Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
Tip: PEP-Web Archive subscribers can access past articles and books…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

If you are a PEP-Web Archive subscriber, you have access to all journal articles and books, except for articles published within the last three years, with a few exceptions.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Divino, C.L. Moore, M.S. (2010). Integrating Neurobiological Findings Into Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Training and Practice. Psychoanal. Dial., 20(3):337-355.

(2010). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 20(3):337-355

Integrating Neurobiological Findings Into Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Training and Practice

Cynthia L. Divino, Ph.D. and Mary Sue Moore, Ph.D.

New knowledge regarding the neurobiology of human development has enormous implications for the field of psychotherapy. Recent discoveries confirm the existence of mirror neurons, explain the intersubjective neurobiology of affect regulation, highlight the role of implicit/procedural memory in attachment processes, and document the fact that gene-environment interactions structurally change the brain throughout life. Addressing the fact that psychotherapeutic techniques have lagged behind in incorporating these findings, this paper describes one method of integrating these neuroscience findings and their implications for treatment into a graduate psychotherapy training course. Basic principles of attachment theory and psychodynamic psychotherapy are evaluated in light of these new neuroscience data.

In addition, interpersonal dynamics in the classroom can trigger instinctive neurological processes, especially when the subject matter is the impact of trauma in human lives. The students' potential for neurobiologically co-constructed learning experiences inform the lecturers' presentations of content and clinical material. For example, when employing photographic, auditory or video training materials involving trauma, the authors discuss techniques designed to help students maintain a self-regulatory state that keeps their prefrontal lobes and self-reflective capacities active despite the potential of traumatic material to trigger nonconscious, affective responses that can block thought.

The authors' interactions with the students and with each other in the context of the course, contribute to students' nonconscious procedural knowledge, hopefully enriching the conscious, verbal, left hemisphere-dominant learning that is also taking place. In today's psychotherapy training program, the content and the context and the intersubjective experience are the message.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

Copyright © 2019, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.