Some neurobiological aspects of psychotherapy:  A review


Ever since the idea was accepted that memory is associated with alterations in synaptic strength, studies on the cellular and molecular mechanisms responsible for the plastic changes in neurons have attracted wide interest in the scientific community. This article explores the process of memory consolidation leading to persistent modifications in synaptic plasticity as a mechanism by which psychotherapy facilitates changes in the permanent storage of information acquired throughout the individual's life. The psychobiological interrelationships of affect, attachment, and memory offer a perspective regarding the etiology and treatment of clinical disturbances of affect. Analogies between brain physiology and modes of psychotherapy provide the foundation for a review of psychiatric disorders involving the inability to control fear, obsessions, compulsions, and delusions, all of which respond to psychotherapeutic interventions.






Deborah Liggan
Jerald Kay

Original Work Citation

Liggan, D. Y., & Kay, J. (1999, Spring). Some neurobiological aspects of psychotherapy: A review. Journal of Psychotherapy Practice and Research, 8(2), 103-114



“Some neurobiological aspects of psychotherapy:  A review,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed December 6, 2021,

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