Neuropsychoanalysis: Attachment and Object Relations through the Lens of Functional Neuropsychobiology and Brain Mapping

This course can be taken as an elective for any Certificate Programs at ORI, as well as one of the main courses for ORI’s Neuropsychoanalysis and the Parent-Child Development Programs or Fellowships. It can also be taken as an individual post-graduate certificate course; no prerequisites.
Course Instructor: Inna Rozentsvit, M.D., PhD, MSciEd
Date: 09/07/23 – 10/05/23
(5 weeks, on Thursdays, 7:30pm 9:30pm EDT/EST)

Location: Virtual Live

Post-graduate psychoanalytic education credits offered: 12.5 hours
Continuing Education: 16.0 CE hrs for NYS Psychologists, NYS Social Workers, APA
(many mental health professions in 49 states)
See details here
Tuition: $450/course (can be paid in 2 installments)
Registration fee: $25/course (waived for ORI’s candidates in training)

To Register for this course, please complete the Registration form


The intention [of this project] is to furnish a psychology that shall be a natural science.
S. Freud, 1895, Project for a Scientific Psychology.

Although the founder and the visionary of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud, was a neurologist and a neuropathologist, and although his ideas about the structure of the mind came from observing and making anatomical preparations of fish brains and spinal cords, until recently, psychoanalysis and neuroscience were walking the very different paths and were (at best) unconcerned about each other.

Then, evolution of psychoanalysis and neurosciences and increased awareness of discoveries in each of them brought us, 21stcentury practitioners of various clinical and humanitarian disciplines, to understand that we live in the age of the Brain-Mind revolution (or Brain-Mind paradigm shift).

One main feature of this paradigm shift is the realization of ineffectiveness (and unsustainability) of one’s operation in a secluded sphere of one discipline anymore, and that cross-pollination of the ideas and the research is not just “suggested,” but “mandatory.”

The objectives of this course are to outline those (material) neuroscience findings that are significant in sustaining the psychoanalytic and psychotherapeutic practice, especially related to attachment and childhood trauma (e.g., neuroplasticity, neurointegration, neural networking, connectomes, cognitoms, and synaptic pruning) are integrated with the functional brain-mind phenomena (of fire-together/wire-together or “triune brain,” among many others).

The other objectives are to illustrate that there is no “brain and mind” but Brain-Mind dyad, which is operating within each individual psyche, and that each psychoanalytic case represents unprecedented source of support for brain-mind science (as in works of E. Kendel, W. Penfield, J. Panksepp, and A. Damasio). Application of some emerging multi-inter-disciplinary practices (like mindful therapy and integrated mindsight) will be discussed.


Significance of understanding of neurobiology for those who dedicate their professional life to psychoanalysis was recognized by Sigmund Freud at the very birth of this profession. One can be fascinated how (without PET scans and fMRIs) he could picture the structure of the mind, while having only unsophisticated fish brains at hand.

In his 1895 letter to W. Fliess, S. Freud wrote: I am tormented by two aims: to examine what shape the theory of mental functioning takes if one introduces … a sort of economics of nerve forces; and second, to peel off from psychopathology a gain for normal psychology.” These ideas of the founder of psychoanalysis about the Brain-Mind dynamic functioning had evolved now into different merging areas of interest, such as social neurology, evolutionary neuroscience, interpersonal neuroscience, clinical & academic psychology, mindfulness, neuropsychoanalysis, social work, education, creative practices, and even psychohistory & psychobiography.

In this 5-week course, we will become acquainted with or expand our knowledge about the main Brain-Mind processes – neuroplasticity, neurogenesis, neurointegration, synaptic connections & synaptic pruning, neuronetworking/ connectomes, mirror neuron networking, electrochemical conduction of information, as well as the main Brain-Mind phenomena – of brain laterality, “don’t use it – lose it,” “what fires together – wires together,” “regions connected together – grow up together,” and we will look at all these as the FUNCTIONAL system (rather than offering the neuroanatomical models that are not able to explain the “Whys” of our behaviors, predispositions to trauma and various mental and body/organs’ disorders, and what to do with these practically.

