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Am J Psychother. 2005;59(3):181-97.

From synapse to psychotherapy: the fascinating evolution of neuroscience.

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  • 1Harbor UCLA Medical Center, Department Of Psychiatry-1SOUTH, 1000 West Carson Street, Torrance, California 90509, USA.


This paper reviews neuroscientific advances across the therapeutic disciplines and outlines new potential insights into understanding the biology of the psychotherapeutic processes. In a quest to understand the modus operandi of psychotherapy, the author reviews the evolution of the biology of psychotherapy. The mechanisms involved in learning processes, such as memory and priming, attachment, and long-term consequences of early life trauma, demonstrate how brain structures can be affected by environmental changes. Finally, the author proposes that verbal and non-verbal aspects of the psychotherapeutic process mediate their therapeutic effects through biological changes as they work on primitive emotional reflexes and stimulate mentalization processes.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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