Siegel (2012), an internationally renowned neuroscientist, in what many regard as a revolutionary approach to psychotherapy, has made use of the most recent neuroscientific technologies and new insights and knowledge relating to interpersonal neurobiology to help individuals suffering from the effects of trauma to develop various healing qualities such as compassion, well-being, resilience and kindness in their personal lives, wider interpersonal relationships and wider society. He also stresses that working with the individual’s underlying attachment problems/disorders.
Siegle stresses, too, the importance of integrating parts of the body and brain synaptically (synaptic transmission refers to the process of transmitting nerve impulses between a pair of nerve cells (neurons) or between a neuron and muscle cell). These new connections and subsequent healthy integration help to enable higher/more complex functions to emerge such as enhanced moral reasoning, empathy for others, deeper understanding of others and of situations, and intuition.
Key to Siegel’s therapeutic approach is the social nature of the brain, the role of implicit and explicit memory. Therapy based on Seigel’s work also includes using simulated neural activity associated with secure attachment, together with mindfulness, meditation, and effective psychotherapy.
THE KEY ROLE OF MINDFUL AWARENESS AND MINDSIGHT
Siegel also theorizes that ‘mindful awareness’ can be used to utilize the brain’s social neurocircuits to improve the individual’s mental and physical health, together with his/her ability to relate in positive, empathic, and healthy ways to others. Siegel has coined the word ‘mindsight’ Mindsight is a therapeutic technique that Siegel has developed and it refers to a form of intense attentional focus that facilitates our insight into how our own minds are working internally. More specifically, it trains us to label, analyze and clarify our inner world of emotions and how these emotions react to external stimuli such as other people and events.
A THERAPEUTIC AID DEVELOPED BY DR. DANIEL SIEGAL: THE WHEEL OF AWARENESS:
Daniel Siegal sums up how the WHEEL OF AWARENESS works with the following phrase:
‘Where attention goes, neural firing flows, and neural connection grows’
The WHEEL OF AWARENESS helps the individual to improve his/her overall well-being by encouraging him/her to focus at different times on EIGHT SENSES as shown below:
SENSES 1-5: TASTE, TOUCH, VISION, HEARING, SMELL
SENSE 6: INTERIOR OF BODY e.g. breathing, muscular tension
SENSE 7: MENTAL ACTIVITIES e.g. thoughts, beliefs, emotions
SENSE 8: INTERCONNECTEDNESS e.g. with others and with nature
FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT DR. DANIEL SIEGEL AND HIS REVOLUTIONARY WORK, VISIT: drdanlsiegel.com
David Hosier BSc Hons; MSc; PGDE(FAHE).