Frontolimbic neural circuit changes in emotional processing and inhibitory control associated with clinical improvement following transference‐focused psychotherapy in borderline personality disorder

This study, just published in the journal Psychiatry and Neurosciences, shows dramatic neurological changes that occurred in response to a trial of psychoanalytic therapy (referred to as “transference-focused psychotherapy” with patients presenting with borderline personality disorder The changes in the brain that were identified correlated with improvements in psychological difficulties associated with borderline personality disorder, especially “affective lability” or the tendency to experience intense fluctuations of emotion.

This study is so important because it uses a highly objective measure of improvement (neurological structures as detected by fMRI) to show that psychotherapy that focuses on the transference, a hallmark of psychoanalytic treatments, is helpful for people struggling with the emotional over-reactivity that typically comes with borderline personality concerns.

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