Anna Buchheim to Receive Psa Award

Dropped on:October 3, 2013
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Anna Buchheim will receive an A Psa award for her work presented in the paper listed here, a study of brain scan efficacy in long-term psychotherapy. This kind of work is a direct rebuke to the short-sighted critiques such as the one published in the New York Times last Sunday.

 Click Here to Read:  Psychotherapy’s Image Problem By Brandon A. Gaudiano on this website.

Buchheim’s work also incorporates measures of attachment. She also has been studying attachment and oxytocin and has collaborated with Carol George, one of our more prominent attachment researchers.

Here, in this kind of careful work, is where psychoanalysts should be investing, time, patience and energy.

Dr. Buchheim will be presenting at the NYPSI Works In Progress on January 14, 2014.

Her abstract is here
Neuroimaging studies of depression have demonstrated treatment-specific changes involving the limbic system and regulatory regions in the prefrontal cortex. While these studies have examined the effect of short-term, interpersonal or cognitive-behavioural psychotherapy, the effect of long-term, psychodynamic intervention has never been assessed. Here, we investigated recurrently depressed (DSM-IV) unmedicated outpatients (N = 16) and control participants matched for sex, age, and education (N = 17) before and after 15 months of psychodynamic psychotherapy. Participants were scanned at two time points, during which presentations of attachment-related scenes with neutral descriptions alternated with descriptions containing personal core sentences previously extracted from an attachment interview. Outcome measure was the interaction of the signal difference between personal and neutral presentations with group and time, and its association with symptom improvement during therapy. Signal associated with processing personalized attachment material varied in patients from baseline to endpoint, but not in healthy controls. Patients showed a higher activation in the left anterior hippocampus/amygdala, subgenual cingulate, and medial prefrontal cortex before treatment and a reduction in these areas after 15 months. This reduction was associated with improvement in depressiveness specifically, and in the medial prefrontal cortex with symptom improvement more generally. This is the first study documenting neurobiological changes in circuits implicated in emotional reactivity and control after long-term psychodynamic psychotherapy.
and the link to her article follows.

Click here to Read The Article
N. Szajnberg, MD

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