Research Topic

Neurobiological Models of Psychotherapy

About this Research Topic

In the last decade, an exponentially growing interest in integrating neuroscience into psychotherapy is forcefully emerging. The understanding of the biological bases of complex behavior, human mind, as well as their maladaptive responses, and, in addition, how psychotherapy can help psychopathologies is one of the most interesting challenges of this century.

There is no doubt that psychotherapy is a biological treatment; in fact it is a brain therapy. Psychotherapy is re-elaborating our sense of self, who we are through new experiences, encompassing cognitive, emotional and internal regulation processing. It is learning to perceive and incorporate new representations, views and internal processing. And, like learning and experience processing of all types, psychotherapy produces lasting, detectable physical changes in our brain. Importantly, psychotherapy is tailored to individual needs.

In the past few decades, advances in neuroscience research have provided a much deeper understanding of the brain structures and functions; applying this understanding and methodology to psychopathologies and therapeutic interventions is a must. Psychotherapy can bring to the table years of clinical effective experience, but this material needs to be empirically studied through neuroscientific approaches. Neuroscience research is now able to identify the genetic, epigenetic, anatomical, circuitry, and functional bases of behavioral manifestations. Compatibly with the evolutional scale of the species, nonhuman animal models provide important knowledge useful for testing hypotheses in humans in both healthy conditions and diseases. Currently, this knowledge is still limited but it, together with future studies, is key for understanding human complex behavior and mental diseases.

One major question that needs to be addressed is what are the mechanisms that enable changes through psychotherapy. Such understanding will ultimately help the development of more effective, long-lasting, transformative and integrated therapeutic methods.

This Research Topic “Neurobiological Models of Psychotherapy” aims at bringing together for discussion material from basic, clinical, and translational neuroscience research and from different approaches to psychotherapy. We invite articles that address new views, questions and/or mechanistic underpinnings of all evidence-based psychotherapy methods currently used. Particularly, we encourage articles that will illustrate approaches for understanding the effects of psychotherapy on memories, emotion, and cognition.


Keywords: psychotherapy, neurobiology, memory, therapeutic, neuroscience


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

In the last decade, an exponentially growing interest in integrating neuroscience into psychotherapy is forcefully emerging. The understanding of the biological bases of complex behavior, human mind, as well as their maladaptive responses, and, in addition, how psychotherapy can help psychopathologies is one of the most interesting challenges of this century.

There is no doubt that psychotherapy is a biological treatment; in fact it is a brain therapy. Psychotherapy is re-elaborating our sense of self, who we are through new experiences, encompassing cognitive, emotional and internal regulation processing. It is learning to perceive and incorporate new representations, views and internal processing. And, like learning and experience processing of all types, psychotherapy produces lasting, detectable physical changes in our brain. Importantly, psychotherapy is tailored to individual needs.

In the past few decades, advances in neuroscience research have provided a much deeper understanding of the brain structures and functions; applying this understanding and methodology to psychopathologies and therapeutic interventions is a must. Psychotherapy can bring to the table years of clinical effective experience, but this material needs to be empirically studied through neuroscientific approaches. Neuroscience research is now able to identify the genetic, epigenetic, anatomical, circuitry, and functional bases of behavioral manifestations. Compatibly with the evolutional scale of the species, nonhuman animal models provide important knowledge useful for testing hypotheses in humans in both healthy conditions and diseases. Currently, this knowledge is still limited but it, together with future studies, is key for understanding human complex behavior and mental diseases.

One major question that needs to be addressed is what are the mechanisms that enable changes through psychotherapy. Such understanding will ultimately help the development of more effective, long-lasting, transformative and integrated therapeutic methods.

This Research Topic “Neurobiological Models of Psychotherapy” aims at bringing together for discussion material from basic, clinical, and translational neuroscience research and from different approaches to psychotherapy. We invite articles that address new views, questions and/or mechanistic underpinnings of all evidence-based psychotherapy methods currently used. Particularly, we encourage articles that will illustrate approaches for understanding the effects of psychotherapy on memories, emotion, and cognition.


Keywords: psychotherapy, neurobiology, memory, therapeutic, neuroscience


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

31 May 2018 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

31 May 2018 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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