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Contextos Clínicos

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STOCK, Tatiana Otto; BARBOSA, Márcio Englert  and  KRISTENSEN, Christian Haag. Evidence of neural changes in cognitive behavioral therapy: a literature review. Contextos Clínic [online]. 2014, vol.7, n.1, pp. 27-36. ISSN 1983-3482.

Neuroscience has been increasingly studied in the field of psychology, making possible important findings in relation to neural changes that psychotherapy is able to promote. The present study has the main goal of summarizing information from neuroscience which contributes to development of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT). For this purpose it has been reviewed the literature about research studies that found relations between neuroanatomical and functional changes and cognitive restructuring, a commonly used strategy in CBT, which proposes to modify and adapt the individual's twisted thoughts and beliefs, in order to regularize his/her emotional and behavioral system. The main neurofunctional findings consist in the activation of the dorsal areas, responsible for the emotional regulation, and the reduction of activity in ventral areas, responsible for generating emotions. Based on that, it is possible to state that the main activated regions are the cortical ones, like the pre-frontal cortex, which is connected to the reduction of activation in the amygdala.

Keywords : Cognitive Behavioral Therapy; cognitive restructuring; neuroscience.

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