L’intelligence du Stress” (The Intelligence of Stress), by Jacques FRADIN, published by Eyrolles

Jacques Fradin is a Doctor and Neuroscience specialist; he founded and developed the Neuroscientific approach to Cognitive and Behavioural Therapy (CBT). “L’intelligence du Stress” remains a reference work, it uses layman’s terms to explain how to develop more balance and serenity in our personal and professional lives by understanding, and above all using, the various functions of the complex and wonderful organ that is our brain…


Chosen extracts


(Chapter 1, “Stress, the distress signal of an unconscious pre-frontal intelligence”):):


“ Pre-frontal intelligence is the summit of human intelligence. It is located behind our fore-head (…) it is adaptable, creative and global, and therefore the provider of all of the characteristics which define human nature. The pre-frontal manages social intelligence, the ability to perceive a relationship context in detail, to understand the intentions of others, to show tact and generosity.

When pre-frontal intelligence is not in agreement with a thought or action originating in the automatic territories of the mind (which react instinctively “in survival mode” or on the basis of our convictions or deep seated learnings), this internal conflict seems to be detected by the reptilian part of the brain and treated as a danger signal, generating stress ”.


(Concluding chapter):


“We can lead people to change their points of view, provided we observe that their stress or mental processes represent an internal dissonance: their own intelligence is in serious disagreement with what they are saying. But what can be done to provoke a dialogue or a reconsideration of the situation? We must try to be sure of our own mental process and calm. Then we must try to use “pre-frontal” interrogation to provide nuance to their position, to consider the viewpoints of others and the problems that they may raise which may be stopping them from achieving their objectives, to develop a plan B if plan A is not working, to consider the relationship between cause and effect, to imagine the risks involved in each decision… or lack of decision, etc. Consequently there will be less of a need to struggle with the cause, or at least not right away, often just changing the mental process will be enough to provoke a questioning of certainties, and this will be far more effective than the opposite. And then work towards creating a genuinely constructive and convivial dialogue.”

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