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What is Neuropsychotherapy

There are many approaches to therapy. Some of the more famous approaches include CBT, the Person-Centered Approach, and EMDR. Here at our site, Dr. B implements a neuropsychotherapy approach for his clients' treatment. You may have a question about what this approach entails and means. Below is a brief breakdown of what neuropsychotherapy is.

Human brain and nervous system

What is Neuropsychotherapy

According to research, the idea of neuropsychotherapy can be traced back to Sigmond Freud; the formal concept was introduced by a researcher named Klaus Gawe (Walter et al., 2009). Neuropsychotherapists should be aware of how neurobiology impacts the person while doing psychotherapy. While engaging in therapy or counseling, the therapist determines which neural factors can help the client and what areas of the brain to target when conducting treatment. The therapist will design interventions and techniques based on neuroscience research. In more straightforward terms, a neuropsychotherapist uses knowledge about the nervous system and the brain to inform patients about how to do therapy and counseling. 

Neuropsychotherapy is a unique approach to therapy that integrates the complex interplay of the mind, brain, social interaction, and environment. It takes into account the individual components of the brain, the nervous system, psychological principles, and the impact of personal interactions on our well-being. While it shares similarities with traditional talk therapy, it distinguishes itself by incorporating these additional elements, thereby offering a more comprehensive and informed path to healing for clients. 


Group of scientist studying the human brain

What is a Neuropsychotherapist

Psychotherapists, highly trained professionals, employ talk therapy to address a range of mental health issues and emotional challenges. They offer individual, couples, family, and group counseling (Psychotherapy, n.d). A psychotherapist typically adopts a specific therapy approach, such as CBT, Person-Centered Approach, EMDR, or Internal Family Systems. A Neuropsychotherapist, on the other hand, is a psychotherapist who incorporates a unique approach. They draw on their understanding of neuroscience and neurobiology to inform their talk therapy, providing a more targeted and effective approach to helping clients.   


A therapist talking to a patient

How Does it Work? 

If a client is struggling with anxiety, a neuropsychotherapist would look at the areas of the brain involved with anxiety. Based on the client's complaints, the neuropsychotherapist will create a treatment plan to work with those key brain areas and help with the symptoms. For instance, a vital area of the brain when dealing with anxiety is the amygdala. Usually, this area of the brain can become overactive or sensitive to danger, which will cause the fight-or-flight system to turn on. A neuropsychotherapist may work through the body to help the client calm their nervous system and then help to change their thinking. This could include breathing techniques to calm the fight or flight response and cognitive approaches to regulate the amygdala.

 



References



Walter, H., Berger, M., & Schnell, K. (2009). Neuropsychotherapy: conceptual, empirical and neuroethical issues. European Archives of Psychiatry & Clinical Neuroscience, 259, 173–182. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00406-009-0058-5

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