+Emotion organizes the brain-mind




We are going to be talking about huge subjects that have been considered by every people-related field of study known by man for as far back as recorded history goes:  The nature of the self, of thought, of the mind, and of emotions.  But we are going to look at this huge subject first by looking at it from the tiniest point of view we can find – from the newborn infant as it grows and develops into an adult human being.

Theology, psychiatry, the social sciences all have their own version of Pandora’s Box.  Yet the one we are going to open and look inside of is the most fundamental one of all.  How does the human brain develop and grow so that it will be able to function optimally throughout an individual’s life span?


The topic is relevant to everyone because everybody developed their brains throughout their infancy.  But where the topic becomes emotionally intense and very personal is for those of us who experienced chronic infant abuse from our birth and developed our brains during continual conditions of peritrauma.

Most people’s stories will reflect how the natural process occurred and things went “right.”  Ours will reflect how an unnatural process occurred and things went “wrong.”


Infancy.  It is what we think.  It determines how we think.  There is nothing minor about it.

Communication – the linking of minds as they interface with one another — between any two individuals, even including that between a parent and a newborn infant, creates a “supersystem.”


“…human emotions constitute the fundamental value system the brain uses to help organize its functioning.  The regulation of emotions is thus the essence of self-organization.  (siegel/tdm/278)”


If you were to focus a pin point of light, shine a laser light at the center of the target of what is most crucial and fundamental about the human condition, you would shine it on the characteristics of communication between an infant and its primary caregiver.

You would shine that light on emotions.

The communication with and about emotions between parent and infant directly shapes the child’s ability to organize the self.

“… the child’s neuronal system – the structure and function of the developing brain – is shaped by the parent’s more mature brain.  This occurs within emotional communication.  The attunement of emotional states provides the joining that is essential for the developing brain to acquire the capacity to organize itself more autonomously as the child matures.  (siegel/tdm/278)”


“Shame is different from humiliation.  Shame-inducing interactions coupled with sustained parental anger and/or lack of repair of the disconnection lead to humiliation, which Schore has proposed to be toxic to the developing child’s brain. (siegel/tdm/280)”


The child essentially learns this:  “My parents may not like what I am doing, but if I change my activities they will then connect with me; things in the end will be OK.”  There is a balance between the accelerator and the brakes.  This is the essence of affect regulation.  (siegel/tdm/281)”


helping the disorganized ones

“the principles learned from attachment research may perhaps still prove useful in organizing an approach to help people adapt to life’s stresses. (siegel/tdm/285)”


“Unresolved trauma or loss leaves the individual with a deep sense of incoherence in autonoetic consciousness, which tries to make sense of the past, organize the present, and chart out the future.  This lack of resolution can produce lasting effects throughout the lifespan and influence self-organization across the generations.  (siegel/tdm/297)”


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s