Recent research is suggesting that the actual structure of the brain can be altered by psychotherapy. Through the firing of mirror neurons* in individual and group therapy, the brain is proving to physically react and change through the engagement of psychotherapy sessions. This scientific phenomenon may indicate that self soothing and regulating occurs at a biochemical level in addition to a psychological and emotional level.
Scientists have suspected that there is a stronger body mind connection than previously thought but recent research studies back the suspicion with evidence.
*mirror neurons are neurons found in the premotor cortex and the somatosensory cortex. They fire when an individual is in attunement with another individual or individuals. Attunement is a key element to the psychotherapeutic process.
Dietz, J. (2010). Talk Therapy can be Potent Medicine. Can be found here.
Schermer, V.L. (2010). Mirror Neurons: Their Implications for Group Psychotherapy. Neurobiology and Building Interpersonal Systems: Groups, Couples, and BeyondInternational Journal of Group Psychotherapy, (60), 486-513.