Explores the theory, research, and practice of optimizing gene expression and neurogenesis to facilitate brain growth and healing via positive, creative experiences in the arts and sciences as well as alternative and complementary medicine, psychotherapy, and therapeutic hypnosis.

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RELEASE DATE:  May  2002

 ·        The first book to integrate remarkable new neuroscience research on gene expression, neurogenesis, brain growth and healing with therapeutic hypnosis and the healing arts in personal, social, & spiritual development.

 ·        Explores the new neuroscience of novelty, wonder, life enrichment and exercise in modulating gene expression to facilitate neurogenesis and brain growth to facilitate new memory and learning in adults as well as children.

 ·        Psychosocial Genomics: the paths of communication between mind and body in the emerging medical sciences of Psychoimmunology and stem cell research that can optimize health and the healing of stress related illnesses.

 ·        Clarifies the Nature-Nurture Controversy, the Placebo Response, & “Miracle Healing”: How social attitudes, cultural expectancies, and therapeutic hypnosis as well as pharmaceuticals can modulate gene expression to facilitate healing in traditional and complementary medicine. 

 ·        Proposes positive approaches to optimize the natural cycles of gene expression in normal consciousness, meditation, sleep and dreaming in the arts of daily living that can be experienced by everyone.

 ·        A new view of how we can use our consciousness to co-create ourselves.

 ·        A positive dialogue between mind and matter as well as nature and nurture.

 ·        New neuroscience approaches to stress, psychotherapy and the healing arts.

 ·        A new bridge between the arts, culture, humanities, mind, science, and spirit.


Part 1: Psychobiology Of Gene Expression In Human Experience

Chapter 1:  Gene Expression and Human Experience

Chapter 2:  Behavioral State Related Gene Expression

Chapter 3:  Activity Dependent Gene Expression

Chapter 4:  Dreaming, Gene Expression & Neurogenesis             

Chapter 5:  Psychosocial Genomics and the Healing Arts                          

Part 2:  Psychobiology of Gene Expression In The Healing Arts

Chapter 6:  Positive Psychology and The Four Stage Creative Cycle       

Chapter 7:  The Experiential Theater of Demonstration Therapy (1)        

Chapter 8:  The Experiential Theater of Demonstration Therapy (2)        

Chapter 9:  Implicit Processing Heuristics in the Healing Arts                    

Chapter 10: Novel Approaches to Activity Dependent Creative Work      

Epilogue: The Psychosocial Genomics of Creative Experience



Part 1: Psychobiology Of Gene Expression In Human Experience  

In a seminal paper, Eric Kandel,  who received the Nobel Prize in Physiology in 2000, outlined A New Intellectual Framework for Psychiatry that could well serve as the inspiration for Part 1:The Psychobiology of Gene Expression in Human Experience.

"Insofar as Psychotherapy or Counseling is effective and produces long-term changes in behavior, it presumably does so through learning, by producing changes in Gene Expression that alter the strength of synaptic connections and structural changes that alter the anatomical pattern of interconnections between nerve cells of the brain. As the resolution of brain imaging increases, it should eventually permit quantitative evaluation of the outcome of psychotherapy. . . . Stated simply, the regulation of gene expression by social factors makes all bodily functions, including all functions of the brain, susceptible to social influences. These social influences will be biologically incorporated in the altered expressions of specific genes in specific nerve cells of specific regions of the brain. These socially influenced alterations are transmitted culturally. They are not incorporated in the sperm and egg and therefore are not transmitted genetically."

Kandel, E. A New Intellectual Framework for Psychiatry?   American J. Psychiatry, 1998, 155, p 460.  

Chapter 1: Gene Expression and Human Experience.

In Chapter 1 we develop a new way of looking at the relation between genes and human experiencing that is very different from the academic disciplines of behavioral genetics, evolutionary psychology, and sociobiology.  We create the new discipline of psychosocial genomics: How the subjective experiences of human consciousness, our perception of free will, behavior, and social dynamics can modulate gene expression, and vise versa.  We carefully explore the new terrain of the Human Genome Project for the kinds of research that can generate a new understanding of the relationships between Gaia, genes, mind, and the matter of life.  We orient ourselves to how we can use this data to create a new vision of the essential role of art, culture and the humanities as well as psychotherapy and the healing arts in facilitating the human condition.

Now that the structural phase of the Human Genome Project is coming to a successful conclusion, attention is shifting to the process of annotation: How does the society of our genes interact with external events to creatively replay the dramas of our daily experiences?  We now know that significant life events can turn on genes that lead to the synthesis of proteins, which, in turn, generate new neurons and connections in our brain.  Our daily and hourly life experiences, thoughts, emotions, and behavior can modulate gene expression and neurogenesis in ways that actually can change the physical structure of the brain.

