Clinical intuition contrasts with conscious deliberation in that it is a bottom-up mode mode of processing information that begins with primary sensory, emotional, and other body-based experience as the foundation for organizing immediate response and higher-order perception.

— Terry Marks-Tarlow

Clinical Intuition


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Clinical Intuition in Psychotherapy:

The Neurobiology of Flashes, Hunches, and Gut Feelings

Terry Marks-Tarlow, Ph.D.

How do we know exactly what to do and say as psychotherapists? Clinical intuition is indispensable to effective psychotherapy, yet the topic is rarely discussed within the current social politics of our field. Clinical intuition fills the gap between theory and practice through moment-­to-­moment, embodied perceptions and emergent responses unique to each person, moment, and therapeutic dyad. This workshop explores conscious as well as non-conscious aspects of intuition that arise in therapists and patients alike. An interactive format integrates interpersonal neurobiology with artful dimensions of psychotherapy.

This workshop combines didactic and experiential explorations of clinical intuition from the integrative perspective of interpersonal neurobiology. We will examine our intuition as a bottom-­up, implicit, non-conscious mode of communication. We will explore the evolutionary and developmental roots of intuition in mammalian limbic emotional and motivational circuits. Finally, we will use a play model of healing and growth in the therapeutic dialogue, using unconsciously orchestrated games that organize relational bids and rhythms of engagement, defense, and creative emergence.

Continuing Education:

Continuing Education Units are available. A CE certificate is issued for each module for a $20 charge per module. Instructions for purchasing CE certificates will be emailed once registration is completed and certificates are issued after the module is completed.

Psychologists: The Insight Center is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Insight Center maintains responsibility for this program and its content. This course is provides 6 CE units.

MFTs / LCSWs / LPCCs:  The California Board of Behavioral Sciences accepts APA CEs. This course provides 6 CE units.

Nurses: The Insight Center, Provider Number 14914, is an approved provider by the California Board of Registered Nursing. This course provides 6 CE units.

Purchase CE Certificate