The premise of this article is that growing scientific evidence points to the mind as being something that encompasses far more than the physical workings of your brain. The article cites author Dr. Dan Siegel, a professor of psychiatry at UCLA School of Medicine, and his 2016 book, Mind: A Journey to the Heart of Being Human. According to Dr. Siegel, “Our mind cannot be confined to what’s inside our skull, or even our body.” In his understanding, the human mind is not strictly defined as, or limited to, the human body or processes of the brain. According to the article, this definition has since been supported by research across the sciences.
If true, this new understanding has potentially broad implications for the field of addiction and treatment. Such an expanded understanding of “mind”–encompassing more that the physical structures of the body such as the brain–raises fundamental questions about the narrow medical model of addiction and approaches to addiction arising from that model. We have known for years that recovery is almost never an individual action — it involves and depends on community and encompasses social, familial, economic and spiritual dimensions to varying degrees. This seems much more in line with an expansive view of “mind” as opposed to the reductionist view intrinsic in the Brain Disease Model of Addiction.
Our mind cannot be confined to what’s inside our skull, or even our body, according to a definition first put forward by Dan Siegel, a professor of psychiatry at UCLA School of Medicine and the author of the 2016 book, Mind: A Journey to the Heart of Being Human.