#369 – A Biopsychological Model to Guide Psychotherapy with Robert Moss

Robert A. Moss


Robert A. Moss, Ph.D., ABN, ABPP, is a clinical psychologist who works with Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital in Greenville, SC. While teaching neuropsychology in 1984 he developed a theory that the cortical column is the binary unit (bit) involved in all cortical processing and memory storage. Based on this theory, the Clinical Biopsychological approach to therapy was developed and continued to guide his work while in full-time private practice for over 20 years. As of 2006 the neuroscience field provided sufficient evidence to make the brain model publishable in a referred journal, with a detailed description of its application to psychotherapy being published this year. One aspect of treatment, Emotional Restructuring, is a single session approach to address influential relationship negative emotional memories. Bob is board certified in clinical psychology and neuropsychology and is a former associate professor in clinical psychology. He has authored 43 professional articles and has presented at a number of professional meetings.

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Wisdom of The Dream (4 CEUs)
Positive Psychology (6 CEUs)
Pros and Cons of Positive Psychology (5 CEUs)
Body-Mind: Goodbye to Dualism (6 CEUs)
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  1. Posted September 21, 2013 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

    All of this neuro-science seem to be converging. Which model comes out on top is a fascinating race where we will all be winners. The one weak point in Robert Moss’s model is his simple division of people into two categories which are actually one dimension with Givers at one end and Takers at the other. There are are lot of theories that have two dimensions that intersect at right angles and form four quadrants similar to the classical temperaments. Eysenck comes to mind with the characteristics of stability/instability intersecting with extraversion/Introversion so that you have Sanquinic Stable Extraverts; Choleric Unstable Extraverts; Melancholic Unstable Introverts; and Phlegmatic Stable Introverts. There are a lot of similar systems and a brain model of personality and general functioning needs to explain these phenomena.
    So far I would rank Jaak Panskeepp’s interview the most interesting and understandable of all the neuro-science series. Especially his placing emphasis on seeking or play behavior.
    Fear is the dominant emotion in the melancholic. Rage is the dominant emotion in the choleric. Feelings of loss is the dominant emotion of the passive Phlegmatic and Play/Curiosity the dominant emotion of the Sanguinic.
    I wonder where Moss places “play” in his model.

  2. Bob Moss
    Posted September 22, 2013 at 2:04 am | Permalink

    John, I appreciate the questions and points. If you have not already done so, you might wish to look at the article that I just authored that was published on Type-T and Type-G patterns. The link is http://www.neuropsychotherapist.com/givers-takers/ In the article I note two dimensions of socialized-undersocialized and domineering-submissive which we did not have time to cover in the interview. Additionally, the theory I discussed emphasizes the cortical components of higher level processing while Jaak Panksepp’s work is primarily focused on subcortical processing. The two models are completely compatible in my eyes. For example, in one of his articles about the SEEKING system, he notes the “packets” in the medial frontal region that active at the gamma frequency. My model says those are simply action columns dynamically being activated at the gamma frequency neural firing rate. These columns are the ones leading to the actual behavioral activation seen in the animals. More information about these aspects are in my articles that are all available at my website under current papers and at researchgate.net on the contributions portion of my page there. Bob

  3. Posted September 23, 2013 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Bob,
    I looked over the article and I will have to read it more thoroughly with the help of a brain chart. I will write you at your email address after I digest the information.
    I am feeling there might be a pattern of four that could fit the classical temperaments.
    Takers= Choleric
    Givers (Sharers) = Sanguinic
    Owners = Melancholic
    Hoarders = Phlegmatic

    Takers have little respect for the possessions of others.

    Owners defend their possessions with titles & deeds and will purchase what they want.

    Hoarders hold onto what they have at all cost whether it is valuable or not.

    Sharers are willing to give and share.

    You can have a mix of these characteristics. For example Robin Hood was a Sharer/Taker

    I don’t feel comfortable with dichotomous dimensions. Nature likes to mix things up.

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