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Susan Kuchinskas Interview

February 23, 2012 Featured Comments Off

Bryan Post interviews Chemistry of Connection author, Susan Kuchinskas.

Listen to the interview by clicking the play button below -

Oxytocin (Part 5/5)

July 7, 2011 Featured Comments Off

It is my goal in therapy to help patients love and have the capacity to receive love; all else is secondary. Love makes us strong for our progeny. We need sex to enhance love, have progeny, and vice versa. It is the natural outgrowth of love. What we too often confuse is love and need. Those who never had their needs fulfilled early in life will keep on looking for fulfillment, believing it is love when too often it is only sexual. So long as someone is needy, he or she will confuse that need with love.
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Oxytocin (Part 4/5)

June 30, 2011 Featured Comments Off

Another hormone, vasopressin, contributes to male nurturance of offspring – it makes for caring fathers. It also has pain-killing effects and helps make animals venture out and be more exploratory. If vasopressin is blocked, there is immediately less paternal behavior. When injected directly into a section of the brain of male voles, vasopressin increased their paternal behavior. They couldn’t be loving fathers without it. Vasopressin is a counterbalance to oxytocin, creating more aggression and territoriality in animals.
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Oxytocin (Part 3/5)

June 23, 2011 Featured Comments Off

Bonding is the most positive aspect of human relationships. We learn how to bond emotionally in adulthood through early bonding in childhood, as simplistic as that sounds. It cannot be taught! And it certainly cannot be taught in later life. Attachment is pretty well set in our childhood. It is not something we learn; it is something we feel. It is also something biochemical. Those who did not bond very early on with their parents may well be condemned to a lifetime of broken, fragile, tenuous relationships. It may be in large part due to deficits in the hormonal wherewithal such as oxytocin. Oxytocin researcher and National Institute of Mental Health scientist, Thomas Insel has remarked that, “Many of the affectional ties to the mother observed post-natally (after birth) could be laid down by pre-natal experience.” Life in the womb may determine life outside the womb for decades to come. It is a continuum, not two separate unrelated events. If the early relationship with one’s parents was distant, alienated and glacial, it may be a harbinger of the love relationships we have or don’t have later in life. The earlier the alienation from one’s parents, the more trouble there may be in relationships later on. I have seen it in hundreds of my patients. It approaches a biologic law – if my sampling of our patients is any index.
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Oxytocin (Part 2/5)

June 16, 2011 Featured, Oxytocin In The News Comments Off

Oxytocin is found only in mammals. When it is high, one experiences a sense of relaxation, rest, and growth, repair and healing, loving behavior and emotional-attachment. Love and nurturing early in our lives are necessary for optimum health, and healthy brain development cannot take place without it. It isn’t just that low oxytocin levels are an indicator of early neglect and lack of touching, it also indicates a dysfunction of the entire system, and serves as a prognosticator of our later mental and physical health. Its presence says, “I was loved and could develop normally,” its lack says, “I was unloved and my system is skewed.” That is what I mean by “marker.”
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Oxytocin (Part 1/5)

June 9, 2011 Featured Comments Off

Feeling is the central organizing principle of human behavior. You can measure feeling in the brain, in the body’s biochemistry, in mother’s milk, in saliva and in spinal taps. We can measure it in brain chemicals such as serotonin, oxytocin, vasopressin, and dopamine. Feelings are all encompassing, and love is the key feeling in human intercourse. It can be found everywhere in the system because feeling is everywhere. Except—except where it is blocked and hidden away. Then we have an index of pain and repression. So something like oxytocin can be a marker for love. Speaking broadly, it can indicate where and when fear and pain took the place of love very early on. Love is defined broadly as having one’s need fulfilled in a timely manner; that means even in the womb, during gestation, there are needs that require fulfillment. When they are not, there can be effects on all sorts of biologic processes, including oxytocin. When I state that a baby needs a calm environment, it includes gestational life. A depressed/anxious mother is not providing a calm environment; the fetus is all neurochemically sensitive to her levels of stress and responses.
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Oxytocin Promotes Social Attachment, Beginning with Mother and Child

April 1, 2011 Featured, Uncategorized Comments Off

By Maureen Salamon

Oxytocin’s nickname as the “cuddle hormone” is well-earned, since many studies have proven its ability to promote attachment not just between mother and child, but among groups.

One of the primary bonds among mammals, of course, is between mother and baby, and much research has focused on oxytocin’s role in this process. According to a November 2007 study in the journal Psychological Science, pregnant women with higher levels of oxytocin in their third trimester bonded more strongly with their newborns.

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