Psychotherapy and Neuroscience

Current Psychotherapies

This section reviews selected psychotherapy methods that work with individuals’ distortions in problem-solving and responses to stress. Each method’s approach and procedure is discussed and evaluated. Then each method’s efficacy is critiqued.

The first psychotherapy method, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, focuses on symptom elimination. CBT’s current popularity is due to its brevity, cost effectiveness, and direct measurement of symptom expression. Cognitive Behavioral Therapies focus on modulating thoughts just prior to implementation of emotional behaviors. They also support the efficacy of psychopharmacological therapies. However, with conclusion of either or both therapies, symptoms or undesirable emotions and behaviors often return.

The next three psychotherapy methods, EMDR, Redecision Therapy, and SSRT, focus on the source of symptom expression. These methods focus on primary appraisals of self in interaction relating to a troubling/traumatic event that has been fraught with emotional pain. This distinction is very important for our understanding of human adaptation to cumulative acute and later chronic stress.