This study sets out to investigate the mechanisms by which psychoanalytical psychotherapy can induce neurobiological changes. From Neuroscience which, in accordance with his thinking at the time, Freud never disregarded, the concepts of neuronal plasticity, enriched environment and the neurobiological aspects of the attachment process. From Psychoanalysis, the theory of transference, M. Mahler’s psychological evolution model, the concept of the regulating function of the self-objects and Winnicott’s holding environment concept. Together these provide a useful bridge toward the understanding of the neurobiological changes resulting from psychoanalytical psychotherapy. One concludes that psychoanalytical psychotherapy, through transference, acts as a new model of object relation and learning which furthers the development of certain brain areas, specifically, the right hemisphere, and the prefrontal and limbic cortices, which have a regulating function on affects.
A Bridge between Psychoanalysis and Neuroscience: An Overview of the Neurobiological Effects of Psychoanalytical Psychotherapy