Interpersonal Neurobiology (IPNB), a term coined by Dr. Dan Siegel, studies the way the brain grows and is influenced by personal relationships. Recent studies have discovered that brain growth occurs throughout the lifespan. Interpersonal Neurobiology 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. Interpersonal Neurobiology has broad applications that are useful for parenting, mental health, addictions, education, health care, business professionals, and more.
Interpersonal Neurobiology is an exciting interdisciplinary perspective, drawing from the fields of neuroscience, psychology, complexity theory, and relationship studies. Other related fields of study include affective neuroscience, social neuroscience, and social cognitive neuroscience. The interpersonal neurobiology perspective extends from the intricacies of neurobiology to the level of the interpersonal world. Interpersonal Neurobiology also explains our human capacity to perceive the mind of the self and others. It is a powerful lens through which we can understand our inner lives with more clarity, integrate the brain, and enhance our relationships with others. By developing what Dr. Dan Siegel calls “Mindsight,” we are better able to see the internal workings of our own minds. It helps us get ourselves off of the autopilot of ingrained behaviors and habitual responses. It lets us “name and tame” the emotions we are experiencing, rather than being overwhelmed by them.
Mindsight is a learnable skill that underlies what we mean when we speak of having emotional and social intelligence. Mindsight is based on one of the most exciting scientific discoveries of the last twenty years: How we focus our attention shapes the structure of the brain. Neuroscience has also definitively shown that we can grow these new connections throughout our lives, not just in childhood.