General Discussion

Neuropsychotherapy Defined

This topic contains 2 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  NPT 1 week, 3 days ago.

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  • #28360


    I would love to have your feedback about the definition proposed here…
    Neuropsychotherapy Definition:
    Neuropsychotherapy is a neurobiologically informed framework for psychotherapy that conceptualises thought and behaviour as emerging from the influence of motivational schemata developed to preserve or enhance basic psychological needs. Therapeutic processes start from the development of a safe and enriched environment to activate positive approach motivational schemata utilising a bottom-up neurological approach, and proceed from a top-down approach to facilitate long-term change in neural architecture (Dahlitz, 2015).

    I’ve also done a short video of the definition here

    Dahlitz, M. J. (2015). Neuropsychotherapy: Defining the emerging paradigm of neurobiologically informed psychotherapy. International Journal of Neuropsychotherapy, 3(1), 47–69. doi: 10.12744/ijnpt.2015.0047-0069

    • This topic was modified 3 weeks, 1 day ago by  NPT.
  • #28395

    Richard Hill

    I’m liking this definition, Matthew, largely because it provides a sense of intention to respond to what emerges as well as what is being facilitated. Our understanding of top-down and bottom-up processing will probably change, or at least develop, over time as we learn more. I’m wondering what happens to the definition if we remove the words “the influence of motivational schemata developed to preserve or enhance” and replace with “our natural inclination toward preserving and/or enhancing”. The reason for the suggestion is just as a caution of the meaning of “motivational schema”, despite that it is a well known and generally understood term. Motivational schema may be better left as one of the mechanisms by which we preserve and enhance.

    I say all this more as discussion than strong opinion. Fundamentally, I like the definition because it refrains from giving the therapist directions and expectations. Therapy is best approached from an intentional frame.

  • #28397


    Hi Richard,
    Thanks for the thoughts about the definition and I am absolutely sure our understanding of top-down/bottom-up will become more refined and/or change as we learn more. I mean it’s a very rudimentary shorthand way of thinking about neural processes, but I guess shorthand has an important function.

    I like “natural inclination” but also feel motivational schema is a better technical term describing the underlying neural architecture that is the origin of approach/avoid behaviour. If we were to think of motivational schemata as one of the mechanisms by which approach/avoid behaviour, what might the other mechanisms be? (that’s an honest question, I want to know what other drivers there are - maybe it’s a quantum answer?).

    Anyway, let’s keep hashing it out! If we keep it fluid and open to change, then it’s going to have a chance of keeping up with the rapid advances in our knowledge and staying relevant.

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