Daniel Siegel: The Mind and IFS

In this episode...

Today I speak with Dr. Daniel Siegel, founder of Interpersonal Neurobiology, about the mind and how Internal Family Systems (IFS) works in the brain.

Dr. Siegel is someone I consider to be one of the most thoughtful and clear innovators in teaching and talking about neurobiology and how it affects our behaviors—and not just behaviors we can see but the behavior and patterns of our mind.

He created a field of study within neurobiology called interpersonal neurobiology: It addresses how the biological processes within my body at any given time are affected and changed by the biological processes going on inside the bodies of people I interact with, care for, and depend upon and vice versa.

The Wheel of Awareness is a tool created by Daniel Siegel that is discussed in depth in this episode.

I love hearing Dan speak about how we have healthy minds when we are connected to the various parts of us that have very distinct needs and drives. This is what he calls an integrated mind—like spokes on a wheel connected to the hub, and what is synonymous with the IFS concept of Self.

Dan speaks persuasively about the linkages between physics—and even quantum physics, the way energy behaves at the incredibly small subatomic scale—and our sense of consciousness.

"So this is where Dick and I may differ. Certainly, some of his students see the parts as things that need to say intact. But from the interpersonal neurobiology framework we see them as temporary amalgamations so for us—no—you don’t keep parts intact."

– Dr. Daniel Siegel

Dr. Siegel is a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine and the founding co-director of the Mindful Awareness Research Center at UCLA. An award-winning educator, he is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and recipient of several honorary fellowships. Dr. Siegel is also the Executive Director of the Mindsight Institute, an educational organization, which offers online learning and in-person seminars that focus on how the development of mindsight in individuals, families and communities can be enhanced by examining the interface of human relationships and basic biological processes. His psychotherapy practice includes children, adolescents, adults, couples, and families. He serves as the Medical Director of the LifeSpan Learning Institute and on the Advisory Board of the Blue School in New York City, which has built its curriculum around Dr. Siegel’s Mindsight approach.

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