VIDEO: Dan Siegel on the Therapist's Mission in the Modern Age

Attending to How We Relate to Each Other and the Planet

Dan Siegel

According to psychiatrist and bestselling author Dan Siegel, we're in the midst of an unprecedented period in time, where humans have a remarkable influence in shaping our environment for generations to come. But just thinking about the specter of global warming, greenhouse gas emissions, and melting polar ice caps is enough to make even the most ardent environmentalist throw up their hands. So what can ordinary therapists do?

In the following video clip from his 2015 Networker Symposium keynote address, "Healing and Hope in the Human Age," Siegel shares a story from his work with a climate change awareness organization that helped him come up with a strategy for personal transformation.

Hear Siegel explain how therapists can handle the flood of emotion that comes when contemplating our duty to the environment, and how we can help clients do the same.

Daniel Siegel, MD, is a clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine, founding codirector of the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center, and the executive director of the Mindsight Institute. His latest book is Mind: A Journey to the Heart of Being Human.

"It's our job to attend to the way we relate to each other and the planet," Siegel says. As educators, he adds, we can teach people about the mind's energy and how to regulate information flow without getting overwhelmed—a first step to having clients think constructively about their impact on the world around them and what they can do to improve it.

"It’s crucial that we recognize the things, no matter how small they seem, that we can do," Siegel says. "We always need to bear in mind that we can help people develop a quality of integration and awareness in their lives that enables them to be more effective in having an impact on the world and making it a kinder, more compassionate place—a place where, in fact, there’s healing and hope."

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Did you enjoy this video? You might also enjoy other highlights from Symposium 2015: The Colors of Tomorrow. Click here to read selections from the Keynote speeches of Jon Kabat-Zinn, Richard Schwartz, Esther Perel, Diane Ackerman, and more!

Topic: Brain Science & Psychotherapy | Cultural, Social & Racial Issues | Professional Development

Tags: 2015 | activism | awareness | body and mind | connectivity | Dan Siegel | Daniel Siegel | environment | environmentalism | environmentally conscious | integration | mind | Mindfulness | Networker Symposium | Symposium | the human brain

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