Brain Integration As the Key to Well-Being

Capturing a Moment of Therapeutic 'Aha!'

Rich Simon


I remember well the first time that psychiatrist Dan Siegel delivered an address at the Networker Symposium 10 years ago and introduced the utterly foreign and deeply repellent concept of “brain science” to 3,000 therapists who were certainly used to treating people’s minds, but who were as yet unacquainted with the mysterious, buzzing machinery of people’s brains. I’m still not sure how we got a ballroom full of people to even come and listen, but I do recall that Dan had us in the palm of his hand from the beginning, with his vast knowledge, his kindly, rumpled professorial look, and his disarming opening remarks. Once he told us not to worry if we found all the polysyllabic language of brain science repellent, we all knew we could relax—he might know more about the brain than all of us put together, but he was still one of us, an actual human being and a hell of a nice guy.

Since then, Dan has become the world’s reigning expert at doing brain-friendly lectures about the brain. In fact, ever since the publication of his first blockbuster, The Developing Mind, he’s been kind of our Carl Sagan, the expert who explains all this hopelessly arcane stuff to us not only so that we understand it, but in a way that actually thrills us.

In this video clip, Dan—who believes that achieving “brain integration” is the key to both the absence of illness and the presence of well-being—describes the case of an elderly man who has a kind of epiphany in the middle of treatment. It’s a memorable  example of what the abstract-sounding concept of “integration” looks like in the consultation room.

As he’s written, “Within each of us is an inherent drive toward health—a push toward integration. But life happens, and we may sometimes find that integration is blocked. In any case, our task is to liberate the mind’s natural drive to heal—to integrate mind, brain and relationships in the triangle of well-being.”

In the Networker Webcast series Why Brain Science Matters, Dan explains how we can effectively apply neurobiology principles to our work.

Why Brain Science Matters
Concrete Strategies for Your Practice

Click here for full course details

Tags: brain science | brain integration | Dan Siegel | developing mind | Networker Symposium | neurobiology | neuroscience | psychiatrist | relationships | science | Symposium | the developing mind | therapists

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