This new worldview of the relationships between gene expression and human experience emerging from the Human Genome Project is setting the stage for a profound expansion of our understanding of life.  The essential mission of the humanities and sciences, psychotherapy and the healing arts in the new millennium is to explore and utilize this new worldview to facilitate health and well-being.  We can now document the existence of a society of genes that cooperate to create, maintain, and replay the natural dynamics of psychosocial evolution in daily life.  The concept of a cooperative society of genes currently emerging from the work of Lynn Margulis and others complements the concept of selfish genes in the neo-Darwinian views of evolution. The general evolutionary principle that ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny can now be extended to include the psychobiological development of the individual’s entire life cycle.  Many of the essential dynamics of gene expression involved in the formation of the brain and body in embryology are now recognized as a continuing creative development throughout an individual’s lifetime. 

 Psychobiological research on the many types of behavior state and activity dependent gene expression provides a new database for understanding the connecting links between nature and nurture as well as body and mind.  In the following chapters of Part I we will review the essential research that documents how the creative replay of the gene expression modulates human experience, and vice versa, in the circular dynamics of all complex adaptive systems of emergent life processes.  In Part II we will utilize this encompassing psychobiological perspective to develop a new class of activity-dependent approaches for facilitating the creative replay of gene expression and neurogenesis in psychotherapy and the healing arts.

Chapter 2:  Behavioral State Related Gene Expression

In Chapter 2 we take our first steps in exploring the surprising and little known research on behavioral state-related gene expression: How behavioral states such as sleeping, dreaming, consciousness, vigilance, stress, emotional arousal, and depression are associated with different patterns of gene expression.  We learn how a special class of genes called “immediate early genes” can respond to significant life events and psychosocial cues in an adaptive manner within minutes!  We propose a new idea about the possibility of utilizing immediate early genes and behavioral state-related gene expression as a bridge between mind, brain, and body that can facilitate our understanding of the psychobiological underpinnings of psychotherapy and the healing arts.  We illustrate this possibility with many mini-case histories and touch on the new kinds of clinical research that are now needed to validate these innovative approaches.

Chapter outlines an evolving view of how the creative replay of complex adaptive systems of psychosocial genomics mediate mindbody communication across all levels, from the psychological and social to the cellular-genetic.  This new field of psychosocial genomics generates a unified psychobiological theory of the creative dynamics of consciousness, sleeping, and dreaming in psychotherapy and the healing arts.  The essence of this new view is that immediate early genes and clock genes play a central role in the deep psychobiology of waking, sleeping, dreaming, stress, and healing.  Behavioral state-related gene expression is a genetic source of behavior that can be modulated with psychosocial cues.  Behavioral state-related gene expression and immediate early genes are bridges between body, brain, and mind that can be accessed to facilitate creative replays of psychotherapy and the holistic healing arts. 

 A variety of problems ranging from stress and trauma to the addictions and psychosomatic problems, are presented to illustrate how familiar psychotherapeutic approaches can be used to facilitate the ultradian-circadian dynamics of behavioral state-related gene expression.  Current research suggests that we may have gone as far as we can with current therapeutic approaches without any direct measurement of gene expression profiles during the psychotherapeutic process.  Further progress requires new clinical-experimental research assessing gene expression during the experiences of psychotherapy and the healing arts.  We propose that this assessment of the psychosocial dynamics of mindbody therapy could be made with tools such as brain imaging, DNA, and protein microarrays. In the following chapters we propose new activity dependent approaches to the psychosocial genomics of psychotherapy and the healing arts that will be suitable for the future assessment on the level of gene expression.

Chapter 3:  Activity Dependent Gene Expression 

In Chapter 3 we explore another special class of genes that are responsive to psychosocial cues and significant life events.  These “experience or activity dependent genes” generate the synthesis of proteins and neurogenesis in the brain that encodes new memory, learning, and behavior.  Our daily and hourly life experiences, sensations, thoughts, images, emotions, and behavior can modulate gene expression and neurogenesis in ways that actually can change the physical structure and functioning of our brain.

This chapter begins with Schrödinger’s intuitive idea that consciousness is somehow the tutor who supervises the education of the living substance.  Current neuroscience has identified how novelty, enriching life experiences, and physical exercise can optimize gene expression, neurogenesis, and the growth of the brain. Surprising and unexpected experiences activate the neurotransmitter dopamine in neurons that respond to novel, attention generating, and motivating stimuli.  During initial learning, when rewards occur in a surprising and unpredicted manner, dopamine neurons are activated by rewards.  This activation response gradually decreases as rewards lose their surprise, fascinating, and numinous value.

