The Grand Conductor: How Your Brain Works

The Grand Conductor: How Your Brain Works


This packet was created in celebration of Brain Awareness Week, which falls in March every year. Hosted by the Dana Foundation, Brain Awareness Week (BAW) is a global campaign with the goal of increasing public awareness of the progress and benefits of brain research.

Ever since I read Diane Ackerman’s ‘Ode to the Brain’ poem, I have had this sort of love affair with, as Diane called it, our “shiny mound of being.” The brain is our neural engine, and clearly, we can link its circuitry to our movements, our physical senses, and other behaviors, yet, also, the brain encapsulates our mind, which is such an abstract concept in comparison.

During my PhD, I focused on neuropsychology, and after that, I did a two-year neuropsychology postdoc. As a neuropsychologist, I am trained to parse out how our cognitive strengths and weaknesses possibly interplay with our emotional and physical functioning, as well as how they impact our relationships with ourselves and others.

In this packet my goal is to share the basics of our brain structure and function so that we can better understand the important ways we can keep our brain sharp for years to come. 

To brain – and self – awareness,

Dr. Jen/Jennifer Wolkin, PhD

Migraine Resource Packet

Migraine Resource Packet

WELCOME! Thank you for your interest in this Migraine Resource Packet.

I hope it will be an invaluable resource as you navigate the terrain of this grueling headache condition.

The most prominent symptom of migraine is pain. Pain, in general, is a complex phenomenon, due mainly to the fact that it is by and large a multi-dimensional and subjective experience.

Until recently, the go-to treatment for pain has been opioid and other medications, which have a high side-effect profile and are highly addictive. More and more, doctors and patients alike are looking towards non-pharmacological ways to supplement current treatment options to help reduce pain and the toll it takes on one’s quality of life.

My hope is that this packet helps create more awareness about the impact that stress and other psychological factors have on eliciting migraine pain. Thereby sharing with more people who suffer from exorbitant pain the option of adding a psychologist who is trained in multiple stress-reduction techniques to their team of providers.

Migraine pain is invisible, but it is real and can be relentless. And healing is more than possible.

This packet seeks to provide a brief overview of what a migraine is in general, how stress and other psychological factors act as migraine triggers, and list the possible treatment options and why they might be effective.

To thriving past pain,

Jennifer Wolkin, PhD

PTSD Resource Packet

PTSD Resource Packet


I’m so glad you are going to download this Updated PTSD Resource Packet, which I hope will be an invaluable resource as you navigate the terrain of trauma. I wanted to create a series of posts on this topic especially for the month of June, which has been designated as PTSD Awareness Month.

I have developed this series addressing what PTSD is and how it relates to, and impacts upon, gender, relationships, chronic pain, heart health, and traumatic brain injury (TBI). You will also learn about the depth and breadth of PTSD suffering, as well as the prospect of effective treatment and the possibility of healing.

This packet was originally developed in 2016, and I’m committed to revising and updating it annually. I want to acknowledge that 2018 has been a particularly difficult one. In the U.S. we have witnessed a record number of school and other mass-shootings, political violence, the increased recognition of rampant sexual harassment in the workplace, high-profile suicides, and more. These events are traumatic, and while psychologically impacting the victims in more profound ways, we are all experiencing our own collective grief.

It is my deepest hope that this PTSD Resource Packet will become an invaluable and healing resource for you, your loved ones, your patients/clients, and/or anyone who may benefit as they navigate the tough terrain of trauma. I humbly ask you to join me in this journey: through awareness and your financial donation, let’s help wipe out post-traumatic suffering. With that in mind, this year I would like to use this resource as an opportunity to help further the research of PTSD and Complex PTSD. Aside from the very minimal production fees, all proceeds from the purchase of this packet will be donated to NAMI – the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

You can also donate here directly:

This compilation is dedicated to all those whose lives have been impacted by trauma. I write this with the utmost respect for those who have, and continue to, suffer. While PTSD is relentless and pervasive, there IS hope for recovery. PLEASE hold on.

To Thriving, Jennifer Wolkin, PhD