Deep Brain Systems short reading course

Taken from the book The Psychotherapist’s Essential Guide to the Brain.

In this course you will learn:

  • An overview of the limbic system
  • The role of the thalamus
  • The role of the amygdala
  • The role of the hippocampus
  • How the hypothalamus mediates the HPA-axis stress response
  • The role of cortisol in the stress response

(Once you have paid for the course Unit 1 should display an active link – this is your entry into the course)


Deep Brain Systems (1 hour)
Exploring the functions of the limbic system including the thalamus, amygdala, hippocampus and hypothalamus. This reading course is taken from The Psychotherapist's Essential Guide to the Brain.
Module 1 Deep Brain Systems  
Unit 1 Deep Systems Introduction (1 min)
Unit 2 The Limbic System (8 min)
Unit 3 The Thalamus (8 min)
Unit 4 The Amygdala (14 min)
Unit 5 The Hippocampus (12 min)
Unit 6 The Hypothalamus & The HPA-axis (8 min)
Unit 7 Cortisol and the Disease of Stress (10 min)
Unit 8 Deep Systems Conclusion (1 min)
Deep Brain Systems short reading course has been taken from the book The Psychotherapist’s Essential Guide to the Brain, and a short excerpt from an article by Robert Scaer. This short reading course will take you though some of the basics of deep brain structures and function such as the role of the amygdala, hippocampus, hypothalamus, thalamus, and more. For those who are starting out on their journey of discovery about the brain, this is a good primer for following courses also based on the book The Psychotherapist’s Essential Guide to the Brain.
In this course you will learn:

  • An overview of the limbic system
  • The role of the thalamus
  • The role of the amygdala
  • The role of the hippocampus
  • How the hypothalamus mediates the HPA-axis stress response
  • The role of cortisol in the stress response
Matthew Dahlitz is the Editor-in-Chief of The Neuropsychotherapist magazine, a practicing psychotherapist, and author of the book The Psychotherapist’s Essential Guide to the Brain. He sees clients in his private practice when he is not writing and editing for The Neuropsychotherapist or working on other publishing and consulting projects.

Robert Scaer, M.D. received his B.A. in Psychology, and his M.D. degree at the University of Rochester. He is Board Certified in Neurology, and has been in practice for 33 years, twenty of those as Medical Director of Rehabilitation Services at the Mapleton Center in Boulder, CO. His primary areas of interest and expertise have been in the fields of brain injury and chronic pain, and more recently in the study of traumatic stress and its role in physical symptoms and diseases.

He has lectured extensively nationally and internationally on these topics, and has published several articles on the whiplash syndrome and other somatic syndromes of traumatic stress. He has published a book in 2001, The Body Bears the Burden: Trauma, Dissociation and Disease, presenting a new theory of dissociation and its role in many diseases. A second edition of this book was released in October, 2007. A second book, The Trauma Spectrum: Hidden Wounds and Human Resiliency, released in July, 2005, explores the insidious spectrum of culturally-based trauma that shapes our lives, and how transformation and healing may still take place. He is currently retired from clinical medical practice, and continues to pursue a career in writing and lecturing.

This self-study activity consists of 1 hour of continuing education, or professional development, instruction. Credit requirements and approvals vary across countries, organizations and state board regulations. Please save the test results at the end of each unit, the certificate of completion you receive from the activity and contact your organization to determine specific filing requirements.

We are unable to guarantee the success of logging 1 CE/PD point for this course as the requirements vary significantly across countries, states, and organizations.

All self-study participants will have to have achieved 80% or better pass rate to receive a certificate of completion. If you require a copy of the test/evaluation for CE purposes, please print at the time you take the test – these are available as a download after you complete each test section.

This course is $10 AUD and is 1 clock hour of learning.

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