This implies that consciousness is a novelty-sensitive modality that has an essential role in focusing gene expression and neurogenesis in the flowering of intelligence and personality. We describe this as the novelty-numinosum-neurogenesis effect: Highly motivated states of consciousness can turn on and focus gene expression, protein synthesis, neurotransmitters, and neurogenesis in our daily creative work of building a better brain.  Activity-dependent creative experiences in the arts, cultural rituals, humanities, and sciences as well as the peak experiences of everyday life are manifestations of this novelty-numinosum-neurogenesis effect.  A lack of optimal gene expression and neurogenesis is now believed to be associated with psychological depression.  We hypothesize that happiness and positive psychological attitudes, by contrast, are associated with optimal gene expression leading to neurogenesis, healing, and well being.                 

 The inner rehearsal and creative replay of the novel and surprising experiences of consciousness can play a significant role in optimizing activity-dependent gene expression and neurogenesis.  Creative replay in growth-oriented psychotherapy can sculpt associative networks in the physical structure of the brain to facilitate healing transformations of experience, memory, learning, and behavior.  The novelty-numinosum-neurogenesis effect is a complex adaptive system that provides a new neuroscience foundation for the psychobiology of therapeutic hypnosis and psychotherapy that will be illustrated in the following chapters.

Chapter 4:  Dreams, Gene Expression & Neurogenesis                        

Chapter 4 presents current research documenting how significant life events are reviewed and replayed in our dreams to continually update our consciousness and foster the evolution of our personality.  This replay of significant life events in our dreams actually turns on an immediate early gene, called “Zif-268,” that generates a neural growth factor that optimizes neurogenesis and brain growth.  We explore the implications of the dream-protein hypothesis in which REM sleep is recognized as a state of heightened psychobiological arousal wherein we can self-reflect, update, and co-create ourselves.  We illustrate this view with the fascinating dream series of a young woman coping with emotional transitions of marriage that inspire a profound process of maturation and spiritual development.

Chapter 5:  Psychosocial Genomics & the Healing Arts                           

All the above comes together in Chapter 5 wherein we again explore new territory: We document how immediate early genes, behavioral state related gene expression and activity dependent gene expression are implicated as the processes that can facilitate a deep psychobiological approach to therapeutic hypnosis and holistic healing.  In a series of 10 hypotheses we review the essentials of psychosocial genomics in utilizing stem cells for facilitating neurogenesis and healing.  We explore how the placebo response may facilitate genuine healing at the molecular level.  We propose a new worldview based on the discoveries of the Human Genome Project – discoveries that are setting the stage for a profound expansion of a unified understanding of life on all levels from mind to gene.  The essential mission of art, the humanities, and the healing arts in the new millennium is to explore how to use this new worldview for the practical facilitation of gene expression and neurogenesis, to optimize the  health and well-being of ourselves and our planet.  An example of one of the10 hypotheses presented in chapter 5 that provides the scientific foundation of alternative and complementary medicine as well as the so-called "miracle cures" of spiritual healing is as follows.

Stem Cells, Stress, Gene Expression & Neurogenesis in Healing

Hypothesis 5.5. The modern molecular model of medicine as well as therapeutic hypnosis and the healing arts facilitate the expression of genes coding for the synthesis of proteins that are the molecular machines of healing on the material, energetic and informational levels via the differentiation of stem cells into mature functioning cells throughout the brain and body.

            A new view of how stem cells, stress, gene expression, neurogenesis, and healing are interrelated is currently emerging in the health sciences.  Stress on all levels from the social and psychological to the physical and traumatic leads to injury and aging of the individual cells that make up the tissues and organs of the body.  What is the most general mechanism of recovery from such stress, trauma and injury?  New answer: stem cells!  Stem cells have been described as “Mother Nature’s menders” because, like embryonic cells, they retain the ability to express whatever genes are needed to replace the injured cells (Vogel, 2000b).  Stress, trauma, injury, and diseases of many types leave a trail of molecular signals that activate the gene expression-protein synthesis cycle in the stem cells still residing in malfunctioning tissues.  The molecular messengers generated by stress, injury, and disease can activate immediate early genes within stem cells, so that they then signal the target genes required to synthesize the proteins that will transform (differentiate) the stem cells into mature, well-functioning tissues.  These new tissue cells can then replace injured, aging, and dysfunctional cells that die by a process of apoptosis—so-called “cell suicide” that takes place due to senescence, stress, injury, genetic mutations, etc. (McLaren, 2000; Temple, 2001). 