We will discuss the Brain-Mind Dyad, using Paul MacLean’s Triune Brain theory, as well as the Brain-Mind-Body Triade, where the “body connections” are represented by various parts of the autonomic nervous system. We will touch upon the topics of integration of memory, emotions, social interactions, attachment, traumas (and childhood traumas), epigenetics – all at the level of the Brain-Mind-Body system rather than these being the independent “parts” at work.

We will investigate connections of the human Brain’s anatomy (which is very specific to our species) with the wholesome and creative functioning of the Mind (which differs from one individual to another). We will investigate how the Brain-Mind dyad makes us social / connected/ attached beings, and into the role stress/traumas (especially childhood traumas) play in human development.

Suggested/relative readings are listed below. Those practitioners who apply to receive the continuing education credits, will receive the list of required readings and the videos, as well as the PDFs (of the articles and book excerpts) and the MP4 files (of the videos).


At the end of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Discuss the brain-mind mechanisms of “normal” and “pathological” functioning (e.g., neuroplasticity, neurointegration, neurogenesis, brain/mind laterality, connectomes, cognitoms, and “fire together-wire together,” synaptic pruning, and other brain/mind phenomena), and to apply this knowledge about neurobiology to case examples offered by the instructor or the participants.
  • Assess the levels of brain-mind functioning based on (anatomical) brain mapping and (functional) “Triune Brain” phenomenon, and in turn, understand the level at which each individual patient/client can be reached therapeutically.
  • Discuss clinical cases utilizing the brain-mind dynamic functioning model and the language of psychology/psychoanalysis and attachment science (pairing them together).
  • Discuss psychological concepts of attachment trauma/ post-traumatic growth, and psychosomatics through the lens of functional neurology / neuroscience.
  • Demonstrate the concept of integrative “mindful” therapy approach to working with developmental and/or relational/attachment trauma.


We must recollect that all of our provisional ideas in psychology will presumably one day be based on an organic substructure. — Sigmund Freud, 1914, On Narcissism

The deficiencies in our description would probably vanish if we were already in a position to replace the psychological terms with physiological or chemical ones.…We may expect [physiology and chemistry] to give the most surprising information and we cannot guess what answers it will return in a few dozen years of questions we have put to it. They may be of a kind that will blow away the whole of our artificial structure of hypothesis. — Sigmund Freud, 1920, Beyond the Pleasure Principle

The intention [of this project] is to furnish a psychology that shall be a natural science. — S. Freud, 1895, Project for a Scientific Psychology.


Drawing of a “network of cathected neurons”, by Sigmund Freud
(from his Project for a Scientific Psychology, 1895).

The brain is the organ of destiny. It holds within its humming mechanism secrets that will determine the future of the human race. — Wilder Penfield, 1963, The Second Career.

The Astonishing Hypothesis is that ‘You’, your joys and your sorrows, your memories and your ambitions, your sense of personal identity and free will, are in fact no more than the behavior of vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules. As Lewis Carroll’s Alice might have phrased it: ‘You are nothing but a pack of neurons.’ — Francis Crick

Central to what [one] takes from neuroscience is the distinction between the primary repertoire—the enormous and variable nervous system with which human beings are endowed at birth—and the secondary repertoire, the pathways of connection that are built up through interaction between the brain and the outside world.

Certain complexes of neurons are coded to respond to stimuli for color, others for shape, for weight, for texture, for movement, with each complex occupying its own region of the brain. When neurons are stimulated at the same time by converging inputs, a configuration is formed that, if repeated often enough, will stabilize as “apple,” “table,” or “hand.”

