VIDEO: What's the Difference Between Brain and Mind? Dan Siegel Explains

The Distinctions between Neuroscience and Psychotherapy

Dan Siegel

With all the buzz about brain science, is it possible to lose sight of the mind?

Dan Siegel, a pioneer in the applications of brain science to psychotherapy, wants to make sure we don't, reminding us that the mind is much bigger than the brain. It extends throughout the whole body and it also includes other people.

In this video with Networker Editor Rich Simon, Siegel explains what this means for psychotherapy, and for cultivating a fuller, more rewarding relationship between you and your client.

Daniel Siegel, MD, is a clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine, founding codirector of the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center, and the executive director of the Mindsight Institute. His latest book is Mind: A Journey to the Heart of Being Human.

As a mental health professional, Siegel argues, you're not just looking at what's inside a client's head. You're working with the fully embodied, relational mind. And during the assessment phase, you're fundamentally exploring just how healthy that mind is.

"The human mind is, in a very real sense, much bigger and more expansive than the skull that we imagine to house it," Siegel says in this Networker article. "Specifically, relationships are the sharing between people of energy and information flow. The brain and its whole body are the embodied mechanism of that flow, and the mind is the self-organizing process that regulates that flow." What you do with your mind, he adds, "can even change the structure of your brain."

Stay tuned for more of Siegel's clinical wisdom in our upcoming video blogs!


Did you enjoy this video? Check out Siegel's article on his transformative experience during a week-long meditation retreat, in "A Week of Silence." You might also like "Complexity Choir: The Eight Domains of Self-Integration," in which he explains how Integrationthe linkage of differentiated elements of the brainilluminates a direct pathway toward health and helps us avoid a life of dull, boring rigidity on the one hand, or explosive chaos on the other.

Topic: Brain Science & Psychotherapy | Mind/Body | Mindfulness

Tags: attachment disorder treatment | brain science | Brainstorm | consciousness | Dan Siegel | interpersonal neurobiology | learning | mental health | mental health professional | mindful | mindsight | neurobiology | neuroscience | psychotherapists | psychotherapy | science | therapist | therapists | attachment | mindfulness training

Comments - (existing users please login first)
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Sunday, July 15, 2018 1:40:20 PM | posted by Kate Cohen-Posey
I was really hoping we could tackle the MIND in the 22nd century and leave understanding the BRAIN to the 21st century. But Siegel is pushing us towards this uncharted territory. I would summarize his definition of the mind as follows: "The brain and its whole body are the embodied mechanism of the flow [of the sharing of information and energy]. The mind is the self-organizing process that regulates that flow." So is Siegel saying that the mind is the process that regulates the mechanism of this flow? I prefer asking the question: "Is the mind contained in the brain or is the brain an attenea for the mind?

Monday, September 28, 2015 1:39:07 PM | posted by Esther Dailey
Excellent. I appreciate the validation!