            The emerging evidence of stem cells as a general source of healing in stress-related physical and psychological medicine is implied in the existing scientific literature, even though many of the exact molecular mechanisms are not yet well known (Pearson, 2001).  Scores of growth factors that can activate the gene expression- protein synthesis cycle in stem cells have been isolated to date.  Stimulation by varying combinations of these growth factors and other signals from the environment lead to varying patterns of gene expression that generate the proteins that lead stem cells that differentiate into healthy, mature functioning tissues.  Healing via this pattern of gene expression has been well documented in self-renewing stems cells in the brain (including the cerebral cortex, hippocampus, and hypothalamus), muscle, skin, intestinal epithelium, bone marrow, liver, heart and many other tissues (Fuchs & Segre, 2000). 

          The most well documented evidence of a relationship between psychosocial stress and a healing response via stems cells comes from the area of neurogenesis and brain growth (Gage, 2000a & b; Temple, 2001).  The inhibitory role of stress hormones (such as the glucocorticoids) on neurogenesis is well replicated (Gould, et al., 1998).  We now need to investigate the degree to which novelty, environmental enrichment, and physical exercise can evoke activity-dependent gene expression and neurogenesis in stem cells of the body as the brain.  Hood (2001) has documented the activity-dependent gene expression in mitochondrial biogenesis and the dynamics of energy generation in skeletal, cardiac, and smooth muscle in response to physical exercise that is consistent with this hypothesis. Hypothesis 5.5 implies, in essence, that many of the so-called “miracles of healing” via spiritual practices and therapeutic hypnosis (Barber, 1990) probably occur via this type of activity-dependent gene expression in stem cells throughout the brain and body. 

Part 2:  Gene Expression In The Healing Arts  

A cornucopia of concepts and methods have evolved in the field of psychotherapy and the healing arts over the past few hundred years since the times of Mesmer, Freud, Jung, behavioral and cognitive psychology, and now neuroscience.  It is high time to take Occam's razor to the whole lot and outline a few simple, positive ways of working with people that are consistent with the new psychobiology of gene expression, neurogenesis and healing. The new approaches outlined in Part II utilize the most fundamental principles of evolution, gene expression, and neurogenesis mediated by creative replay, reframing, and re-synthesis that were uncovered in Part One.  These new principles are presented as the psychobiological foundation of the current emergence of Positive Psychology in helping people learn to optimize their own natural internal guidance system to solve their own problems in their own creative way.

Chapter 6: Positive Psychology & the 4 Stage Creative Cycle                 

The key note of chapter 6 is well described by Ridley (1999) with these words.  “It is time to put the organism back together again.  It is time to visit a much more social gene, a gene whose whole function is to integrate some of the many different functions of the body, and a gene whose existence gives lie to the mindbody dualism that plagues our mental image of the human person.  The brain, the body and the genome are locked, all three, in a dance.  The genome is as much under the control of the other two as they are controlled by it.  That is partly why genetic determinism is a myth.  The switching on and off of human genes can be influenced by conscious or unconscious external action [p.148] ... genes need to be switched on, and external events—or free-willed behavior—can switch on genes [p.153]…Social influences upon behavior work through the switching on and off of genes [p.172]…The psychological precedes the physical.  The mind drives the body, which drives the genome [p.157].”                                                 

Chapter 6 outlines the critical transition from the original pathology based exploration of the psychobiology of stress by Hans Selye to the development of our current approaches to facilitating the creative process in daily life and psychotherapy.  We introduce the concept of The Breakout Heuristic to illustrate how the Four Stage Creative Cycle is replayed on many levels from mind to gene in the arts and humanities as well as the social and spiritual rituals of all peoples in all periods of history.  Although there have been generations of profound scholarship in these areas there has been curiously little summary of how to use this knowledge.  We make a beginning in applying this knowledge in a practical way by outlining “How to Enjoy a Creative Day and Night.”

Chapter 7:  The Experiential Theater of Demonstration Therapy (1): The Preparation and Incubation Stages of Creative Work

In chapters 7 and 8 on The Experiential Theater of Demonstration Therapy we explore a live-videotaped example of how to utilize these new, creativity based approaches in psychotherapy in a highly permissive manner.  This videotaped example of how psychotherapy is taught today with live demonstrations in front of audiences of thousands embraces our entire human heritage in illustrating how communities have always come together to replay and recreate their most salient beliefs and practices for self-discovery and healing.  This Experiential Theater of Demonstration Therapy evokes the current neuroscience principles of novelty, environmental enrichment, and exercise on all levels from the deeply private to the public—from serious explorations in self-reflection and co-creation to simple fun.  This live demonstration of the 4 stages of the creative process in psychotherapy is leavened with current speculations about how we may access immediate early genes, clock genes, behavioral state-related gene expression and then go on to facilitate activity-dependent gene expression and neurogenesis in the future.  We begin the process of exploring how implicit processing heuristics can be used to facilitate gene expression, neurogenesis, problem-solving, and healing in the innovative approaches to a neuroscience based psychotherapy in the new millennium.

