What is “Wise Mind”

Have you ever felt that the logical part of you and your emotions were at odds, pulling you in two seemingly opposite directions? Many of us have had this experience, and we may even routinely operate in one of these “modes” and ignore the other. This can make us feel stuck and frustrated, and make us act in ways that in the long term, contribute to our own suffering.

Let’s consider some common examples. If you have ever (and most of us have!) said hurtful words to someone you care about, or if you’ve regularly postponed working out even though you’ve been promising yourself to work on getting fit, you may have been pulled by your “emotion mind”. On the other hand, if you’ve ever taken or stayed in a job that makes you deeply unhappy (e.g. for a steady paycheque) you may have been acting in “reasonable mind”. How might you feel as a result of each of these decisions? What if there was a way to navigate life, whch that took into account and honored both logic and feelings?  Enter: Wise Mind.

Wise Mind is a concept from Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), first introduced by Dr. Marsha LInehan, psychologist, researcher at Washington University in the US, and the creator of DBT. Dr Linehan labelled Wise Mind the frame of mind in which our logic and our emotions overlap, and in which both are taken into account. Accessing Wise Mind allows us to act with wisdom, clarity, and self-awareness.

Imagine, in the heat of a fight, being able to stop the cruel words from coming out of your mouth (not easy to do!), and at the same time, still being able impress in a clear and impactful way your upset on the other person. It does take skill and patience to connect with Wise Mind more readily, but my clients often share that once they learn to do so, it is incredibly transformative to their lives.

If you would like to learn how to better balance reason and emotion and live in a space of wisdom and clarity, please reach out here. I would be delighted to help.

By Dr. Tatiana Bielak, C. Psych
For informational purposes only

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