Didier Pleux

How to Escape the Dictatorship of a Reptilian Brain Publication date : April 21, 2021

Didier Pleux is a doctor of developmental psychology, a clinical psychologist, psychotherapist, and a referenced author for subjects in education. He is director of the Institut français de thérapie cognitive. He is the author of many best-selling books, including: Exprimer sa colère sans perdre le contrôle (Expressing Your Anger without Losing Control); Un enfant heureux (A Happy Child); Les 10 commandements du bon sens éducatif (The 10 Commandments of Good Educational Sense); Le Complexe de Thétis (The Thetis Complex).

Knowing how to wait, knowing how to think

Children and adolescents suffer increasingly from substandard education. In adults, an inability to tolerate frustrations creates a great deal of emotional or pathological dysfunction. Weakness in the face of frustrations or the vicissitudes of life, seeking pleasure, a refusal of anything that is “unpleasant,” are very human tendencies. The neurosciences confirm this: in the center of our brain there is a sort of natural guide – the striatum -- that pushes us always to seek more pleasure. The constant appeals from our consumer society make us even weaker. And new technology, especially screens, constantly stimulate our demand for immediate gratification. A person gradually falls victim to his or her reptilian brain, and is no longer in charge of things. A victim of the pleasure principle, no longer thinking about his or her life.

How can we control our “reptilian” brain and return power to the cortex, to the “strength of the Conscious”? How can we learn to “restrain ourselves” when necessary? Didier Pleux, drawing from cases in his clinical practice or from his experience, shows the way to a certain morality which has become necessary in our society, one that is faced with the excesses of our quest for immediate gratification.