In chapter 7 we undertake a bold adventure in coordinating and integrating many historical and cultural rites and rituals of holistic healing in The Experiential Theater of Demonstration Therapy that emphasizes dramatic, novel, and numinous experiences as an important modality in psychotherapy and the healing arts.  Insofar as these experiences evoke changes in arousal level and mood toward sleeping, dreaming, fantasy, comfort and relaxation characteristic of low-phase hypnosis, we speculate that they may facilitate behavioral state-related gene expression and associated pathways of mindbody healing on a molecular level.  Insofar as these experiences evoke changes to arousal in high-phase hypnosis we speculate that they may facilitate experience or activity-dependent gene expression and neurogenesis as well as mindbody healing.  The first two stages of the creative cycle are illustrated below in Figures 7.1 and 7.2.

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Fig. 7.1: Stage One: The Preparation Stage of the creative cycle.  The induction of therapeutic hypnosis as a creative state of focused attention and readiness to co-create one’s self.  The therapist models a delicately balanced and symmetrical hand position a few inches above the lap to engage an activity dependent symptom path approach to hypnotic induction in stage one of the creative cycle.  The therapist’s task is to utilize the natural dynamics of the patient’s ultradian 90 to 120 minute Basic Rest Activity Cycle (BRAC) to facilitate a novel and numinous experience that may evoke the expression of Immediate Early Genes (IEGs) such as c-fos and c-Jun as well as the CYP17 “social gene” that will launch the patient into a creative period of inner work.


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Fig. 7.2: Stage Two: The Incubation Stage: Psychobiological Arousal and Salient Self-Engagement.  Celeste evidences surprise (!) and confusion (?) when her “right hand is doing some stuff” (autonomous, dissociated, and involuntary movements) that were not suggested by the therapist.  Unexpectedly her hands also become hot.  These are typical psychobiological signs of arousal in stage two of the creative process that indicate that a therapeutic process of highly motivated self-engagement is beginning to take place. This psychogenomic state of emotional arousal evokes Behavior State Related Gene Expression (BSGE) whereby genes of the psychoneuroimmune system such as IL-1, IL-1β, IL-2, and Cox2 may be expressed as problematic state dependent memories and emotional conflicts are engaged in the deep psychobiological dynamics of a creative interaction between implicit (unconscious) and explicit (conscious) processes.


The first two stages of the creative cycle—Preparation and Incubation—are facilitated by a series of implicit processing heuristics listed in Table 7.1 that may be regarded as  fail-safe approaches to inner work and healing.  We propose that these implicit processing heuristics tend to evoke free form and open-ended creative experiences characteristic of Darwinian natural variation and selection on all levels from mind to gene.  Responses to implicit processing heuristics are unpredictable, however, as is characteristic of the behavior of complex adaptive systems on all levels in nature.

Table 7.1:  Implicit Processing Heuristics that may facilitate gene expression to optimize neurogenesis and healing during the preparation and incubation stages of creatively oriented psychotherapy, therapeutic hypnosis, and the healing arts.

      §         Ambiguity

§         Apposition of opposites

§         Casual, Happy, Playful Attitude and Approach

§         Fail-Safe Alternatives Covering All Possibilities of Response

§         Hitchhiking Suggestions onto Ongoing Behavior

§         Humor

§         Ideodynamic Hand, Finger and Head Signaling

§         Metaphor

§         Open-Ended Questions that the consciousness cannot easily answer

§         Private Inner Work

§         Recall, replay, reframe, and Re-Synthesize

§         Therapeutic Double Binds

§         Therapeutic Dissociations

§         Time-Binding and Incomplete Sentences

§         Two or More Levels of Functioning

§         “Um-humm” in Many Ways

§         Uncompleted Sentence Stems and Dangling Phrases

§         “…until…” to build time-binding expectation

§         Yo-Yoing Consciousness

In sum, implicit processing heuristics tend to facilitate open-ended free creative play while classical hypnotic suggestions purport to direct behavior in a deterministic and predictable manner.  You usually cannot predict what response you will get to implicit processing heuristics.   With hypnotic suggestions, on the other hand, you hope to get the behavior you suggest.  Implicit processing heuristics and classical hypnotic suggestions each have their advantages as well as limitations.  In the next chapter we will continue our Experiential Theater of Demonstration Therapy as it moves into stages three and four of the creative process where we will be treated to the spectacle of the dueling banjoes of implicit processing heuristics versus classical hypnotic suggestion in facilitating behavioral state-related gene expression and/or activity-dependent gene expression in neurogenesis and mindbody healing. 

