1st Edition

The Neuropsychodynamic Treatment of Self-Deficits
Searching for Complementarity

ISBN 9781138229150
Published January 6, 2017 by Routledge
284 Pages

USD $52.95

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Book Description

The Neuropsychodynamic Treatment of Self-Deficits examines how to work psychoanalytically with patients to address the problems that result from neuropsychological impairments, exploring the latest advances in understanding and treatment, while also addressing the concerns that clinicians may have in providing treatment. Patients with disorders such as ADHD, dyslexia, and executive function disorders can often feel shame, and develop defenses as a result of their disorders. These defenses can then become overgeneralized and lead to future dysfunctional feelings, thoughts and behaviors. For therapists, the challenge is to find ways of responding to these patients and to help them deal with their issues at the level of the multiple domains of self-experience, rather than at the single level of their intrapsychic dynamics.

This book proposes a new neuropsychodynamic perspective that is bound together by a metatheory, deriving from dynamic systems theory. Joseph Palombo breaks new ground in his consistent application of non-linear dynamic systems theory and a levels-of-analysis perspective. The framework suggested conceives of the therapeutic process as a collaborative effort in which each member of the dyad makes a unique contribution to the process. Change agents that permit patients to benefit from therapeutic interventions include the relationship between patient and therapist, the understanding that emerges from the identification of the self-deficits, and the proactive engagement of the patient’s sense of agency. The great advantage of Palombo’s framework is that it permits the integration of a broad set of domains of experience that include the neuropsychological, the introspective, and the interpersonal. This book will allow the reader to become familiar with the types of patients that have neuropsychological deficits, providing an understanding of the psychodynamics of these conditions and enabling better preparedness to address psychological needs. More important, Palombo also makes the underlying case that an understanding of brain function is critical to any assistance such patients may need.

Covering work with children, adolescents, and adults, The Neuropsychodynamic Treatment of Self-Deficits is the first book to offer a guide to understanding and working with patients with a range of neuropsychological disorders from a broadly psychoanalytic perspective. It will appeal to psychoanalysts, psychotherapists, and clinical psychologists, as well as clinical social workers, family therapists, and mental health nurses.

Table of Contents


1. The Neuropsychodynamic Perspective

2. The Self as a Complex Adaptive System

3. Self-Deficits: The Neuropsychological Domain (L-I)

4. Self-Deficits: The Introspective Domain (L-II)

5. Self-Deficits: The Interpersonal Domain (L-III)

6. The Nonverbal Dialogue: Mindsharing

7. The Therapeutic Dialogue: An Overview

8. The Therapeutic Dialogue: Concordant Moments

9. The Therapeutic Dialogue: Complementary Moments

10. The Therapeutic Dialogue: Disjunctive Moments

11. Conclusion

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Joseph Palombo is a clinical social worker specializing is in the treatment of children, adolescents, and adults with learning disorders. He is the Founding Dean of the Institute for Clinical Social Work, Chicago and Director of its Joseph Palombo Center for Neuroscience and Psychoanalytic Social Work.


"Over the last three decades Joseph Palombo has been a major contributor to the integration of neuroscience and psychoanalysis into clinical social work. Working at the cutting edge, the interface of disciplines, this master clinician and gifted theoretician offers a panoramic yet clinically penetrating neuropsychodynamic model of the etiology and treatment of the self-deficits of various psychopathologies. This exceptional feat of scholarship is a valuable contribution to a deeper understanding of both the science and the art of psychotherapy."-Allan Schore, Ph.D., UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine

"Joseph Palombo "mindshares" (his user-friendly concept) his 40-year journey integrating the "self" with the mind and the brain, and their respective and inevitable deficits. He provides an enriched understanding of ourselves, our patients, and our field. He offers unique clinical strategies to empathically respond to our patients. This book is an essential resource for any therapist, psychoanalyst, or student of depth and neuropsychology, who is committed to moving our field forward."-Mark D. Smaller, Ph.D.; Past President, American Psychoanalytic Association

"Mindsharing" is Joe Palombo’s term for how people with self-deficits arising from neuropsychological impairments search out others who complement the skills they lack. With this book, he fills in the deficits for psychotherapists who have similarly searched for the missing theory and clinical technique to work effectively with these patients. A fitting capstone to Palombo’s work in this area, it is a "mindsharing" of its own, a clearly written, comprehensively explained text to guide clinicians as they navigate the complex border between the innate and the psychological."-Erika Schmidt, MSW; President, Institute for Psychoanalysis, Chicago