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Watt, D.F. (2006). Louis Cozolino, The Neuroscience of Psychotherapy. New York: W. W. Norton, 2002. ISBN: 0-393-70367-3, 357 pp., $30.. Neuropsychoanalysis, 8(1):101-104.

(2006). Neuropsychoanalysis, 8(1):101-104


Louis Cozolino, The Neuroscience of Psychotherapy. New York: W. W. Norton, 2002. ISBN: 0-393-70367-3, 357 pp., $30.

Review by:
Douglas F. Watt

Edited by:
Bonnie Smolen and Douglas Watt

There is much that is positive in this lengthy recent treatment that attempts to bridge psychotherapy and neuroscience, one that generally follows closely in the conceptual paths recently outlined by Allan Schore (1994) and Dan Siegel (1999). It has many rather good case discussions, together with detailed summaries of wide-ranging literature documenting generative roles played by trauma and disrupted attachments in creating characterological pathology and our many derivative (and repetitive) forms of emotional suffering. There are also solid summary reviews of recent concepts about stress, PTSD, and hippocampal function. The volume makes frequent use of the increasingly popular and fashionable concepts of “co-constructed narratives,” “attachment as affect-regulation” (Schore, 1994), and psychotherapy as “neural network integration(Siegel, 1999) in examining the basic processes of both parenting and psychotherapy in building and rebuilding the social brain.

The author makes careful and persuasive arguments for the pivotal roles in psychotherapy for empathy, for alliance building, and for careful addressing of transference issues often expressed in behavior far more than words. He advocates well and consistently for the titration of support and challenge within the alliance so as to not “lose” the patient with premature, severe challenges to characterological defenses. There is also a solid effort toward integrative treatments of varying psychotherapies, in terms of a bridging toward a common language, outlining potentially common processes cutting across the several models of psychotherapy.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

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