Essential Neuroscience Wisdom for Psychotherapists Part 2: Trinocular Vision: Healing Relationships, Minds, and Brains

Presented by Debra Pearce-McCall, PhD on 01-17-2014 at 9 a.m. Pacific to 11 a.m. Pacific (2 p.m. Eastern)

Therapy focuses on the relationships, minds, and brains of our clients. But this wasn’t always the focus of therapy. A profound shift in our understanding—the shift toward recognizing interconnected systems—has been happening across many fields. In the field of therapy, the systems paradigm influenced different models and methods and highlighted the importance of focusing on relationship in treatment: relationships between people, relationships within, and the therapeutic alliance itself. Though traditional models of therapy described some aspects of a subjective system of “mind,” recent advancements in studies of consciousness, mindfulness, and emotion have greatly expanded views of the complex and interactive nature of the mind.

In addition, neuroscience research provides evidence for another level of systemic change that good therapy incorporates—the literal changing of neural pathways that support healthier minds and relationships. Intuition and scientific evidence converge on this new understanding: impactful therapy heals and changes minds, relationships, and brains. Applying this systemic view in the clinical setting is facilitated by viewing therapy through the lens of interpersonal neurobiology.

Interpersonal neurobiology is a meta-framework that can give clinicians “trinocular vision”—a 3D, systems view of the three levels of mind, relationship, and brain. The term brain, in this case, refers also to the whole distributed nervous system. With trinocular vision, clinicians can consider each level and evaluate the interconnectedness of the mind, relationship, and brain. When we are guided by an understanding of a healthy system as one that is integrated, emergent, and sustainable, we can consistently point our therapeutic choices in the direction of positive potential, whatever the therapy model or theory being applied.

In this presentation, individuals' stories and experiential exercises will illustrate using trinocular vision to enrich ways of understanding people in therapy, treatment processes, and treatment goals.

This web conference is intermediate instructional level and designed to help clinicians:

  1. Identify ways to exercise and strengthen trinocular vision by applying the lens of the interpersonal neurobiology framework.
  2. Describe three essential elements of a healthy system and how these apply to the therapy relationship and to a healthy mind and nervous system.
  3. Develop a trinocular description of a therapeutic model or method currently being used, or of a specific client and their treatment process/plan.
  4. Prepare to naturally weave talk about brain change into therapeutic conversations with those in therapy.

This teleconference is the second in a series of four presentations on neuroscience's contributions and relevance to psychotherapy. Participants are welcome to register for any one event or all four. The fourth presentation will include a panel discussion with the three presenters, moderated by's CEO, Noah Rubinstein. If you have any questions about this web conference or would like more information, please contact us here.

Event Reviews from Members

I enjoyed her presentation. She has excellent communication and teaching skills. - Nancy Aguirre, RCC

Continuing Education (CE) Information

Two CE credits will be provided by for attending this web conference in its entirety. is also an Approved Education Provider by NAADAC, The Association for Addiction Professionals (provider #135463). Of the eight counselor skill groups ascribed to by NAADAC, this course is classified within counseling services. is an NBCC-Approved Continuing Education Provider (ACEPTM) and may offer NBCC-approved clock hours for events that meet NBCC requirements. is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. maintains responsibility for this program and its content., SW CPE 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 #0395.

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Registration Information

Premium and Pro Membership with GoodTherapy includes access to this web conference at no additional cost, as well as other member benefits such as a profile listing in GoodTherapy's Therapist Directory. Not yet a member? Sign up for a Premium or Pro Membership, here.

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Mental health professionals who are not members can attend this live web conference for $30.95 or access the homestudy recording for $15.50. Sign up here to purchase this CE course and earn a CE certificate.

If the event is canceled by GoodTherapy, registrants who purchased the event will be notified and the charge for the event will be refunded

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For me, interpersonal neurobiology is not a method of doing therapy; it's more of a meta-framework. In the program at Portland State, I've had the pleasure of teaching interpersonal neurobiology to therapists who work in all kinds of different orientations and settings and different populations, with educators, with conflict-resolution specialists, attorneys, physicians, business leaders, coaches. And what I found is anybody who is using relationship in their work finds that there are aspects of what interpersonal neurobiology pulls together, the consilient approach, that inform whatever you're doing. - Debra Pearce-McCall, PhD

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Meet the Presenter

Debra Pearce-McCall, PhD

Debra Pearce-McCall, PhD

Debra Pearce-McCall, PhD, is a clinician, educator, consultant, and writer who brings a compassionate focus on our relating minds and brains into all her work. Since the 1970s, she has refined her systemic, interdisciplinary perspective, which has been applied and tested through her work in clinics, nonprofit agencies, academic settings, corporate management, and private practice. She serves as President of the Global Association for Interpersonal Neurobiology Studies and is co-editor for the GAINS Journal. She helped develop the Interpersonal Neurobiology program at Portland State University, where she continues to teach the capstone Integrative Seminar Experience and an IPNB View of Professional Ethics. Recently, she brought interpersonal neurobiology into public awareness of brain-healthy lifestyles and aging with wellness by co-founding the business, High Mileage Living, where she serves as the chief knowledge officer.

A licensed psychologist, marriage and family therapist, and AAMFT-approved supervisor, Dr. Pearce-McCall maintains a private practice in Portland, Oregon, providing individual and relational psychotherapy and consultations for clinicians, coaches, and leaders. She also provides some services at a distance, and she continues her work with leaders and organizations through the Creating We Institute. For more information about Debra and her work, please visit

Continuing Education Provider Approvals

  • is Approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. maintains responsibility for this program and its content.
  • Logo has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6380. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.
  • Logo This course has been approved by, as a NAADAC Approved Education Provider, for educational credits. NAADAC Provider #135463. is responsible for all aspects of their programming.
  •, LLC 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-0395.
  •, LLC 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 marriage and family therapists #MFT-0022 and for licensed mental health counselors #MHC-0031.

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