Los sicoterapeutas redescubren el cerebro

Cuando me formé como sicólogo clínico en los años 80 en una universidad estadounidense bien conocida, se hacía poca mención a la neurociencia. Dado el papel central del cerebro en la experiencia humana, encontré que esto era preocupante. Después de unos pocos años de práctica, comencé a explorar el aparente vacío que en el espacio científico existía entre el cerebro y la sicoterapia.

Descubrí que antes de que Sigmund Freud fundara el sicoanálisis, había estado profundamente interesado en la neurología. En un artículo titulado "Proyecto de una sicología científica", propuso examinar las estructuras neuronales que subyacen a la experiencia humana. Freud incluyó toscos diagramas de redes neuronales representando nuestras experiencias internas, mecanismos de defensa y algunas posibles causas de enfermedades mentales.

Las reacciones hostiles de sus colegas hicieron que Freud optara por eliminar el artículo, que fue publicado sólo tras su muerte, cincuenta años después. Durante el siglo 20, los sicoanalistas y otras ramas de la sicoterapia se apartaron de la neurología, desarrollando un rico lenguaje metafórico de la mente que prestó poca atención al cerebro y al sistema nervioso. Simultáneamente, las neurociencias crearon una gran cantidad de conocimiento acerca de la relación del cerebro con el comportamiento observable.

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