Consciousness and Connection


Consciousness and Connection

Highlights from Symposium 2019

By Dan Siegel

May/June 2019


Humans have come to a place of incredible influence on life on earth. But even though we could be doing things that are creative, compassionate, and connecting, in too many ways, we’re doing the opposite. Fortunately, the human mind provides a wonderful opportunity to transform the path we’re on. And as mental health professionals, across all our different disciplines, we’re in a position to use our skills and knowledge to push our field to address some of the most pressing issues, like racism, violence, and climate change. But tapping into the mind to effect change on a large level involves helping people understand that the mind is not the same as the brain. The mind is much larger than that: it’s what connects us with everyone and everything on this earth.

We can see this in what the naturalist E. O. Wilson called consilience, which is finding common ground across different disciplines. That’s what we do in the field of interpersonal neurobiology. We look at psychology and psychotherapy, of course. But we also look at anthropology, sociology, biology, chemistry, physics. This consilience framework isn’t a form of therapy, but it informs therapy. It’s systems thinking. It’s asking, for example, how can you go into a classroom and be sure that it’s promoting kindness, compassion, collaboration, and creativity—then looking at the whole school, and then the community, and then the city, and state, nation, and even the planet.

As mental health professionals, we…

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Monday, May 13, 2019 10:26:52 PM | posted by Heidi Crockett
When I begin a teaching lecture on interpersonal neurobiology, I will do a quick 2 min guided meditation where the audience differentiates from my voice and goes inside and links to their sensations, then I'll have them slowly differentiate from their internal sensations and link back up to my voice. Inevitably, people feel more connected INTERNALLY and EXTERNALLY IN THE NOW as they sit in their chair and listen to the lecture on interpersonal neurobiology (IPNB). Next, I explain that the definition of INTEGRATION is high differentation and high linkage, but that those words mean little until they experience an increase in differentiation and linkage like in a short meditation in their noun body through a verb (guided) meditation exercise. In the above article, Dr. Siegel is expanding his IPNB wisdom and applying it at a macro-level at a time when it so important for the human race. What is amazing about IPNB principles is whether you want to increase your emotional intelligence or widen your window of tolerance for emotion regulation or whether you want to make the world a better place, the scientific principles that come from it can be a roadmap to your success!