Richard G. Petty, MD

Psychological Reslience and Adult Support

Most of us would agree that it is very difficult to try to reduce human behavior to genes alone: one of the most important breakthroughs in our understanding of many genes is the way in which they interact constantly with the environment. This has been known for years with the genes involved in metabolism, but we now also know that the main function of genes in the brain is not to determine behavior, but to predispose us to the way in which we handle the environment.

There is a good discussion of this distinction in a paper posted by someone whom I am sorry to say that I do not know, called R.J. O’Hara, that endorses our point: even if you have genes that could predispose you to a bad long-term outcome, if you had strong, positive support from an adult, it could significantly reduce the impact of "bad" genes.

It leaves us with an important question: how late in life can strong social supports and a positive mental attitude cancel out some of our genetic predispositions?

My answer? "Biology is not destiny, and we can help people make a new start at any age or at any time in life."

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About Richard G. Petty, MD
Dr. Richard G. Petty, MD is a world-renowned authority on the brain, and his revolutionary work on human energy systems has been acclaimed around the globe. He is also an accredited specialist in internal and metabolic medicine, endocrinology, psychiatry, acupuncture and homeopathy. He has been an innovator and leader of the human potential movement for over thirty years and is also an active researcher, teacher, writer, professional speaker and broadcaster. He is the author of five books, including the groundbreaking and best selling CD series Healing, Meaning and Purpose. He has taught in over 45 countries and 48 states in the last ten years, but spends as much time as possible on his horse farm in Georgia.

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