"Defense Mechanisms and Implicit Emotion Regulation in Children: A comparison of a psychodynamic construct with one from contemporary neuroscience"
with Tim Rice, M.D.
The growing interest in neuroscience in the centrality of emotion regulation, and particularly in a recent subfield termed implicit emotion regulation, brings new opportunity for the treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders of childhood using psychodynamic concepts. At the same time psychodynamic theoreticians have become more cognizant of the centrality of affects in mental life. This paper introduces a psychodynamic approach that is theoretically founded on the domain construct of implicit emotion regulation and that has been manualized. Our thesis behind this approach and this paper is that contemporary affect-oriented conceptualizations of defense mechanisms are theoretically similar to the neuroscience construct of implicit emotion regulation. To illustrate this theoretical similarity, the literature connected with both concepts are described and compared. The implications of this idea, which have the potential for promoting an interface between psychodynamics and neuroscience are discussed and the new treatment manual (Regulation Focused Psychotherapy for Children with Externalizing Behaviors (RFP-C)) is introduced.
New York Psychoanalytic Society & Institute
247 East 82nd Street (between 2nd and 3rd Avenues)
The Marianne & Nicholas Young Auditorium