July 2009

Tastemakers 2009 Daniel Siegel, M.D.

by NANCIE CLARE / produced by MAYER RUS / portrait by PEDEN + MUNK

Daniel Siegel, M.D. When Siegel was a med student, he was actively discouraged from finding out what patients were thinking. Now in his current practice as a clinical psychiatrist, executive director of Mindsight and codirector of the Mindful Awareness Research Center at UCLA, it’s the mind he is most interested in—specifically how it can be channeled to help the whole body. One of the core practices of “mindsight” is concentrating on the breath. “Mindsight can increase one’s ability to perceive the world,” he says.

Siegel created practical applications from his research: He has lectured to school superintendents, and educators confirm mindsight’s effectiveness as a foundation for social and emotional intelligence. Even the world’s spiritual leaders are interested—he met with Pope John Paul II and the Dalai Lama. And what of Freud? Siegel thinks he would approve—heartily.