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Int J Group Psychother. 2010 Oct;60(4):462-81. doi: 10.1521/ijgp.2010.60.4.462.

Integrating interpersonal neurobiology with group psychotherapy.

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Center for Brain-Wise Living, and Instructor, Portland State University, USA.


An understanding of the principles of neuroscience that illuminate how interpersonal relationships shape the brain, especially as articulated by interpersonal neurobiology (IPNB) (Siegel, 1999), may help group therapists 1) increase their holding capacity, 2) offer patients a framework that can decrease shame and increase regulation, and 3) identify methods of group interaction that can foster neuroplasticity, support neural integration, and lead to greater well-being and more fulfilling relationships. This paper introduces several aspects of neuroscience and discusses how therapist awareness and sharing of this knowledge with group participants at the right empathic moment can be both a psychoeducational support and a promoter of neural integration. While numerous neuroscience topics may be of help, here we will suggest three: early brain development, including the nature of implicit, explicit, and autobiographical memory; group as a source of regulation (with a brief mention of mirror neurons); and four domains of neural integration that are particularly useful in the setting of group therapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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