn simple, approachable strategies and teachable skills to help clients reduce emotional dysregulation, improve energy and mental clarity, and give them greater access to their creativity, resiliency, and compassion.
Through 4 live online sessions anchored in polyvagal theory, Dr. Kristen Allott will show you how to help clients meet the needs of their bodies and brains, opening the door for even more impactful work. She will guide you through the science of how these strategies can literally change the brain’s state from fearful and reactive to engaged and curious, leading to deeper healing.
You’ll gain techniques and resources you can bring into the therapy room right away, giving you the opportunity to practice between each course session. Then you can share questions, as well as discoveries and insights, in the following session.
In addition, you’ll look at case studies where clinicians have seen improvements in their clients — some over time and some almost instantly — as a direct result of caring for the body through food, sleep, movement, and breathing. And you’ll see how even minor improvements in these areas can enhance trust and rapport with the therapist and create the possibility of deeper, more effective work.
Throughout the course, you’ll also explore:
- Assessment tools for knowing if and when nutrition, sleep, movement, and breathing patterns are contributing to mental health issues
- How self-care connects to polyvagal theory and neuroscience
- How food can immediately impact feelings, thoughts, and behaviors
- What happens neurologically when your client is in “survival mode,” and achievable interventions to help them reengage in minutes
- What to look for on food labels so you can teach clients to fuel their bodies more effectively
- How to differentiate between depression and fatigue
- The vital importance of sleep regulation and tools for improving sleep
- How to start a movement plan that has been shown to be effective with depression and anxiety
- How breath affects the polyvagal nervous system
By exploring the why and how behind these skills and practices, this course will give you the tools to help clients support their bodies so they can more fully engage in therapeutic work — and their lives.
In addition, you’ll see how you can integrate these techniques into your own life, giving yourself tools for self-care that can help reduce burnout, allow you to stay more present, and increase your own capacity for resilience and compassion both in and out of the therapy room.
We invite you to join this exciting new course and discover how you can help clients — and yourself — increase energy and mental clarity and unlock new realms of growth and healing.
This training offers 8 CE hours if attended live. We can only provide CE to those who are present via Zoom for the live sessions. However, the sessions will be recorded and available to watch later. Registrants may access these recordings at any time for up to nine months after the live training ends.
Before enrolling, please review conflict of interest disclosures and complete CE information here.
Session 1 | September 8, 2023, 4 PM—6 PM EDT
-Discuss the structure of the class and the opportunities for the clinicians to commit to new behaviors with their clients
-Review Glucose control and its impact on emotions, and behaviors
-Provide handouts on for Lizard Brain Treats to reduce negative emotions, thoughts, and behaviors
-Breakout groups/Roll play exercises: practice assessing client’s diet throughout the day. What therapeutic value does the question provide beyond food content?
Session 2 | September 15, 2023, 4 PM—6 PM EDT
-Review how small frequent meals for three days can help stabilize emotions, and behaviors and helps see underlying emotional and though structures.
-Provide and review handouts to improve energy and mental clarity with food choices
-Breakout groups/Roll play exercises: offer the exercise of 3 days of protein or fill out the too called the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Day Food Plan.
-Learn how to read food labels.
Session 3 | September 22, 2023, 4 PM—6 PM EDT
-Review sleep and nasal breathing hygiene; and how food and movement can affect sleep
-Breakout groups/Roll play exercises: Practice assessing clients sleep habits and knowledge of how to improve sleep
-Open Q & A/discussion
Session 4 | September 29, 2022, 4 PM—6 PM EDT
-Review tools to offer movement practices to get clients moving
-Learn how to request labs from primary care providers to rule out physiological, hormonal, or nutrient deficiencies that can contribute to mental health conditions
-Open Q & A/ discussion
Participants will be able to:
- Assess the impact of diet, sleep and movement patterns have on emotions, thoughts and behaviors
- Describe how the physiology of glucose control impacts emotions and behaviors
- Discuss with clients how their choices around food, sleep, movement, and nasal breathing impact their energy, emotions, thoughts, and behaviors.
- Identify ways to assess a clients sleep and breathing hygiene
- Describe how to distinguish sleep from unconscious, from deep rest and the roll of each of these play in mental health
- Discuss the neurological value of movement and how to encourage movement for your clients
- Identify what labs should be done prior to a mental health diagnosis
Please review complete CE and conflict-of-interest disclosure information prior to registering. This live online course is sponsored by Praxis Continuing Education and Training and is approved for 8 CE Hours by the following listed below. There was no commercial support for this activity. None of the planners or presenters for this educational activity have relevant financial relationship(s) to disclose with ineligible companies whose primary business is producing, marketing, selling, re-selling, or distributing healthcare products used by or on patients.
Praxis CET maintains responsibility for the program with the CE approvals outlined below:
Joint Accreditation: In support of improving patient care, Praxis Continuing Education and Training, Inc is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), to provide continuing education for the healthcare team.
IPCE: This activity was planned by and for the healthcare team, and learners will receive 8 Interprofessional Continuing Education (IPCE) credit for learning and change.
Nursing: Praxis Continuing Education and Training, Inc designates this activity for a maximum of 8 ANCC contact hours.
Physicians: Praxis Continuing Education and Training, Inc designates this live activity for a maximum of 8 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.
Psychologists: Continuing Education (CE) credits for psychologists are provided through the co-sponsorship of the American Psychological Association (APA) Office of Continuing Education in Psychology (CEP). The APA CEP Office maintains responsibly for the content of the programs.
Social Workers: As a Jointly Accredited Organization, Praxis Continuing Education and Training, Inc. is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved under this program. Regulatory boards are the final authority on courses accepted for continuing education credit. Social workers completing this course receive 8 clinical continuing education credits.
Drug and Alcohol Counselors: This course has been approved by Praxis Continuing Education and Training, Inc, as a NAADAC Approved Education Provider, for 8 CE hours. NAADAC Provider #165310, Praxis Continuing Education and Training, Inc, is responsible for all aspects of its programming.
National Counselors: Praxis Continuing Education and Training, Inc. has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6759. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. Praxis Continuing Education and Training, Inc. is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.
NY Social Workers: Praxis Continuing Education and Training, Inc is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #SW-0467
NY Counselors: Praxis Continuing Education and Training, Inc. 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 mental health counselors. #MHC-0198.
NY Psychologists: Praxis Continuing Education and Training, Inc. is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Psychology as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed psychologists #PSY-0002.
NOTE: Many state boards accept offerings accredited by national or other state organizations. If your state is not listed, please check with your professional licensing board to determine whether the accreditations listed are accepted.
Lassale, C., Batty, G.D., Baghdadli, A. et al. Healthy dietary indices and risk of depressive outcomes: a systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies. Mol Psychiatry 24, 965–986 (2019).
Aylett, E., et. al. Exercise in the treatment of clinical anxiety in general practice – a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC Health Services Research (2018) 18:559
Penckofer, S., et. al. Does Glycemic Variability Impact Mood and Quality of Life? Diabetes Technology & Therapeutics 14, 4 (2012)
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Praxis will offer a full refund to registrants of both live and live-online trainings who cancel their registration up to 14 days before the course or workshop start date, minus an administrative processing fee of $30 for a 2-day workshop or online course, and a $50 fee for a 4-day workshop. If cancelled within 14 days, no refund will be issued, however, a credit for the same amount will be applied toward another learning product, which expires within 1 year. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to cancel a registration.