Dan Siegel's Saturday Morning Keynote


I have never been a “science person”. Science has always intimidated me; knowing that I won’t fully understand, terms like “neurons” usually make my eyes glaze over.

But, Dan Siegel’s presentation “The Neurobiology of We” was absolutely fascinating. Even though he threw a few of those scary science words at us, he added jokes and vivid examples to make his ideas significant and clear.

It seems that Siegel has discovered science that verifies the goals of psychotherapy. He spoke at length about the need to define the terms “mind” and “mental health”.

He spoke about the neurobiology of “we”, meaning human connection. Throughout his speech, something that really appealed to me was his focus on an exchange of both energy and information.

“Our belief that we are separate entities is a delusion,” he said, pleading that we must “dissolve this or there will be no future for our grandkids…we need to wake up.” He explained that interpersonal connection needs to be maintained between human beings to save ourselves—and the planet.

For me, someone who’s grown up in this “information age”, I kept thinking that maybe that’s something we’ve all been missing: the exchange of energy alongside information. And trust me, even though it was 9 am, you could certainly feel the energy in the room today!

Did you attend Dan Siegel’s morning presentation? What are your thoughts?

03.19.2010   Posted In: NETWORKER EXCHANGE   By Psychotherapy Networker
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    • Not available avatar Paul 03.27.2010 05:42
      The great news, if I understand Dr. Siegel correctly, is that if it really is an optical delusion that we are separate and if we really are all connected, then perhaps on some level I am as bright as he is! Seriously,though...what an amazing talk. I am strapped for cash, but I may have to purchase the DVD. It was a lot to take in in one listening.
      • Not available avatar pamela 03.27.2010 15:17
        I have NO clue as to whether this is going through or not , but, what the hell, I will try!!
        Dan Siegel joins my teachers, Gandhi,Gurumayi,Christ,Shah,Dalai Lama,Pema,others I am forgetting due to physical fatigue. I feel his work and message is a holy one.
        I did not have much money but I HAD to buy his book and ya know, it's HEAVY!! Literally. Like the heaviness of a Whole Foods bag versus a Safeway or Giant bag. REAL FOOD!! I promised myself that if I bought a book this year I would read it and I will!!
        Rich, (why am I calling you Rich when I dont even know you??) Your courage to sing so pathetically was an inspiration to me yesterday. Don't stop this blog idea based on what my new teacher said today even if it does not get the response you want. WE NEED TO BE EDUCATED!!
        And we need this connection. We (I am 62) are not wired but we are teachable!!! Maybe rewireable?? Or is it wireable??? Add a motherboard??
        If you did not hear the keynote for Saturday, BUY THE PLAYBACK!!!
        Jean, Victoria,my new friend...Depy from Greece, my old friends Wanda and Mia
        Be Well,
        Thank you Psychotherapy Networker for a great CONNECTION!!! I am blessed and have come out of isolation after a long hard winter!!
        Again. Dan Siegel, you are the balm!!!Keep modeling.I cannot believe you were so generous with your work and wealth!! A lesson to me........good lesson for a therapist! Blessings and may Glika Nera be in your future.
    • 0 avatar Anna Bowman 03.27.2010 17:12
      Dan Siegel is a wonderful speaker and has great information to share. I first became aquatinted with his work sometime back in 2003 and it changed the way I practice. I still can never remember all the neuroscience words but totally get what he says and teach much of it to clients (children/families) I work with.

      "For me, someone who’s grown up in this “information age”, I kept thinking that maybe that’s something we’ve all been missing: the exchange of energy alongside information".- PNetworker
      Hi PNetworker, I am old school; love the face to face/eye contact & connection. I work with kids on their social skills and mindfulness daily. I have worried about the digital native - wired generation and how they will get along with so many of their connections happening digitally rather than interpersonally. And/but after recently returning to school for another master's (that included the use of information technology in education) I have learned to understand (and embrace) the meaning of web2.0 tools for the digital native and now strive to see how to two can... coexist? The wired world is not going to go away, but we must teach the children the skill set of mindfulness so they will have those neural connections, and be able to relate on a one on one personal connected level and on a personal tribal level. aloha

    • 0 avatar Billy Ledford 03.28.2010 17:26
      To me, Dan Siegel was the highlight of the entire Symposium. Don't get me wrong. I enjoyed the rest of the Symposium, but Dan "speaks" to me as I am sure he does to so many of us. I already had his books The Mindful Brain and Mindsight, so I was prepared to love him before he even walked on the stage. And, he did not disappoint!

      I spent so much money it is ridiculous! I got his newest book, The Mindful Therapist (so great that we were able to get advanced copies of this book and that I was able to get his autograph), and all four of the DVDs of his presentations at the Symposium. I want all of my therapist friends and colleagues to know about this guy and read his books.

      Thanks, Rich Simon, for a wonderful (first for me) Symposium!

      Billy Ledford
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