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Neuropsychoanalysis

Neuropsychoanalysis: The most effective therapeutic solution?

Today it is important to take into consideration that the patients we are receiving are highly informed people. The treatment approach must be multidisciplinary, there are great disciplines such as psychoanalysis that from my perspective are losing weight and importance around  most modern treatments, I believe that this evolution demands a theoretical adaptation to regain the importance and weight in understanding the human mind as it relates to the fisrt person.

A good answer to this need is found in neuropsychoanalysis, neuropsychoanalysis is nothing more than an informed psychoanalysis, based on science, I firmly believe that we must build a process, a systematic approach to always try to reach similar results, it is very important to realize that many times to address certain pathologies, all disciplines, we talk about the same thing, just from an what approach and a different perspective.

Within neuropsychoanalysis we find the new currents of affective neuroscience.

Emotions are not static, but are constantly changing and transforming over time.

From this perspective, emotions can be considered not as isolated events, but as continuous processes that develop and intertwine as we evolve and relate to the world around us; there is an interconnection between our thoughts, feelings and lived experiences.

The evolution of emotional experience can also be understood in terms of personal and psychological development throughout life. As we face different situations, challenges and learning, our emotions are shaped and acquire new dimensions. Emotional experience is not just about momentary reactions, but about how these reactions are integrated and transformed into broader patterns over time.

This dynamic view of emotions has significant implications for psychotherapy and self-understanding. Acceptance of emotional fluidity can also open doors to emotional authenticity and greater resilience in the face of life’s challenges.

It is great to witness the birth and evolution of affective neuroscience; we cannot move forward without mentioning the 7 basic emotional systems.

Pleasure and pain reward system must be in balance, this system is associated with motivation and reward seeking. Dopamine plays a key role in this system, driving exploration of the environment and anticipation of pleasure. It is activated when we seek rewarding experiences and is essential for motivation and learning.

The anger system is activated in response to situations perceived as threatening or challenging. It involves brain regions such as the amygdala and cingulate cortex, and its function is to mobilize defensive responses to cope with adverse situations.

The fear system is largely related to survival, it is activated in the face of real or perceived threats. The amygdala plays a crucial role in assessing and responding to fearful situations, triggering fight, flight or paralysis responses.

The play system is linked to intrinsic motivation and the search for fun and exploration. It involves the release of dopamine and is activated during playful and creative activities. Play contributes to emotional well-being and learning. This system is practically in disuse by our new generations who seem to find refuge in new forms of virtual entertainment, which in my opinion is a dangerous path.

Attachment system, essential for proper infant rearing, this system is associated with the formation and maintenance of social and emotional relationships. It involves the release of oxytocin and vasopressin, hormones linked to affection and bonding. The attachment system is essential for emotional development and interpersonal relationships.

The panic System Highly active in situations of extreme threat, the panic system is activated. It involves intense physiological responses, such as the release of adrenaline, and is linked to the search for safety in critical moments.

These emotional systems do not function in isolation; rather, they interact dynamically to shape our emotional responses to various situations. Affective neuroscience seeks to understand how these neural networks and chemical systems contribute to our emotional experiences and how we can apply this knowledge in fields such as psychology, mental health and therapy.

It is clear to me how parents and caregivers can create enriching experiences to foster the healthy development of intelligence and emotional growth in children from early childhood.

In multiple conversations I have had in the workplace, I am always asked:

What is the most important risk factor for developing mental health problems and addictions?

The majority of people suggest that genetic characteristics are the primary factor when talking about risk. However, the inheritance of a large part of mental health disorders, due to genetic characteristics, only increases the probability of presenting the disease by 30%; the remaining 70% corresponds to the environmental characteristics that people face in their daily lives, and this is where the concept of adverse experiences in childhood takes on great force, Children who suffer physical, psychological or sexual abuse, minors who have relatives with serious mental health illnesses, relatives who are chronic substance abusers or who have been in contact with people who have made a suicide attempt or who have witnessed a violent death, are children who automatically increase the probability of suffering serious psychiatric and psychological problems. The physiological cascade behind this adverse childhood experience involves a number of pathological processes occurring simultaneously in our patients’ bodies, perhaps all starting with abnormally high levels of cortisol and catecholamines. These molecules attempt to prepare the patient for an emergency situation to fight, run away or become paralyzed. The problem lies in the fact that the patient, in the daily circumstances of his life, lives in a state of hyper-alertness, stress, anxiety, and these abnormal levels of cortisol and adrenaline end up generating metabolic and mental health dysfunction. It is important to point out that this same adverse childhood experience are risk factors for metabolic syndrome (parenthesis dyslipidemia, mixed, obesity, diabetes, heart disease) as well as for mental health diseases, including the more frequent depression and anxiety; more evident dysfunction of the central nervous system can be seen in alterations of the hypothalamus, pituitary, adrenal axis, which in many occasions remains over stimulated by an excessive amygdalin function, and cannot be interrupted by a decrease in the hippocampal function.

At OCEANICA we understand the origin of mental health pathologies and we approach them with empathy and professionalism, adhering to the highest standards of quality, supported by scientific evidence.

The neuropsychoanalytic approach represents a significant step towards a deeper understanding of the human mind, bringing together psychology and neuroscience to offer tangible benefits in terms of treatment and understanding of mental and emotional processes.

At the moment we have access to structured neuropsychoanalytic interventions, it is our obligation to promote the growth of this great young science and to show the rest of our colleagues the great advantage that this type of holistic approach represents.

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