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Keywords:

  • affect-regulation;
  • analytic dyad;
  • emergent self;
  • mind–brain development;
  • neuroscience

Abstract:  This paper explores the mind–brain relationship, using insights from contemporary neuroscience. It seeks to investigate how our brains become who we are, how subjective experience arises. In order to do this some explanation is given of the basic concepts of how the brain produces our subjective mental life. Current neuropsychological and neurobiological understanding of early brain development, memory, emotion and consciousness are explored. There is also an attempt at mapping the mind–brain-self relationship from a uniquely Jungian perspective. Clinical material is included in order to show the relevance of these insights to our work in the consulting room, arguing the value of the affect-regulating, relational aspects of the analytic dyad that forge new neural pathways through emotional connection. Such experience forms the emotional scaffolding necessary for the emergence of reflective function.