The effect of there being an entity or object is not, then, the result of a real thing imprinting itself on the senses, like a seal imprinting itself on wax. Rather, the thingness of the thing is a matter of timing, of networks that are “tethered (or synchronized) through temporal “signatures” that bind all these disparate inputs (such as color, shape, weight, texture, movement, and so forth) “in an experienced seamless whole.” Perhaps the key word here is “seamless”: the apple appears seamless, yet the reduction carried out by neuroscience—which in this respect seems far more radical, counterintuitive, and disquieting than the classic phenomenological reduction—unravels that seamlessness, unbinding the security of a prior object world into the groundlessness of neurons firing in sequence. The solidity of things vaporizes into flashes of synaptic energy leaping from axon to neuron. The level at which the real is understood to operate is no longer that of the object but the neuron, and at this molecular, morselized level no things as such appear, only fragmentary attributes, surges of brain activity within which no things as yet exist, merely quanta of electrochemical energy discharging along columns and limbs of cortical tissue. — Norman Bryson

From Professor K. Anokhin’s online lecture (2021, August 8th),
Introduction to the brain as we don’t know it yet


Week 1 – Using the lens of Functional Neuropsychobiology and Brain Mapping, we will discuss and analyze:

  • the brain-mind paradigm shift.
  • one of the main concepts of functional psychoneurobiology: neurogenesis.
  • one of the main concepts of functional psychoneurobiology: neuroplasticity.
  • one of the main concepts of functional psychoneurobiology: neurointegration.

Week 2 – Using the lens of Functional Neuropsychobiology and Brain Mapping, we will discuss and analyze:

  • one of the main concepts of functional psychoneurobiology: neurocircuitry.
  • one of the main concepts of functional psychoneurobiology: connectomes.
  • one of the main concepts of functional psychoneurobiology: electrochemical conduction (and brain as an electro-chemical machine).

Week 3 – Using the lens of Functional Neuropsychobiology and Brain Mapping, we will discuss and analyze:

  • one of the main concepts of functional psychoneurobiology: fire together – wire together phenomenon.
  • one of the main concepts of functional psychoneurobiology: born together – wire together phenomenon.
  • the Triune Brain Theory of Paul McLean.

Week 4 – Using the lens of Functional Neuropsychobiology and Brain Mapping, we will discuss, compare, and analyze:

  • the top-down modulation and the bottom-up processing.

We will utilize:

  • the Triune Brain Theory in trauma-sensitive clinical practice.
  • the Triune Brain Theory in clinical practice working with families, parents, children.

Week 5 – Using the lens of Functional Neuropsychobiology and Brain Mapping, we will discuss, analyze, utilize:

  • the concepts of the top-down modulation and the bottom-up processing in clinical cases and in one’s life.
  • the concept of mindfulness and its application in one’s life and practice.


Topic: Renaissance of psychoanalytic thought through integration with neurobiology

  • Anokhin, K.V. (2021). The Cognitome: Seeking the Fundamental Neuroscience of a Theory of Consciousness. Neuroscience Behav Physi51, 915–937. [Translated from Zhurnal Vysshei Nervnoi Deyatel’nosti imeni I. P. Pavlova, 71(1), 39–71, January–February 2021.]
  • Bernstein, W. M. (2011). A basic theory of neuropsychoanalysis. Karnac.
  • Bryson, N. (2003). Introduction: The neural interface. In W. Neidich, Blow-up: Photography, cinema, and the brain. A.P./UCR/California Museum of Photography.
  • Crick, F., & Koch, (1998). Consciousness and neuroscience. Feature article. Cerebral Cortex, Volume 8(2), 97–107.
  • Freud, S. (1895/1950). Project for a scientific psychologyThe Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Volume I (1886-1899): Pre-Psycho-Analytic Publications and Unpublished Drafts, 281-391.
  • Hubschmid, M., Aybek, S., Maccaferri, G.E., et al. (2015). Efficacy of brief interdisciplinary psychotherapeutic intervention for motor conversion disorder and nonepileptic attacks. Gen Hosp Psychiatry, 37, 448–455.
  • Hutchinson, E. (2011). Neuroplasticity: Functional recovery after stroke. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 12(1), 4.
  • Kandel, E.R. (1998). A new intellectual framework for psychiatryAmerican Journal of Psychiatry, 155, 457-469.
  • Kandel, E. (1999). Biology and the future of psychoanalysis: A new intellectual framework for psychiatry revisited. American Journal of Psychiatry, 156(4), 505-524.
  • Kandel, E. R. (2012). The age of insight: The quest to understand the unconscious in art, mind, and brain, from Vienna 1900 to the present. Random House.
  • Kandel, E. R. (2016). Reductionism in art and brain science: Bridging the two cultures. Columbia University Press.
  • Leblanc, R. (2019). Radical treatment: Wilder Penfield’s life in neuroscience. McGill-Queen’s University Press.
  • Penfield (2015). Mystery of the mind: A critical study of consciousness and the human brain. Princeton University Press. Originally published in 1975.
  • Panksepp, J., & Watt, D. F. (2016). Psychology and neurobiology of empathy. Nova Biomedical.
  • Rizzolatti, G., Semi, A. A., & Fabbri-Destro, M. (2014). Linking psychoanalysis with neuroscience: The concept of ego. Neuropsychologia55, 143–148.

