How Mind Mapping Can Enhance
Learning and Creativity for Psychotherapists

by

Joe Bavonese, PhD

Mind Mapping is a fascinating graphical technique developed by Tony Buzan in the 1960s which can be of great help to psychotherapists in private practice. Although Mind Mapping has a wide range of uses, it is probably most helpful as a brainstorming, organizing, planning and learning tool.

Mind Maps, which can be done either by using paper and pencil or via computer software, create a visual representation of the way the mind thinks and organizes information and ideas. (At the bottom of this page is a link to Tony Buzan's web site, where it shows you exactly how to use this powerful tool).

Mind Maps are also useful for improving the way you take notes at a lecture or seminar. By using Mind Maps you show the structure of the subject and linkages between ideas, as well as the raw facts contained in normal notes. Mind Maps hold information in a format that your brain finds easy to remember. Moreoever, Mind Maps make it incredibly easy to review complex information.

Computer-aided Mind Maps can contain words, pictures, web links, and links to other articles or information on your computer or on the Web.

Mind Maps don't use the linear format of typical note taking. Instead, they use a two-dimensional structure. In a Mind Map you can instantly see the relative importance of individual ideas or pieces of information, and the way in which one fact relates to any other.

Mind Maps are more compact than conventional notes, often taking up just one side of paper. This helps you to make associations easily. If you find out more information after you have drawn the main Mind Map, then you can easily add it to the original Mind Map with no problem. Because they are visual, Mind Maps engage much more of the brain in the process of assimilating and connecting facts than conventional notes.

For a psychotherapist, Mind Maps can be used to organize your patient notes or office processes, brainstorm new ideas for expanding your business, create a business plan, and taking notes when at a lecture or seminar. It's been proven to enhance learning and retention over traditional forms of note-taking.

We prefer to Mind Map using computer software, but many others like to do it by hand. To learn how to do a Mind Map by hand from the orinator of the method, Tony Buzan, go to How to Mind Map.

You can learn the basics of Mind Mapping in 15 minutes. So we recommend go to the Buzan web site and learn it today. If you prefer to learn via computer software, search for "Mind Map" online and you'll see the wide range of software available.

Some popular Mind Mapping sofware:

  • Bubbl.us - free and online!
  • IMindMap - the official software from the man himself
  • MindJet - a commercial desktop tool with free trial
  • Inspiration - another popular desktop tool, especially with students
  • FreeMind - a free and open source project