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Lane, R.D., Garfield, D.A. (2005). Becoming Aware of Feelings: Integration of Cognitive-Developmental, Neuroscientific, and Psychoanalytic Perspectives. Neuropsychoanalysis, 7(1):5-30.

(2005). Neuropsychoanalysis, 7(1):5-30

Becoming Aware of Feelings: Integration of Cognitive-Developmental, Neuroscientific, and Psychoanalytic Perspectives Related Papers

Richard D. Lane and David A. S. Garfield

A fundamental ingredient of psychoanalytic treatment is the ability of the analysand to become consciously aware of his or her own emotional responses. We propose that the conscious awareness of emotion is a type of information processing that can be viewed as a separate domain of cognitive function, that the transition from unconscious (implicit) to conscious (explicit) aspects of emotion can be understood developmentally in the manner described by Piaget for cognitive functions generally, and that explicit emotional processes have a modulatory effect on implicit processes. We then present a parallel hierarchical model of the neural substrates of emotional experience supported by recent neuroimaging work. We describe how the neural substrates of implicit and explicit aspects of emotion are dissociable, and we discuss the neural substrates of implicit aspects of emotion, background feelings, focal attention to feelings, and reflective awareness of feelings. This framework constitutes an alternative to traditional psychoanalytic understandings of insight. We conclude by discussing the implications of this model for psychoanalysis, including the nature of clinical change, the psychological processes involved in change with and without insight, and a framework for conceptualizing how to promote emotional change in a variety of clinical settings.

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