Topic: Attachment:

  • Bowlby, J. (1940). The influence of early environment in the development of neurosis and neurotic character. International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, XXI, 1-25.
  • Bowlby, J. (1944). Forty-four juvenile thieves: Their characters and home lives. International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, XXV, 19-52.
  • Bowlby, J. (1958). The nature of the child’s tie to his mother. International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, XXXIX, 1-23.
  • Bowlby, J. (1959). Separation anxiety. International Journal of Psycho-Analysts, XLI, 1-25.
  • Bowlby, J. (1960). Grief and mourning in infancy and early childhood. The Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, VX, 3-39.
  • Bowlby, J. (1969). Attachment and loss, Vol. 1: Attachment. Basic Books.
  • Bowlby, J. (1973). Attachment and loss, Vol. 2: Separation. Basic Books.
  • Bowlby, J. (I980a). Attachment and loss, Vol. 3: Loss, sadness and depression. Basic Books.
  • Bowlby, J. (1988). A secure base: Parent-child attachment and healthy human development. Basic Books.
  • Buchheim, A., George, C., & West, M. (2003). The Adult Attachment Projective (AAP) – Psychometric properties and new research. Psychotherapie Psychosomatik Medizinische Psychologie(Psychosomatics Psychotherapy Medical Psychology), 53, 419-427.
  • Cassidy J. & P. R. Shaver (Eds.) (1999). Handbook of attachment: Theory, research, and clinical applications. Guilford Press.
  • Hart, S. (2006). Attachment theory and child abuse – An overview of the literature for practitioners. Karnac.
  • Holmes, J. (2001). In search of the secure base. Routledge.

Topic: Affect regulation:

  • Damasio, A. (1999). The feeling of what happens: Body and emotion in the making of consciousness. Harcourt Brace.
  • Fonagy, P., Target, M., Gergely, G., & Jurist, E. J. (2002). Affect regulation, mentalization and the development of the Self. Other Press.
  • LeDoux, J. (2003). The emotional brain, fear, and the amygdala. Cell Mol Neurobiology, 23(4-5), 727-38.
  • Panksepp, J., & Biven, L. (2012). The archaeology of mind: Neuroevolutionary origins of human emotions. W. Norton & Company.
  • Schore, A. (2003). Affect regulation and the repair of the self.  W.W. Norton and Co.
  • Schore, A. (2003). Affect dysregulation and disorders of the self.  W.W. Norton and Co.

Topic: The developing mind and parent-child relationships:

  • Shonkoff, J. P., & Phillips, D. A. (Eds.). (2000). From neurons to neighborhoods: The science of early childhood development. Washington, DC: National Academies Press.
  • Siegel, D. J. (1999). The developing mind: How relationships and the brain interact to shape who we are.Guilford Press.
  • Stern, D. N. (1985). The interpersonal world of the infant: A view from psychoanalysis and developmental psychology.  Basic Books.
  • Watt, D.F. (1990). Higher cortical functions and the ego. Psychoanalytic Psychology, 7(4), 487-527.
  • Winnicott, D. W. (1960). The theory of the parent-infant relationship. In: The maturational processes and the facilitating environment(pp.37-55). International Universities Press.


Inna Rozentsvit, M.D., PhD, MBA, MSciEd is a neurologist and neurorehabilitation specialist, trained in psychoanalysis and psychotherapy, with extensive experience in brain trauma, autoimmune neurological and neuropsychiatric conditions.
Dr. Rozentsvit is a founder of the Neurorecovery Solutions, Inc. (, a non-profit organization which helps neurologically impaired and their caregivers in their often heart-breaking journey to well-being. She is also an educator who works with children and adults with learning and emotional disabilities, while applying knowledge from the fields of neurology, basic sciences, mental health, and pedagogy to solving puzzles of miscommunications and every-day interactions of these children and adults with their parents and significant others.

Dr. Rozentsvit is passionate about people and supporting the possibilities that all people are. This passion fueled her publishing endeavors, which realized into founding the ORI Academic Press (, the MindMend Publishing Co., and the MindConsiliums (a trans-disciplinary journal with main focus on cross-pollination of knowledge and experience from various mental health, medicine, and science fields,

Dr. Rozentsvit is the scientific faculty member, programs director, and administrator of the Object Relations Institute for Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy (ORI, in NYC. Her course on Neurobiology for Psychoanalysts and Psychotherapists and the Parent-Child Development Program at the ORI include topics important for all mental health professionals: Neurobiology of Self; Neurochemistry of Emotions; Attachment Theory/ Love before First Sight; Neurological Disorders (Parkinson’s disease, stroke, and multiple sclerosis) through the Eyes of a Psychotherapist; Neurobiology of Psychosomatic Illness; Neuroscience of Anger and Violence; and others.

For more information, please visit



This educational activity is accredited by Amedco to provide 16 CEs for NYS Social WorkersNYS Psychologists, and 16 APA based CEs for Psychologists, SWs, MFTs, MHCs, Addiction Professionals (Check your states below).

Accreditation Statement

In support of improving patient care, this activity has been planned and implemented by Amedco LLC and Object Relations Institute for Psychotherapy & Psychoanalysis (ORIPP). Amedco LLC is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), to provide continuing education for the healthcare team.

Amedco Joint Accreditation #4008163.

Psychologists (APA) Credit Designation

This course is co-sponsored by Amedco and Object Relations Institute for Psychotherapy & Psychoanalysis.  Amedco is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists.  Amedco maintains responsibility for this program and its content.  16 (of 23.0) hours.

The following state boards accept courses from APA providers for Counselors: AK, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, HI, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, MD, ME, MO, NC, ND, NH, NE, NJ, NM, NV, OK*, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, WI, WY

MI: No CE requirements.
*OK: Accepts APA credit for live, in-person activities but not for ethics and/or online courses.
The following state boards accept courses from APA providers for MFTs:
AL MFTs: Credits authorized by NBCC or any other state licensing agency will be accepted.

MA MFTs: Participants can self-submit courses not approved by the MAMFT board for review.

The following state boards accept courses from APA providers for Addictions Professionals: AK, AR, CO, CT, DC, DE, GA, IA, IN, KS, LA, MD, MO, MT, NC, ND, NE, NJ, NM, NY (held outside NY ONLY), OK*, OR, SC, UT, WA, WI, WY
The following state boards accept courses from APA providers for Social Workers:

New York Board for Social Workers (NY SW)
Amedco SW CPE is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #0115. 16 (of 23.0) hours.

New York Board for Psychology (NY PSY)
Amedco is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Psychology as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed psychologists #PSY-0031. 16 (of 23.0) hours.

To receive CE certificates for the actual hours attended – please request them at the time of registration or any time prior to beginning of the conference. CE certificate fee: $25 (in addition to the registration fees). No fees charged for PD (Professional Development) certificates from ORI.


Tuition: $450/course (can be paid in 2 installments)
Registration fee: $25/course (waived for ORI’s candidates in training)

SPECIAL SCHOLARSHIPS are available for undergraduate and graduate students, as well as for retired or disabled practitioners, or need-based or/and those who live outside of the USA.
To apply for your scholarship, please go to the registration form below.

Full refund until the 1st session.
75% refund before the 2nd session.
50% refund before the 3rd session.
No refund from the day of the third session, but 50% of the full paid tuition will be applied to any further ORI events.