This video is part of a series. To see the complete list of videos in this series, click here.
This first, introductory video begins by highlighting the fact that this is a series of seminars on clinical neuropsychoanalysis. An explanation is then provided as to what the term neuropsychoanalysis refers to. Neuropsychoanalysis, simply put, is an amalgam of two disciplines: the neurological sciences and psychoanalysis. The detailed explanation offered also encompasses why there is such a great need for this field. It is explained that the mind is a unique organ in that it has agency, sentience and subjectivity and it can think and make decisions. It can also feel what it is like to be itself. This necessitates a discipline that can address why individuals make particular decisions. Psychoanalysis has aimed to develop a science of the human subject and to determine the explanatory principles and causal mechanisms that underpin our being in the world. The video explains that this series of seminars has an emphasis on practicalities: using psychoanalytical tools to assess and treat clinically neuropsychiatric or neurological patients.
The video then continues with an explanation of what is meant by Freud’s term metapsychology. This term refers to what lies behind psychological observations and to the attempts to systematically infer from the observable data what the laws are that govern the operation of the mind and that lie behind the observable surface (known as the mental apparatus). The point is made that neuropsychology and the cognitive neurosciences are trying to do a similar thing by seeking to build a model of what the functional laws are that explain the behaviour of the brain or the brain’s operations in relation to the mind and to behaviour. The overall purpose of neuropsychoanalysis is to bring these two sets of inferences together; here, the term metaneuropsychology is referred to.
Hereafter, a detailed neuropsychoanalytic example of the assessment and treatment of a patient is described. This example is a springboard for introducing a range of matters to be dealt with in later videos in this 14‐part series and to expose the theoretical areas that need to be covered. The case also provides an example of the coming together of psychological and neurological ways of looking at patients. The case presented is of an elderly man (in his late 80s) with probable vascular dementia who presented with nocturnal confusion and who was subsequently successfully treated from a psychoanalytic perspective (i.e. his nocturnal confusion was successfully treated). The final portion of this video addresses the mind‐body problem, along with a series of questions from the audience related to the content of the seminar, each of which is answered in turn.