The Wise Mind / The Triune Brain

jny published on
2 min, 272 words

Categories: Mental Health

Let’s skip the part where I pretend to know all about Dialectical Behavior Therapy and just get to the part that my therapist has given me.

The Wise Mind

For a really great summary on it, there’s an the article that does a better job than I could. The gist of it is that these are not differing personalities, or ways you choose to act; they are -for the purposes of the model- distinct entities, and “Wise Mind” is when the two are in agreement. The dominance can shift depending on situation playing to each one’s strengths (e.g. math test vs a mountain lion). It’s when one tries to do the job of the other that problems arise.


With the same disclaimer as before, a separate -but similar- analogy that is a little less abstract is the communication between the three parts of the brain.

The Triune Brain

It’s the same thing in this case, only it’s between the “Neocortex” (higher functions like reasoning) vs the Limbic System and Reptilian Brain (emotions, fight-or-flight response). The visualization that I like about this one is viewing them as three separate things stacked on top of each other (because, as far as I understand, they essentially are), and that trying to reach that “Wise Mind” state is trying to get the different parts to communicate vertically, through the layers.


To me this is a more intellectual (and thus probably more accurate) way of modeling my Pet analogy. It’s about communication and understanding, not about troubleshooting.