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The role of oxytocin and alexithymia in the therapeutic process

Based on an extant literature review Lane et al. propose that therapeutic success results from changing conflictual, often non-conscious, emotional memories. Specifically, existent internal autobiographical models based on negative emotional memories become activated within the context of a positively colored therapeutic dyad and are reconsolidated as new, more positively colored internal models. Based on empirical evidence, we would like to extend this model by describing how the reconsolidation process may be facilitated on at least three levels of neurobiological functioning. Those three levels relate to an overarching principle in the function of the neuropeptide oxytocin to facilitate the construction and selection of positive internal models of social relationships and support...


Quirin, M., Carter Porges, C., Bode, RC., Dusing, R., Radtke, EL., & Tops, M. (2014). The role of oxytocin and alexithymia in the therapeutic process. Frontiers in Psychology, 5, Article No. 1074. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01074

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