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Dr Leaf's Approach to the Emotional, Intellectual, and Mental Health Aspects of Medically Diagnosed Conditions

Thirty years ago, Dr. Caroline Leaf set out to answer a question that was considered at the time to be ridiculous: “Can the mind change the brain?"

In the 1980s, it was believed that once you reached about 10 to 12 years old, the brain did not change. Healthcare professionals were taught to help patients compensate brain disabilities and ill-health. Total recovery was out of the question. Yet, the Bible clearly indicates we can recover and change (2 Tim. 1:7; Lam. 3:22-23; Rom. 12:1, 2; 1 Peter 2:24; 1 Cor.2:16; Phil. 4:7).

Dr. Leaf, through the lens of God’s Word, took a different approach to the mind-brain question. After years of studying, a turning point in her research occurred. In her private practice, she encountered a 16-year old girl who had a traumatic brain injury (TBI) as a result of an accident. This young lady had just come out of a two-week coma and was now operating on a fourth grade level at school, instead of a twelfth grade level like her peers. Using the five-step learning process she had developed, Dr. Leaf worked with this young lady on a one-on-one basis. The 16-year old girl was determined to catch up with her peer group, and Dr. Leaf believed she could achieve her previous levels of academic performance again.

In eight months, the “'miracle” happened. This young women was able to graduate high school with her own class and went on to university. In fact, as compared to before the accident, her IQ increased 20 points, and her overall academic performance improved. Dr. Leaf documented this case in her Master's thesis. In addition, the young girl’s emotional, self-evaluative and self-monitoring skills improved, even though they were indirectly treated during the clinical sessions, indicating that mind change includes intellectual and emotional changes.

For her PhD, Dr. Leaf set out to train teachers and students in her five-step learning process, measuring the students’ academic performance over time. After many months of research, Dr. Leaf saw remarkable results in the teachers’ classrooms and, consequently, formalized her theory of learning and thought: the Geodesic Learning Theory.

After she had completed her PhD, Dr. Leaf worked with teachers and students in low income areas and squatter camps in South Africa. The individuals she worked with came to school contending with poverty, abuse, hunger, and social violence. Many students were orphaned by AIDS. These students, hungry to learn, worked hard and saw their grades improving with Dr. Leaf’s Geodesic Learning Theory. The self-evaluative and executive skills, alongside the academic performance, improved among these students. The schools were transformed. One high school student, a 24-year old pimp and drug dealer, said “Dr. Leaf, now I know what to do with my pen.” He went on to graduate high school, and became a change agent in his community.

Dr. Leaf has worked with the people of all ages and backgrounds in various clinical, educational, and business environments. A 78-year old former pilot even used her techniques to qualify as a chartered accounted (CPA) at the age of 84. After moving to the U.S. in 2008, Dr. Leaf worked in a charter school district in Dallas, with similar results to her school trainings in South Africa: students' grades and state test scores improved. She is currently in the process of updating her research for publication in scientific peer-reviewed journals.

Over the past 3 decades, Dr. Leaf’s research has highlighted the mind’s ability to change the brain. This ability of the brain to change itself was thought to be ridiculous back in the 1980s. However, through advanced research tools, it has has since been shown that the brain can change, and that new nerve cells can actually be produced—processes termed “neuroplasticity” and “neurogenesis”, respectively.

Copyright © Dr. Caroline Leaf
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author Biography

Caroline Leaf
Web site: Dr. Caroline Leaf
Dr. Caroline Leaf is a cognitive neuroscientist with a PhD in Communication Pathology specializing in Neuropsychology. Since the early 1980‘s she has studied and researched the Mind-Brain connection. During her years in clinical practice as a Communication Pathologist she developed tools and processes that help people develop and change their thinking and subsequent behavior. Her scientific Science of Thought techniques have transformed the lives of patients with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), learning disabilities, emotional traumas and released the potential of thousands of young students and adults.

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