The Rise and Fall of PaxMedica

The Rise and Fall of PaxMedica

Welcome to the new era of brain-based therapy

By John Arden and Lloyd Linford

January/February 2010

In the late 1890s, Sigmund Freud, then a highly respected neurologist, abandoned his attempt to create a "scientific psychology" grounded in neuroscience because knowledge about the physical brain was just too primitive. Instead, he had to settle for studying the processes of the mind, which didn't turn out too badly, considering he virtually founded the entire field of modern psychotherapy. Now, a century later, Freud's abandoned dream shows signs of resurrection. An unprecedented outpouring of discoveries in brain science are beginning to affect how therapists think about and practice psychotherapy—possibly bringing the most significant transformation in our field since the invention of psychoanalysis.

We believe we're seeing a dynamic new understanding of how psychotherapy works and how it actually affects the neurophysiology of our clients. We call this new vision of treatment "brain-based therapy," a way of approaching the therapeutic task that draws upon a combination of neuroscience, developmental psychology, psychotherapy research, and complexity theory. While all of this may sound complicated, it carries forward the single most important and powerful aspect of traditional psychotherapy: a healing conversation that transforms mental and emotional suffering. What we're discovering about neuroscience promises to help us understand the question that's beguiled therapists from the beginning: How can a simple conversation—or, as Freud called, it the "talking…

Already have an account linked to your magazine subscription? Log in now to continue reading this article.

(Need help? Click here or contact us to ask a question.)

Not currently a subscriber? Subscribe Today to read the rest of this article!

Next: Big Squeeze

Read 15696 times
Comments - (existing users please login first)
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *