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The Limits of Neuroscience – an interesting article in the Huffington Post which puts across a timely point

November 5, 2010

Depth psychology has been increasingly enamoured on neuroscience in the last few years especially in the wake of the work of s. This article in the Huffington Post offers a useful corrective perspective.

When I set about becoming a writer in my twenties, I felt I needed to understand the nuts and bolts of language. I compiled lists of words and learned their etymologies. I broke down the sentence structure of books I admired in the hope of discovering a particle physics behind their greatness. One day I came upon Tolstoy’s response to an accusation that he used language in an ordinary way. "You don’t need beautiful bricks," he wrote, "to build a beautiful building."

When I entered the field of psychology, I felt I needed to understand the inner workings of the brain. The 1990s promised that we were edging ever closer to Freud’s dream of uncovering a "nerve" basis of the psyche. The DMH demanded "evidence-based practice," looking to a reductive medical model imported from the physical sciences. In county clinics, I watched psychiatrists educate patients by referring to diagrams of the brain, pointing out how ADHD arises out of deficits in frontal-lobe processing and PTSD from dissociation of limbic areas from higher cortical regions. I struggled to memorise the specialisations of brain areas. I learned about myelination and action potential and absorbed Daniel Siegel’s definition of mental health as brain integration.


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