Looking to the Brain for Psychotherapeutic Insights
and to Psychotherapy for Insights into the Brain: Notes for a New Story

Paul Grobstein
Department of Biology, Bryn Mawr College

Members Forum: In-House Presentation
Psychoanalytic Center of Philadelphia
31 March 2005

notes: http://serendipstudio.org/sci_cult/mentalhealth/neuropsychotherapy/31march05/
on-line forum: http://serendipstudio.org/forum/viewforum.php?forum_id=213&start=14168

With thanks to:

Susan Levine, Bruce Levin, Syd Pulver, Elio Frattaroli, Si Share, Joe Slap, Jarl Dyrud, Warren Hampe, Gary Flaxenburg, and ... Sigmund Freud, for leaving a not surprisingly unfinished project

Alternate title:

On the unastonishing clinical relevance of the brain (if not neuroscience) for psychoanalysis and psychotherapy The Mind and Self as Material Entities
The Brain - is wider than the Sky -
For - put them side by side -
The one the other will contain
With ease - and You - beside-

Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

Problems and prospects of starting with assumption that neurobiologists and psychotherapists are exploring/manipulating the same thing:

Finding Common Cause in an Unconscious/Conscious Distinction
The unconscious as fundamental, rather than derivitive
Is that about oneself which, at any given time, one doesn't know ...
Distinction between neurobiological and psychodynamic unconscious necessary?

The Bipartite Brain/Mind

Updating Freud (and Slap): there is no way in other than through the unconscious

Finding Common Cause in Story-Telling?

"Story teller"/conscious as a distinct part of the nervous system (neocortex) having a distinctive kind of organization


Working Together to Make Sense of Conflict?

How make sense of "repression", "projection", "transference", of conflict ... and of therapeutic efficacy?

Conflict = differences between unconscious and story? evident in behavior, sometimes also in internal experience (Nash)

Can result from

Task of psychotherapist:


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