Richard and Matt talk about the nature of neuropsychotherapy

What is neuropsychotherapy? Richard and Matt talk about the multidisciplinary perspective of neuropsychotherapy and the fact that this is about being informative and integrative of different perspectives as opposed to a particular modality of therapy.

After a number of students approaching us and asking for the evidence base for neuropsychotherapy, it seemed people were looking at this as a particular modality or technique of therapy, and this is understandable. We discuss the reasons why this is not the case and clear up some misunderstandings in the language used and the intention of neuropsychotherapy.

Recommended course: The Integrative Sciences Hub

Where can you find Richard presenting?

How a UT Southwestern doctor stopped the voices in a University Park man’s head last Christmas season  –

Richard’s case of Psychotherapy With Non-Fatal Bilateral Thalamic Thrombosis: A Case Study

Here’s what we have had on our website since 2013 about what neuropsychotherapy is – which I’d like to read, as clearly the ones who are looking for evendence based studies on a discrete modality haven’t seen this page:

What Is It?

Neuropsychotherapy is a meta-framework taking into account the dynamic interplay between the mind, body, society, and environment upon well-being. By understanding the mechanisms of our biology/neurology, the processes of our psychology, and the influences of social interaction, it is believed a holistic therapeutic practice can be formulated.

Who Are You?

We are professionals in mental health (either an eclectic or founded in any number of theoretical schools) who utilises neurobiological, cognitive, emotional, social, and environmental information to base or enhance our psychotherapeutic interventions. We use the term “Neuropsychotherapist” to identify professionals who are grounded in a sound knowledge of the neurobiological underpinnings of mental states and behaviours of their clients.

Is This A School?

No. The Neuropsychotherapist is not proposing a new school of psychology or psychotherapy, nor a new modality of practice. Rather we are promoting a greater depth of knowledge in the workings of the brain, and other aspects of our biology, to enhance the therapeutic practice of all psychotherapists regardless of their theoretical orientation.

What may be confusing is Grawe’s language around neuropsychotherapy when he states that…

Neuropsychotherapy aims to change the brain, but it does not directly target primarily the brain but focuses on the life experiences encountered by the person. The brain specializes in the processing of life experiences. Life experiences are meaningful with regard to the needs that are embedded within the brain structures of each human being. Neuropsychotherapy strives to shift the brain into a state that enables these basic needs to be fully satisfied. The best method for improving the health of the brain, then, is to ensure basic need satisfaction.” (Grawe, 2007, p. 424)

The definition of Neuropsychotherapy may seem broad, but that is precisely the point. Armed, for example,  with microscopic insight into the activity of a particular neural network involved with a clients fear, as well as a macroscopic view of  their interpersonal relationships and environment, gives the neuropsychotherapist a thorough grasp of the clients situation. With the knowledge that there is a dynamic and powerful influence between the mind, brain, people, and environment, the eclectic clinician can choose from a large palate of therapeutic practices to achieve a desired outcome without being philosophically shackled to one approach. Similarly the therapist who holds dear to a particular school will find valuable insight into a clients conditions by understanding with more clarity what’s ‘under the hood’, so to speak, in the neurology and biology of the client, and possibly refine the therapeutic approach with this new understanding. This does mean, however, that the therapist must have a multidisciplinary approach to study, analysis, and possibly intervention. It does not mean the therapist need explain to clients their condition in terms of  neurology and chemistry (although some clients may benefit from such explanations), but that a depth of understanding does exist by the professional who is dealing with the extreme complexities of a fellow human.  We would like to propose that the Neuropsychotherapist is one who works within a biopsychosocial paradigm toward holistic therapy, with an increasing depth of knowledge of all these levels of our being.

Thanks for listening!

Don’t forget to leave an honest review on iTunes and subscribe to our show.

You can also find our podcast at: The Science of Psychotherapy Podcast Homepage

If you want more great content from The Science of Psychotherapy please visit our website

About The Author: