In this article the principles of an interdisciplinary approach to psychotherapy called “interpersonal neurobiology” will be summarized with an emphasis on neuroscience findings regarding the mirror neuron system and neural plasticity. Interpersonal neurobiology is a “consilient” approach that examines independent fields of knowing to find the common principles that emerge to paint a picture of the “larger whole” of human experience and development. Interpersonal neurobiology attempts to extract the wisdom from over a dozen different disciplines of science to weave a picture of human experience and the process of change across the lifespan.
The perspective of “interpersonal neurobiology” is to build a model within which the objective domains of science and the subjective domains of human knowing can find a common home. An interpersonal neurobiology approach to psychotherapy draws on the basic framework of this interdisciplinary view in exploring the ways in which one individual can help others alleviate suffering and move toward well-being. The central idea of interpersonal neurobiology is to offer a definition of the mind and of mental well-being that can be used by a wide range of professionals concerned with human development.