The Wise Mind

“Logic is one thing, the human animal another. You can quite easily propose a logical solution to something and at the same time hope in your heart of hearts it won’t work out.” -Luigi Pirandello

Pirandello’s quote speaks to the tension between logic and emotion. Because we are feeling beings, it can be difficult to make decisions based solely on logic. Conversely, it can seem almost irrational at times to make decisions exclusively based on how we are feeling at a certain day and time. But why choose between these two extremes, when there can be an integration of both?

Marsha Linehan proposes a theory of “The Wise Mind”. Linehan asserts that people tend to either approach situations with a “reasonable mind”, an “emotional mind”, or a “wise mind”. People who approach situations with the “reasonable mind” tend to use intellect, knowledge, and reason/logic to solve problems or make decisions. Those who tackle situations using the “emotional mind” in decision-making are generally being guided by their current emotional state. It is difficult for people to think logically when they are being driven by intense emotions.

According to Linehan, the goal is to successfully integrate pieces from the “reasonable mind” and the “emotional mind” in order to work from the “wise mind” to make decisions and solve problems. “’Wise mind’ depends upon a full cooperation of all ways of knowing: observation, logical analysis, kinetic and sensory experience, behavioral learning, and intuition,” (Linehan, 1993).

It can be difficult to place intense emotion aside in order to make a rational decision about something. However, it is possible to take time, implement a healthy calming strategy, and move forward drawing from both logic and emotion. If you would like assistance learning how to use your “wise mind” to make decisions, please call Life Enhancement Counseling Services today at 407-443-8862 to make an appointment with a counselor. 


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