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Introducing How We Learn


We are all learning all the time.

  • In neurobiology, learning involves changes occurring in the brain.​ Receptors are potentiated (LTP) and depotentiated (LTD). Information is encoded, and neural traffic flows through receptors which are open. This may be described as a biomarker or an engram. The process is described as neuroplasticity and its ongoing activity. Traffic ceases when receptors are absorbed (depotentiated). In Havening, we describe the effect of this process over our life as Landscaping. We can consider that our Landscape may be vulnerable (perfect for fast survival learning, easy like lighting a dry bonfire) or resilient (in terms of encoding in the amygdala, a useful metaphor is 'like trying to light a soaking wet bonfire')

  • High-quality nutrition, sleep and exercise facilitate learning.

  • 'Active learning' (constructivism) stimulates multiple neural connections and enhances memory compared to passive learning (receiving and repeating).

  • Eustress is helpful for learning.

  • Distress or extreme stress is detrimental to learning about the desired subject.

  • It is useful to study classical and operant conditioning.

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This video from the Max Planck Society is superb.  The society is one of the world's most recognized and respected scientific research organizations. It shows modern neuroscience related to how we learn. As Haveners, it is advantageous to watch. When supporting someone using the Havening Techniques, I often recall the images in this video. For example, it helps me imagine the neural traffic flowing when someone explores ideas using Ifformational Havening or when new perspectives and predictions flow after Event Havening.

You can turn the volume down and use the subtitles to follow the action. I found it useful to take screenshots of vesicles, the synapse and the receptors being made. I often show it to clients, and they find it very helpful to understand how we learn.


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The Brainworks video gives some great ideas about how to learn about the activity in our brains. Charlotte Fraza gives us some great insights into learning. And what she shares is in tune with our aim with our Messenger forum. I look forward to seeing you there.

In Havening Practice 

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Project: LTP

Think of a time when you were 'meant' to be learning something, but you learned something else. Or perhaps you can think of an example that someone has shared with you. Perhaps they were meant to be learning maths but instead learned all about the environment of the classroom and the tone and pitch of the teacher's voice. At the time, they may have failed an exam and formed a belief that they were stupid*, yet many years later can recall details about being in that class, which shows that they were learning. It's very common in training animals using positive reinforcement, so if you have pets, you will likely have many examples. 

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We are all changing all the time. Absorbing receptors is also part of learning. The article is from August 2023, and more and more information is becoming available about depotentiation; for example, we now know that 30% of receptors are absorbed at any one time. The video is a useful one for gaining some context around how the scientific communities are thinking about how learning takes place in the brain.

In your Primer, you will learn about how we can 'signal safe' to the brain and how receptors may absorb, and unwanted responses will cease when depotentiation occurs.

Project: LTD and LTP

Think of a time when you changed your mind. Perhaps you liked a sweet as a child as a treat and now prefer something else. Or maybe you once disliked something or someone and then found that you enjoyed the taste, the activity, or the sound or, if it was a person, that now you like them. You most likely have experienced learning a new way of doing things and adopted this new method. For example, I found that when I learned Havening, I started to use hypnosis less in session. And you can probably think of examples that others have shared with you. 

Sensory Input: Primary Learning

It is helpful to understand primary learning.  Let's explore the sequence that occurs when we experience completely novel stimuli.

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Receptors will be made, and some matching will also take place so some receptors will have traffic flowing through them.

Sensory Input: Learning Experiences and Landscaping

It is helpful to understand Landscaping, see your Primer to learn more about Landscaping in Havening practice. There are 22 mentions of Landscape in the Primer.

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Learning experiences and landscape

Receptors will be made, and some matching will also take place so some receptors will have traffic flowing through them.



Speaking with a neuroscientist from McGill University who was working with the team that first showed depotentiation (see Karim Nader) was really helpful. He encouraged me to study our history as an aid to understanding more about how we learn, remember, perceive, predict and behave. I followed his advice and found it was true, and it has been an extremely useful basis to have. This video is a quick and interesting way to study the subject of our origins.

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Remembering what we learned: Memory

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This is a wonderful video from the neuroscientist Beau Lotto, and you will find it ties together the material we have been exploring on this page, our origins, how we learn and why we remember.  And this video from Eleanor McGuire shows brains in action and I found that very useful to imagine when we are cueing people during Event Havening, or listening and observing when they are exploring Transpirational Havening, or Ifformational Havening.

Project: Memory

Consider the difference between procedural, episodic and semantic memories, and list three episodic memories and three semantic memories. Choose memories of pleasant experiences. Take a moment and observe what you recall and how you respond. We are going to explore this sort of activity further - see Introducing CASE.


Project: Types of Memory

We will be exploring Working Memory as it's important to Event Havening. It's worth studying about the different types of memory. These two images can be clicked and the links provide a wealth of links to explore.


Working memory. (2023, August 14). In Wikipedia.

Memory. (2023, August 26). In Wikipedia.

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Project (downloadable)

Project 1. Content, Complex Content, Context

Recalling and Cueing

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Learn about the impact of cueing on recalling and test your own memory and responses.


In your Havening sessions, experiment with different Questions and Observe,  Calibrate, Track and Utilise the difference.

Classical and Operant Conditioning

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The-operant-conditioning-quadrant-There-are-four-types-of-operant-learning-Two-of-the (1).


How do you condition yourself?

What do you use for positive reinforcement?

Do you notice how clients use + and -?

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