About Interpersonal Neurobiology – IPNB

IPNB is a groundbreaking perspective that was proposed and named by Dr. Daniel J. Siegel and was co-developed with fellow pioneers such as Drs. Allan Schore and Louis Cozolino. An interdisciplinary field that provides a “whole elephant” framework of human functioning and flourishing. * IPNB is applied by therapists, educators, leaders, coaches, change agents, artists, parents, partners…anyone interested in a state-of-the-art-and-science approach to human development and potential. IPNB offers a comprehensive and scientifically grounded theory of mental health and of healthy relating, illuminating the ongoing interactions of the mind, the brain, and relationships. With more than 40 books in the Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology and the Norton Series on the Social Neuroscience of Education, the field is rapidly expanding its knowledge base and influence.

* The “whole elephant” view refers to stories where folks see parts but not the whole of an elephant, told to illustrate the wisdom and power of a consilient approach. Rumi’s telling of the fable described an elephant in a darkened room, in which individuals (men) were brought into the room to explore this large creature new to their village. As they described their perceptions, they argued about what was in front of them—a fan (ear), a rope (tail), and so on. Interpersonal neurobiology is based on this principle of consilience—the belief that the key to the advancement of knowledge lies in our ability to identify common patterns that are emerging from different disciplines (E. O. Wilson, 1998). As such, IPNB incorporates scientific findings from over a dozen fields, including neuroscience psychology, and systems theory, to create an integrated framework for viewing the interactions of brain, mind, and relationship.

An IPNB Retelling

Debra Pearce-McCall retells an IPNB-infused version of this tale, where friends wander and learn, during an eclipse. It's also a playful puzzle filled with IPNB references.

Read & Enjoy

Retelling by Debra Pearce-McCall

This is an IPNB-infused version of this tale, where friends wander and learn, during an eclipse. It's also a playful puzzle filled with IPNB references.

Read & Enjoy

Elephant in the Dark, by Rumi, translated by Coleman Barks

Some Hindus have an elephant to show. No one here has ever seen an elephant. They bring it at night to a dark room.

One by one, we go in the dark and come out saying how we experience the animal.
One of us happens to touch the trunk.
“A water-pipe kind of creature.”

Another, the ear. “A very strong, always moving back and forth, fan-animal.”
Another, the leg. “I find it still,
like a column on a temple.”

Another touches the curved back. “A leathery throne.”

Another, the cleverest, feels the tusk. “A rounded sword made of porcelain.”

He’s proud of his description.
Each of us touches one place
and understands the whole in that way.
The palm and the fingers feeling in the dark are

how the senses explore the reality of the elephant.

If each of us held a candle there, and if we went in together,
we could see it.