Chapter 8:  The Experiential Theater of Demonstration Therapy (2): The Insight and Verification Stages of Creative Work

In this chapter we demonstrate how to utilize implicit processing heuristics to facilitate the third stage of insight and the fourth stage of verification in the creative cycle as illustrated below in figures 8.1 and 8.2. 

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Figure 8.1: Stage Three of the Creative Cycle: Illumination and Co-Creation.  Celeste experiences surprising activity dependent, playful exercise expressing a creative breakout of her previous learned limitations with deep implications for psychodynamic transformations on all levels from mind to gene expression, neurogenesis and healing.  Future research will be needed to determine if Activity Dependent Gene Expression (ADGE) typical of neurogenesis such as the BDNF and the CREB genes and as well as the ODC gene associated with physical growth and healing are actually being engaged.

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Figure 8.2:  Stage Four of the Creative Process: Validation and Ratifying the Reality of Problem Solving and Healing.  Celeste experiences a powerful validation, satisfying self-affirmation and self-empowerment with the strong support of a standing ovation from the therapeutic community.  The therapist hopes this encounter with The Experiential Theater of Demonstration Therapy will be sufficiently numinous to activate zif-268 gene expression in her REM dreaming tonight to optimize the therapeutic reorganization and reconstruction of her mind, memories and healing potentials in keeping with the deep psychobiological dynamics of current neuroscience research.

As may be seen in the accompanying Table 8.1, the so-called implicit processing heuristics are all adopted from the normal experiences of everyday life where people attempt to facilitate or influence each other.  The value of these heuristics is that they may utilize, facilitate, evoke, or activate a person’s inner creative processing on implicit or unconscious levels in ways that we usually do not understand.  Implicit processing heuristics help a person breakout of the limitations of their previous worldview in unpredictable ways, as are characteristic of perturbations on complex adaptive systems.  These heuristics facilitate Darwinian natural variation and selection in in ways that are experienced as creative and unexpected.  This is both the source of their strength in facilitating creativity as well as the source of their limitations as a method of controlling, programming or manipulating human behavior.


Table 8.1:  Implicit Processing Heuristics that may facilitate the illumination and verification stages of creatively oriented psychotherapy and the healing arts.

Segmentalized Trance

Swearing Humorously With (Not At!)

Symptom Scaling 

§         Ultradian Mindbody Sensitivity and Messages

§         Utilizing the Patient’s own Words and Worldview

§          Weird, Unusual, Odd, Strange, Bizarre, Scary, but Interesting Experiences


In this demonstration we could only speculate about the potential value of novel, numinous, dramatic, experiential and active movement approaches for facilitating experience or activity-dependent gene expression, neurogenesis, and healing.  We came to the vivid realization that all forms of psychotherapy, as they are currently practiced, are handicapped by being limited to the observable, phenotypic level of behavioral observation.  We propose that in principle, however, we may be able to use brain imaging with simultaneous DNA and protein microarrays to assess the value of these novel, mindbody, therapeutic approaches in the actual facilitation of gene expression, neurogenesis and healing on a molecular level in the future.  Meanwhile psychotherapists of every school, and practitioners of alternative and complementary medicine need to further develop and refine their use of implicit processing heuristics to help their patients right now and researchers in the future.  We will turn to this task in the next two chapters.

Chapter 9:  Implicit Processing Heuristics in the Healing Arts 

In chapters 9 and 10 we explore how the new psychodynamics of neuroscience can be utilized to facilitate creativity, problem-solving, and healing.  In chapter 9 we develop a new class of verbal Implicit Processing Heuristics that may facilitate the creative process on the deep psychobiological levels of gene expression, neurogenesis, and healing.  We summarize our 4-stage approach to creative work in psychotherapy in chapter 9 as follows.

Stage One: Preparation and Behavioral State-Related Gene Expression.   

A natural initiation to behavioral state-related gene expression, neurogenesis, and the possibility of problem-solving and healing begins with the typical history taking at the beginning of any form of psychotherapy.  More than mere words and talk therapy are involved.  The typical tears and distress in an initial interview indicate that the patient is already accessing and replaying state-dependent memory and emotional arousal that signals they are embarking on a potentially healing adventure.  The therapist’s task at this point is to recognize that the natural ultradian creative cycle of healing has already begun.  Implicit Processing Heuristics can optimize the entire psychotherapeutic process without the therapist even knowing the nature of the patient's problem.  The psychotherapeutic process may begin with a Symptom Scaling of the patient’s current emotional state.  A subjective one to ten scale (or, for example, 1 to 100 scale) where ten being the worst the problem was ever experienced, five about average and zero a completely satisfactory state may be used to assess the patient’s experiential state before and after every psychotherapeutic process to assess and validate it.

