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The obligation of a mediator to practice good mind hygiene, and an interview of Bonnie Badenoch on being brain-wise

From Stephanie West Allen’s blog on Neuroscience and conflict resolution.

I have been reading Dr. Badenoch's new book Being a Brain-Wise Therapist: A Practical Guide to Interpersonal Neurobiology. I recommend it to you. Not just therapists can gain valuable knowledge about the brain from this book; anyone who is in the vicinity of others who have brains can pick up some helpful ideas about how interacting brains change, shape, and impact each other. And readers will learn practical techniques, too. Much of what the author has written will assist practitioners of dispute resolution.

If you wish to learn more about the book, click over to Psychjourney Podcasts to hear an interview of Badenoch. At one point in the interview, I was happy to hear her talk about the important role of the mind's focused attention in changing the brain, one of the foundations supporting Brains on Purpose™.

Badenoch also talks about the inner community, which is like Roberto Assagioli's subpersonalities, a very helpful concept that I learned years back in a psychosynthesis training. But back then we had no neuroscience underlying the concept. What are subpersonalities? From What We May Be by Piero Ferrucci (a book on psychosynthesis):

One of the most harmful illusions that can beguile us is probably the belief that we are an indivisible, immutable, totally consistent being.

Our varying models of the universe color our perception and influence our way of being. And for each of them we develop a corresponding self-image and a set of body postures and gestures, feelings, behaviors, words, habits, and beliefs. This entire constellation of elements constitutes in itself a kind of miniature personality, or, as we call it, a subpersonality.

Says the Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa, "In every corner of my soul there is an altar to a different god."

Understanding subpersonalities can be extraordinarily enlightening, especially in conflict situations. When you realize the multitude of subpersonalities that can be present in the room, confusing dynamics make more sense.

As a mediator, you have the skill to mediate between your own subpersonalities to improve your life, both personally and professionally. Badenoch and I agree that a person working with clients (in her case patients) has the obligation to maintain a high degree of mental health and self-awareness. Interpersonal Neurobiology explains why; your brain is effecting your client's and vice versa. You have the ability to do much good with a healthy mind and brain, and much harm if you do not practice good mind and brain hygiene. Read this new book to learn much more about why.

Note: Watch a video of an interview of Roberto Assagioli (starts about 2 minutes in).


Stephanie West Allen

Stephanie West Allen, JD, practiced law in California for several years, held offices in local bar associations, and wrote chapters for California Continuing Education of the Bar. While in CA, Stephanie completed several five-day mediation training programs with the Center for Mediation in Law, as well as a two-year intensive… MORE >

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