Dr. Daniel Siegel and the practice of Mindsight: a Powerful Skill
of the Loving at Your Best Plan
One of the key elements we use at the Loving of Your Best plan involves the practice of Mindsight, the ability to see within your mind and the mind of others in relationships. Daniel Siegel and other leaders in the field of Interpersonal Neurobiology are at the forefront of developing this core skill that can be used to solidify the core of what healthy and lasting relationships have: emotional connection and responsiveness. Travis Atkinson, the director of the Loving at Your Best plan, has been trained for many years of Daniel Siegel, and is now in the third year of Daniel Siegel's three-year inaugural Mindsight training program. The therapists at the Loving at Your Best plan use the principles of Mindsight to help you and your partner or spouse see inside yourself and each other. You can effectively use Mindsight skills in any relationships, including romantic, parent-child, teens, family, and in the business world of work.
We've included four YouTube videos, one with The Blue Man Group, and three from the TED talks forum, presenting the key concepts of Mindsight. Once you see how broadly the skills can be used, we think you'll be excited to start your own journey within your mind and reach a state of health.
Interpersonal Neurobiology and Mindsight by Daniel J. Siegel
"Interpersonal Neurobiology" and "Mindsight", terms coined by Daniel J. Siegel, M.D. (The Developing Mind, 1999), focus on the capacity for insight and empathy. Mindsight is the ability of the human mind to see itself: to know one’s own mind and to be able to perceive the minds of others. Mindsight can be developed within our interpersonal relationships and our internal reflective practices. Mindsight offers a scientifically-based way of understanding human development that can promote mindsight and compassion in our personal lives, our relationships, and our communities.
A field called "Interpersonal Neurobiology" (IPNB) finds the similar patterns that emerge from separate approaches to knowledge. A professional library of texts, edited by Dr. Siegel and published by W.W. Norton, explores this exciting new area. The Mindsight Institute serves as the organization from which IPNB first developed and is the principal educational source for learning in this area. Linking science, clinical practice, education, the arts, and contemplation, the Mindsight Institute functions as an educational hub from which these various domains of knowing and practice can draw and enrich their individual efforts.
At the heart of the Mindsight Institute's approach, and of IPNB's findings, is the concept of integration. Integration is defined as the linkage of differentiated components of a system. In an individual mind, integration involves the linkage of separate aspects of mental processes to each other, such as thought with feeling, bodily sensation with logic. In a relationship, integration entails each person being respected for his or her autonomy and differentiated self while at the same time being linked to others in empathic communication. For the brain, integration means that separated areas with their unique functions, in the skull and throughout the body, become linked to each other through synaptic connections. These integrated linkages enable more intricate functions to emerge—such as insight, empathy, intuition, and morality. The terms we use for these three forms of integration are a coherent mind, empathic relationships, and an integrated brain.
Description adapted from www.mindsightinstitute.com
View the Healthy Mind Platter, developed by Dr. Daniel J. Siegel, from his website:
Seven daily essential mental activities to optimize brain matter and create well-being
- Focus Time: When we closely focus on tasks in a goal-oriented way, we take on challenges that make deep connections in the brain.
- Play Time: When we allow ourselves to be spontaneous or creative, playfully enjoying novel experiences, we help make new connections in the brain.
- Connecting Time: When we connect with other people, ideally in person, and when we take time to appreciate our connection to the natural world around us, we activate and reinforce the brain's relational circuitry.
- Physical Time: When we move our bodies, aerobically if medically possible, we strengthen the brain in many ways.
- Time In: When we quietly reflect internally, focusing on sensations, images, feelings and thoughts, we help to better integrate the brain.
- Down Time: When we are non-focused, without any specific goal, and let our mind wander or simply relax, we help the brain recharge.
- Sleep Time: When we give the brain the rest it needs, we consolidate learning and recover from the experiences of the day.