Stage Two: Incubation, Creative Replay & Darwinian Variations in Experience.  

This second stage is the valley of shadow and doubt, or “the storm before the light” that is portrayed in poetry, song, and dance in many cultures.  The creative paths experienced here are alternative forms of accelerated information processing that all share the same basic feature of allowing the patient's inner nature to signal when implicate creative process of mindbody healing are taking place.  The therapist's tasks during this second stage are (1) to offer open-ended therapeutic questions that may function as implicit processing heuristics designed to access state-dependent memory encoding symptoms and (2) to support the person through the sometimes painful arousal of their natural ultradian cycle of creativity, problem-solving and healing in everyday life.  Less is often more at this stage, respectful listening rather than advice-giving.

Stage Three: Illumination: Activity-dependent Gene Expression and the Conscious Selection of the Novel and Numinous.  

This the famous “Ah-ha” or “Eureka” experience celebrated in ancient and modern literature when the creative process is described in the arts and sciences.  People are usually surprised when they receive a creative intuition. Many people automatically dismiss their own originality as worthless since it has never been reinforced in their early life experience.  The therapist’s task at stage 3 is to help the patient recognize and appreciate the value of the novel and the numinous that usually emerges spontaneously and unheralded after a period of inner struggle.  Often the patient may have already thought of the options that come up for problem-solving at this stage but dismissed them since they were never validated.

 Stage Four: Verification: Conscious Co-Creation and Ratifying the Reality of the New.  

The therapist’s task in stage 4 is to (1) facilitate a follow-up experiences to validate the value of the psychotherapeutic process and (2) reframe symptoms into signals and psychological problems into inner resources.  The symptom scaling of the patient’s state of being before, during and after the psychotherapy is a measure of progress, problem-solving and healing that may be used to validate the value of the therapeutic experience and what may need to be done in future sessions.  In the next chapter we will utilize this 4 stage outline of the creative cycle of replaying natural variation and conscious selection with a variety of innovative approaches to facilitate novel experiences that could lead to gene expression, neurogenesis, and healing.

Chapter 10: Novel Approaches to Activity Dependent Creative Work

 In Chapter 10 we integrate everything we have learned to develop a new class of non-verbal, activity-dependent  Symmetry-breaking Heuristics that engage our numinous sense of wonder and the dramatic in the creative play of our imagination to synthesize new possibilities in our lives.  We would like to believe we are integrating the best of the arts, cultural rituals, and spiritual intimations of the past with these new approaches to facilitating gene expression, neurogenesis, and healing in developing innovative approaches for the future.  This chapter makes a beginning in exploring novel psychogenomic approaches to facilitating activity-dependent gene expression in the creative psychotherapeutic encounter.  These activity-dependent approaches range from what Carl Jung called the “transcendent function” (which mediates between the polarities, dualities, and conflicts of the psyche) to the utilization approaches of Milton Erickson (that facilitate the reassociation, reorganization, and resynthesis of experience).  From the perspective of psychosocial genomics, the activity-dependent approaches of this chapter optimize Darwinian variation and selection by facilitating the natural symmetry-breaking dynamics characteristic of all emergent processes computing on the edge of deterministic chaos.

Psychotherapy, the humanities, and the healing arts are deeply engaged in the psychobiology of gene expression, neurogenesis, and mind-molecular communication to a degree that previous generations could not have dreamed of.  The symmetry-breaking approaches to problem-solving and healing developed in this chapter have deep sources in the evolution of physical and the biological realms as well as the phenomenology of human consciousness. From a cultural perspective our symmetry-breaking approaches are a rediscovery and exploration of the holistic rituals of the healing in the spiritual practices of many peoples throughout human history.  The psychobiology of gene expression contributes an understanding of the natural creative replay and resynthesis of human nature by integrating neuroscience, neurogenesis, and the numinosum in the humanities as well as therapeutic hypnosis, psychotherapy, and the holistic healing arts. 

 Epilogue: Psychosocial Genomics of Creative Experience

Consciousness, choice, culture, humanities, art, science, gene expression, neurogenesis, psychotherapy, and healing: How do they all come together?  We explored a variety of answers to this question that all tend toward a new worldview of how we can continually co-create ourselves in cooperation with nature.  The over-simplistic idea of genetic determinism in human experience is incomplete: it needs to be amended to include the complementary concept that human experience can modulate gene expression.  Current research documents how our environment, behavior, consciousness, and life style choices can modulate gene expression to optimize creative adaptation to novel circumstances.  The science of psychosocial genomics explores how creative human experience modulates gene expression as well as vice versa.  Here are a few key concepts of psychosocial genomics that bring together the art, culture, ethics, philosophy, and science of facilitating the human condition.

