Thursday, May 30, 2013

Daniel Siegel - Interpersonal Neurobiology

This is a brief but cool video of Dr. Dan Siegel explaining what interpersonal neurobiology is - courtesy of Portland Professional Counseling Videos.

Interpersonal Neurobiology

Interpersonal Neurobiology, a term coined by Dr. Dan Siegel, studies the way the brain grows and is influenced by personal relationships. Recent studies have confirmed that we are hardwired to connect with one another, and we connect through our emotions. Our brains, bodies, and minds are inseparable from the emotions that animate them. When that connection fails, we experience significant distress.

Normal human development relies on the cultivation of relationships with others to form and nurture the self-regulatory circuits that enable emotion to enrich, rather than enslave, our lives. Emotionally traumatic events can wreak havoc on our family, relationships and psyche, contributing to intense feelings of anxiety, feeling rejected or abandoned, or simply a perpetual dissatisfaction or distrust of close, intimate relationships. However, experiencing truly healthy relationships can become powerful catalysts for the transformations that are at the heart of the healing process.

IPNB explores the potential for healing trauma by using positive and secure influences on the brain. Conditions once thought to be permanent now have the bright potential for healing and growth. If trauma experience can change our neurons and genes, then “positive” experiences can have potential to restore our bodies to emotional and physical health. IPNB explores subtle, non-conscious influences on our experience of others, including implicit memory, mirror neurons, and emotional resonance.

Implicit Memory – Current situations trigger past emotional memories. ” When I sit in this big comfortable chair, it reminds me of when I was a kid and I would sit in my grandfather’s lap and feel safe and warm”. Or ” I get so angry when my wife and I fight it reminds me of when I would go to my room and hear my parents yelling at each other.”

Mirror Neurons – nerve cells activate in sympathy and in the same brain location as nerve cells of the person whose actions we are watching. These neurons help us to sense what others intend and help us connect with what the other feels…We resonate with their state.

Emotional Resonance – when two people experience deep feelings and can sense what the other feels. A mutual caring that is exchanged through words, expressions, or tones. One can feel what another is feeling.

What a IPNB therapist does:
1. Initiates and creates emotional safety along with the client.
2. Demonstrates vulnerability through transparency and self revealing.
3. Assists client in moving from “talking about” situations to being in emotional exchange with therapist in the “hear and now”.
Selected Books by Daniel Siegel MD
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