Memory and Healing
Neurocognitive and Psychodynamic Perspectives on How Patients and Psychotherapists Remember
This book addresses the current demand to apply findings in neuroscience to a broad spectrum of psychotherapy practices. It offers clear formulations for what has long been missing in how psychotherapists present their work: research-based descriptions of specific memory functions and attention to the role that synaptic plasticity and neural integration play in making lasting psychological change possible. The book provides a detailed perspective on how patients integrate into their own narratives what transpires in their treatment and how the clinician's memory guides the different phases of the process of healing. Long-neglected in psychotherapeutic formulations, findings about memory-in particular, episodic and autobiographical memory-have a direct bearing on what happens in treatments. Whether the information is about the recent past, such as what happened between sessions, or about traumatic childhood experiences, the patient's disclosures are in the service of a more complete narrative about self. At the same time, the therapist's ways of remembering what occurs in each therapeutic relationship will guide much of the healing process for the patient.
Soren R Ekstrom