· Immediate Early Gene Expression.  A special class of genes — called immediate early genes — can respond to psychosocial cues and significant life events in an adaptive manner within minutes.  Immediate early genes have been described as the newly discovered mediators between nature and nurture: they receive signals from the environment to activate the genes that code for the formation of proteins, which then carry out the adaptive functions of the cell in health and illness.  Immediate early genes integrate mind and body; they are key players in psychosomatic medicine, mind-body healing, and the therapeutic arts.

·        Behavioral State-Related Gene Expression.  Different states of behavior and consciousness—waking, sleeping, dreaming, emotions, motivation, and stress—are all associated with different patterns of behavioral state-related gene expression.    Behavioral state-related gene expression is a fundamental link between psychology and biology.  It is of essence in exploring the psychobiology of consciousness.  Behavioral state-related gene expression is a genetic source of behavior that can be modulated with psychosocial cues and cultural rituals to facilitate health, performance, and healing.

·        Activity-Dependent Gene Expression.  Learning to do something new initiates cascades of molecular-genetic processes that are called activity-dependent gene expression.  Activity-dependent gene expression generates the proteins and growth factors that signal stem cells residing in the brain to differentiate into newly functioning neurons with new connections between them.  Likewise, stem cells that reside in tissues throughout the body receive psychogenomic signals that enable them to replace injured cells with healthy ones: this is proposed as a basic dynamic of the healing placebo response. 

·        The Novelty-Numinosum-Neurogenesis Effect.  Novelty, enriching life experiences, and exercise associated with a positive sense of curiosity and wonder can turn on activity-dependent gene expression to construct and reconstruct the physical brain and the way it works throughout our entire lifetime.  This is the psychobiological essence of the relationship between the creative psychological experience, gene expression, and neurogenesis — it is a psychosynthetic process of updating and recreating ourselves in everyday life as well as in the arts, humanities, and sciences.  The novelty-numinosum-neurogenesis effect documents how highly motivated states of consciousness can turn on and focus gene expression, protein synthesis, neurotransmitters, and neurogenesis in our daily creative work of building a better brain. 

·        Creative Replay and Re-synthesis is the Essence of Psychotherapy.  Replaying the 4-stage creative process for the re-synthesis of experience is the fundamental dynamic of psychotherapy and the healing arts.  Our emerging models of creativity, optimal performance, stress, and healing engage Darwinian variation and conscious selection on all levels from mind to gene in the natural ultradian flow of human experiencing.  Immediate early genes, behavioral state-related, and activity-dependent gene expression are bridges between body, brain, and mind that can be accessed to facilitate the creative replays of therapeutic hypnosis, psychotherapy, and the holistic healing arts.   

·        Individual Response-Ability and Ethical Self-Realization.  Although it is generally recognized that we are all 99.9% alike in our genetic legacy, it is still not generally understood that there are at least three million small variations in our genes — called single nucleotide polymorphisms — that are expressed in our individuality.  This implies that we all have a profoundly unique psychogenomic entitlement for the personal perceptions, potentials, and problems that we alone can recognize and realize as our ultimate response-ability.  Of necessity, each person is responsible for the facilitation his or her unique psychogenomic endowment.  Parents and teachers may help us find paths, but ultimately only we alone can know when we are really okay in our quests for ethical self-realization — the mindful integration of our personal psychogenomic potentials with those of society and culture.

·        Social and Cultural Response-Ability.  The ultimate gifts of art, music, dance, and the humanities are their evocative effects on gene expression, neurogenesis, and healing in the co-evolution of consciousness and culture.  Play, imagination, fantasy, and dreams are all natural exploratory efforts in the creative replay and re-synthesis of life experiences on all levels.  Gaia, gene, individual, and society co-create each other in the self-reflective replays of the ever-emergent dynamics of becoming.  The ultimate response-ability of leadership on all levels is to facilitate this natural evolution of the goals, philosophies, and ethics of life.  

·        Positive Psychology and The New Decade of Behavior: 2000-2010.    Our current Decade of Behavior (2000-2010), as announced by the American Psychological Association, is a wonderful complement to the previous Decade of the Brain (1900-2000) for integrating psyche and soma with the new spirit of Positive Psychology.  Experiences of creativity, happiness, humor, uplifting surprise, awe, and that special spiritual sense of the numinousum—fascination, mysteriousness, and the tremendous—are all associated with immediate early, behavioral state-related, and activity-dependent gene expression, neurogenesis, healing, and self-realization.  The ethical challenge is to discover new research methods for the deepening exploration and the practical implementation of these insights for the rediscovery and recreation of human nature.  Lets all go for it!