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Clinical Biopsychology Philosophy

Clinical biopsychology extends the neo-Lurian Dimensional Systems Model of cortical functioning, involving the three sources of negative emotional states:

    Directly from ongoing negative situations
    (e.g., physical and pain problems, relationship disagreements)
    Directly from activation of stored negative emotional memories
    (e.g., past problematic relationships, traumas)
    Indirectly due to the inability to stimulate stored positive emotional memories
    (e.g., life losses, including positive relationships)

The clinical biopsychology model is useful in identifying relevant assessment areas, leading directly to the conceptualization of a client's problem. Consideration of past, present and future areas of treatment focus lead to distinctions being drawn between treatments that address each of the cortical hemispheres and their coordinated and congruent functioning.

Regarding treatment of past negative emotional memories, the model suggests that more traditional approaches of imaginal flooding and in vivo desensitization are effective in addressing non-relationship traumatic memories. These procedures can, however, fail to address problematic relationship memories (e.g., abusive parent or siblings, negative peer interactions, work relationship difficulties, etc.) effectively. Alternatively, the techniques used in emotional restructuring can effectively address such memories.

Opponent process theory integrates well into the overall model, suggesting how life losses lead to characteristic depressive symptoms and why such reactions should be considered normal.


Clinical Biopsychological Approach

The approach not only considers the role of clearly traumatic events as leading to impaired functioning, but also explains how more subtle negative emotional memories can lead to even greater impairment for clients.

Assessment focuses on all potentially influential relationship memories, including those tied to parents, siblings, school peers, teachers, dating partners, spouse, children, coworkers, and supervisors.

Case conceptualization is so clear that your extremely logical and your extremely emotional clients can both comprehend and accept it.

The treatment approaches described in the book are given in a clear step-by-step manner so that any clinician with basic skills can incorporate them.

Psychotherapy Integration

Psychodynamic and operant learning similarities are discussed in the universal rules that all people wish to experience positive and avoid negative emotional states.

Psychodynamic formulations of the concept of enactment are explained by discussion of Type T and Type G patterns.

Cognitive behavioral approaches which emphasize schemas and attribution theory are discussed as addressing left hemisphere functions, as well as interhemispheric congruence.

Approaches emphasizing the use of imagery and metaphor that evokes images are presented as ways to address right hemisphere activity.

A systems theory is incorporated in the discussion of past and current relationship influences and specific interaction skills are emphasized depending upon the type of individual with whom clients have current relationships.

The model explains how certain spiritual beliefs can serve to insulate clients from forming detrimental emotional memories tied to future negative events.