In May ZHUCHI hosted a three day workshop Neuropsychotherapy for Anxiety with Dr Pieter Rossouw. It sold out and scored a perfect 5/5 from the participants in the evaluations - quite an endorsement from your peers we think!
While Pieter is obviously a great presenter - as one participant said "He could talk about chocolate ice-cream for two days and I'd pay to go along", it is clear that the attraction and appeal lay in the approach of Neuropsychotherapy (NPT) itself.
Since we are bringing Pieter back in October to deliver Neuropsychotherapy for Depression: A New Treatment Approach, we felt it would be timely to give a brief overview of what NPT is and why it is making waves among therapists.
So read on for an overview from Pieter himself. To read more about the workshop itself, click here.
What is Neuropsychotherapy?
It's an integrative approach to therapy that encompasses the biopsychosocial experience of wellbeing - with a focus on neuroscientific research. By understanding the mechanisms of our biology (and in particular our neurology), the processes of our psychology, and the influences of social interaction, it is believed a holistic therapeutic practice can be formulated.
What is a Neuropsychotherapist?
A Neuropsychotherapist, is a psychotherapist (either an eclectic or founded in any number of theoretical schools), who uses neurobiological, cognitive, emotional, social, and environmental information to base or enhance their psychotherapeutic interventions. The Neuropsychotherapist is grounded in a sound knowledge of the neurobiological underpinnings of mental states and behaviour.
Is This A New Theoretical School?
No. The Neuropscyhotherapist is not proposing a new school of psychology or psychotherapy. Rather we promote that a sound understanding of neuroscience will enhance the therapeutic practice of all psychotherapists regardless of their theoretical orientationThe late Klaus Grawe defined Neuropsychotherapy as a "neuroscientifically informed psychotherapy". We stand on this foundational understanding while enlarging the scope of considerations to a broader biopsychosocial perspective.
For an overview of Neuropsychotherapy, see Grawe, K. (2007). Neuropsychotherapy: How the Neurosciences Inform Effective Psychotherapy. New York, Psychology Press.
It seems like a broad definition?
That is precisely the point. For example, armed with a grasp of the microscopic activity of a particular neural network involved with depression, as well as a macroscopic view of their interpersonal relationships and environment, the neuropsychotherapist has a much greater insight in to a client's situation.
This does mean that the therapist must have a multidisciplinary approach to study, analysis, and possibly intervention. It does not mean the therapist need explain to clients their condition in terms of neurology and chemistry (although some clients may benefit from such explanations), but that a depth of understanding does exist by the professional who is dealing with the extreme complexities of a fellow human.
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