Box of Crayons Blog


Dan Siegel, author of Mindsight

Daniel SiegelI recently started therapy, for the first time in my life, and it’s all because of a fantastic book called Mindsight. It’s very powerful and has already had a real influence on my life. So I’m very excited to be talking to the book’s author, Dr. Dan Siegel, who is a clinical professor of psychiatry at UCLA School of Medicine, co-director of the Mindful Awareness Research Center and executive director of the Mindsight Institute. You can follow him on Twitter as well!

In this interview, Dan and I discuss:

  • The importance of integration and differentiation in healthy relationships
  • How a lack of integration can result in chaos or rigidity
  • The term “mindsight” and how it relates to integration
  • The triad of reflection: openness, objectivity and observation
  • Why we need a “tripod” for our mindsight lens to work properly

(Scroll down for more in-depth podcast notes.)

Listen to my interview with Dan Siegel.

0:00:00: Michael asks Dan to elaborate on one of the key messages in his book, Mindsight – the importance of integration in keeping people away from chaos and rigidity. Dan talks about the need for people to differentiate from one another, but also to integrate with others in relationships.

0:05:00: Dan explains how a lack of integration can lead to chaos or rigidity, pointing out that either extreme indicates a need to reflect on one’s life and find ways to increase integration. Michael brings up Dan’s term, “mindsight,” which Dan defines as being “integration inside yourself, and between yourself and others, and within others.”

0:10:02: Elaborating on what mindsight means, Dan says the term stems from his early experiences studying psychology, and draws on the notion that we can actually reflect on our own thoughts (“see” our own minds).

0:15:05: Michael asks whether people need a therapist in order to bring integration to their own lives. Dan points out that anyone has the potential to develop integration and that it’s possible to do it on one’s own, but that, in certain cases, therapy can be helpful or even necessary. Dan also talks about the triad of reflection (openness, objectivity and observation) and how it can lead to a more compassionate way of seeing oneself.

0:20:05: Dan states that the triad of reflection serves as a tripod with which to stabilize our mindsight lens, offering a clearer and more realistic picture of how we see ourselves. He and Michael delve further into the three components of the triad.

0:25:00: Dan points out that when the mindsight lens is stable, the mind becomes quiet. He and Michael discuss the parallel between Dan’s work on mindsight and integration, and The Work of Byron Katie. Dan concludes by directing listeners to other resources on him and his projects, and encourages people to develop integration – for their own good and for the betterment of the world.

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