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Developed by Dr Klaus Grawe and updated by Professor Pieter Rossouw, Neuropsychotherapy is an approach that seeks to understand and treat mental health issues from the perspective of neurobiological principles, including the interaction between genes, biology and the environment. Neurobiology has helped us to understand many of the challenges posed by mental health conditions, such as why habits are so hard to change and why we can’t think straight when we are very anxious, and Neuropsychotherapy uses these findings to help determine which treatment is likely to be most effective for a given condition.

For example, there is significant evidence that cognitive therapy can result in improvements in mental health and brain functioning, but only if the person’s level of distress is manageable enough for them to be able to access their rational, thinking brain. In states of heighted anxiety, distress or trauma, neuroscience has shown that people lose the ability to access rational thought, and treatment therefore needs to focus on calming the nervous system before cognitive interventions can be useful. Neuroscience also teaches us that ‘neurons that fire together wire together’, which explains why the more we engage in a particular thought pattern or behaviour, the more likely we are to do it again in the future, emphasising the importance of repetition and routine in learning new behaviours.

Neuropsychotherapy can involve interventions from a variety of therapeutic approaches and is applicable to the full range of mental health challenges.

Further information on Neuropsychotherapy can be found at:

Our psychologists are interested in the exciting field of neuropsychotherapy and often include the principles in their therapeutic work.

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