Psychotherapists Rediscover the Brain

When I trained as a clinical psychologist during the 1980s at a well-regarded American university, there was little mention of neuroscience. Given the brain's central role in human experience, I found this unsettling. After a few years in practice I began to explore the seemingly empty scientific space between the brain and psychotherapy.

I discovered that before Sigmund Freud founded psychoanalysis, he was deeply interested in neurology. In a paper entitled "Project for a Scientific Psychology," he proposed to examine the neural structures underlying human experience. Freud included crude diagrams of neural

networks representing our inner experiences, defense mechanisms, and some possible causes of mental illness.

We hope you're enjoying Project Syndicate.

To continue reading, subscribe now.

Subscribe

Get unlimited access to PS premium content, including in-depth commentaries, book reviews, exclusive interviews, On Point, the Big Picture, the PS Archive, and our annual year-ahead magazine.

http://prosyn.org/cheS7b9;

Cookies and Privacy

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. To find out more, read our updated cookie policy and privacy policy.