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The Myth of Unitary Self: A Dialogue on the Multiplicity of Mind with Daniel Siegel, MD and Richard Schwartz, Ph.D.
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Defining someone through a single diagnostic label-he’s a depressive, she’s a borderline, etc.-is at best misleading, and at worst a distortion of what it means to be human. Neuroscience, social psychology, and artificial intelligence all agree that each of us consists of a multiplicity of identities that account for the richness and complexity of the human experience. In other words, no one is a “unitary” self. At the same time, there’s more than one way to use this knowledge to elicit therapeutic healing, self-awareness, and growth. This workshop will showcase how two noted psychotherapists bring the concept of multiplicity into their therapeutic work.

Daniel Siegel, MD

Daniel J. Siegel, M.D. is a graduate of Harvard Medical School and completed his postgraduate medical education at UCLA with training in pediatrics and child, adolescent, and adult psychiatry. He is currently a clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine, founding co-director of UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research Center, founding co-investigator at the UCLA Center for Culture, Brain and Development, and executive director of the Mindsight Institute, an educational center devoted to promoting insight, compassion, and empathy in individuals, families, institutions, and communities.

Dr. Siegel’s psychotherapy practice spans thirty years, and he has published extensively for the professional audience. He serves as the Founding Editor for the Norton Professional Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology which includes over three dozen textbooks. Dr. Siegel’s books includeMindsightPocket Guide to Interpersonal NeurobiologyThe Developing MindSecond EditionThe Mindful TherapistThe Mindful BrainParenting from the Inside Out (with Mary Hartzell, M.Ed.), and the three New York Times bestsellers: BrainstormThe Whole-Brain Child (with Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D.), and his latest No-Drama Discipline (with Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D.). He has been invited to lecture for the King of Thailand, Pope John Paul II, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Google University, and TEDx. For more information about his educational programs and resources, please visit: www.DrDanSiegel.com.

Richard C. Schwartz, Ph.D., Owner, The Center for Self Leadership

Richard Schwartz, Ph.D., earned his Ph.D. in marriage and family therapy from Purdue University, after which he began a long association with the Institute for Juvenile Research at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and more recently at The Family Institute at Northwestern University, attaining the status of associate professor at both institutions. He is co-author, with Michael Nichols, of Family Therapy: Concepts and Methods, the most widely used family therapy text in the United States.

Dr. Schwartz developed Internal Family Systems in response to clients’ descriptions of experiencing various parts – many extreme – within themselves. He noticed that when these parts felt safe and had their concerns addressed, they were less disruptive and would accede to the wise leadership of what Dr. Schwartz came to call the “Self.” In developing IFS, he recognized that, as in systemic family theory, parts take on characteristic roles that help define the inner world of the clients. The coordinating Self, which embodies qualities of confidence, openness, and compassion, acts as a center around which the various parts constellate. Because IFS locates the source of healing within the client, the therapist is freed to focus on guiding the client’s access to his or her true Self and supporting the client in harnessing its wisdom.

This approach makes IFS a non-pathologizing, hopeful framework within which to practice psychotherapy. It provides an alternative understanding of psychic functioning and healing that allows for innovative techniques in relieving clients symptoms and suffering.

In 2000, Richard Schwartz founded The Center for Self Leadership in Oak Park, Illinois. Dr. Schwartz is a featured speaker for many national psychotherapy organizations and a fellow of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, and he serves on the editorial boards of four professional journals.

He has published four books and over 50 articles about IFS. His books include Internal Family Systems Therapy, Introduction to the Internal Family Systems Model, and The Mosaic Mind (with Regina Goulding), as well as Metaframeworks (with Doug Breunlin and Betty Karrer). Dr. Schwartz lives and practices in Brookline, MA and is on the faculty of the Department of Psychiatry, Harvard School of Medicine.

Speaker Disclosure:

Financial: Richard Schwartz is the Founder of The Center for Self Leadership. He receives a speaking honorarium from PESI, Inc.

Non-financial: Richard Schwartz is a Fellow and member of the American Association for Marital and Family Therapy.


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