Divided Brain Clinic

23 sessions with Dr Iain McGilchrist


These sessions are probably different to any others you have ever taken. Their aim will be to do something foundational, not just for work, but for life: to reach a new understanding of the structure of the human psyche. Forget everything you thought you knew about the two brain hemispheres: we will learn about the true impact of the divided brain on how we use reason, intuition, imagination, even science itself; the role of language in understanding and misunderstanding our patients; the art of the implicit and flexible in healing; the path to leading a happy and fulfilling life; how to embrace both life and death. But be warned: you may never view the world in the same way again.


Sessions in this Series

  1. 01


    In this session, Dr Iain McGilchrist investigates language, examining it’s advantages and disadvantages. Dr McGilchrist outlines how both the left and right hemispheres of the brain contribute to language. We discover the different ways we use language and how both hemispheres of the brain communicate. Dr McGilchrist discusses how there is much more to language than speech, with references to how a variety of different tribes, cultures and the animal kingdom effectively communicate without it. Additionally, Dr McGilchrist conveys the significance of silence and mindfulness, and the benefit of cultivating these practices in our lives.
  2. 02


    In this session, Dr Iain McGilchrist investigates intuition. He discusses how intuition has recently received a bad reputation due to the belief that we should replace our intuition with logical arguments. He further discusses how an attempt to do without intuition would be as foolish as to attempt to do without reason. Dr McGilchrist outlines how intuition can come in many different forms, and how they are often part of “embodied skills”. With reference to the Dreyfus model of skill acquisition Dr McGilchrist discusses how we develop expertise and the important role our intuition plays.  Dr McGilchrist explains how intuitions are not instantaneous and that they make months to grow but they sometimes manifest instantaneously.
  3. 03

    Love & Relationship

    In this session, Iain McGilchrist investigates relationship and love. McGilchrist discusses how all relationship is of a form of love and introduces insightful information detailing how love & relationship are influenced by both the left and right hemispheres of the brain. As humans we are beings that love, and relationships are one of our most important sources of fulfilment and happiness in life. McGilchrist introduces us to how the left and right hemispheres see relationships differently, highlighting how both sides play entirely different types of attention to the world. McGilchrist outlines the core concept of betweenness and how this relates to relationship. Furthermore, we discover the need for balance between separation and individuation, within the togetherness and union of relationship.
  4. 04


    In this session, Dr Iain McGilchrist investigates implicitness. He discusses the importance of the implicit in both life and therapy. Dr McGilchrist comments on how implicitness is something we tend not to think about very often, suggesting that nowadays people often believe that everything should be explicit. However, metaphors, narratives and myths, which are all non-explicit, play a significant role in conveying deeper meaning. Dr McGilchrist discusses how when you are dealing with someone’s internal world general language will often be inadequate. He highlights the importance of using an analogy or metaphor to unveil truths that cannot be achieved explicitly.
  5. 05

    Life and Death

    In this session, Dr Iain McGilchrist shares reflections on life and death. Dr McGilchrist examines what life is, and how life and death are perceived by both the left and right hemispheres of the brain, highlighting each side’s varied interpretation. Dr McGilchrist discusses the inseparability of life and death, exploring the notion of opposites and outlining how and why both are essential. Dr McGilchrist highlights the importance of flow and patterns of turbulence, likening life to a dance that brings together spontaneity and order. Dr McGilchrist conveys the concept of ‘betweenness’, and how this relates to life and death. He then discusses society’s attitudes to death and how it has changed over time.
  6. 06


    In this session, Dr Iain McGilchrist investigates purpose. For human beings, purpose is very important. Dr McGilchrist discusses two significantly different ways of thinking about purpose; one is instrumental purpose and the other is intrinsic purpose. We are often told that science has proved that the universe and that life have no purpose, Dr McGilchrist discusses how science can not possibly prove this. He outlines the differences between instrumental and intrinsic purpose illustrated with images and analogies. Dr McGilchrist reveals the limitations of the left hemisphere brain when thinking about purpose.
  7. 07


    In this session, Dr Iain McGilchrist investigates reason. He outlines the different types of reason and their different uses. Dr McGilchrist discusses how reason is understood differently by both hemispheres of the brain, identifying each difference with examples. He explains useful distinctions between rationality and reason, examining how many things that we desire cannot be achieved rationally. Dr McGilchrist believes reasonableness is disappearing now because ‘so much of our life is controlled by processes developed by bureaucracies administered through machines’, adding how ‘machines are beginning to mould the way we think’.
  8. 08

    Trauma and Resilience

    In this session, Dr Iain McGilchrist investigates trauma and resilience. He outlines the origins of the diagnoses of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and discusses important findings from the report to the senate, from which PTSD was based. Dr McGilchrist examines the Trauma Model, exploring its applications and limitations. He illuminates the notion that we are not merely the victims of our past events and offers different pathways for therapists working with patients to help rebuild resilience after trauma.
  9. 09


    In this session, Dr Iain McGilchrist investigates knowledge. He asks the question ‘how we know anything and whether knowledge is all of one kind?’ Dr McGilchrist explains how in English there is only one verb, ‘to know’ but in most languages there is a distinction made between at least two kinds of knowing. He distinguishes between these two types of knowledge and outlines how these are associated with the left and right hemispheres of the brain.
  10. 10


    In this session, Dr Iain McGilchrist investigates certainty. Certainty is something many patients seek, and it is something that is often considered desirable. Dr McGilchrist discusses how most things in life cannot be certain and the search for control in order to achieve certainty can be one of the most damaging things that we can espouse. Using etymology Dr McGilchrist highlights the significant differences between precision and accuracy. He further investigates the nature of precision and certainty in therapy and life through the lens of both the left and right hemispheres of the brain.
  11. 11


    In this session, Dr Iain McGilchrist investigates suffering. He examines why we need to experience a degree of pain and suffering in our life. Dr McGilchrist addresses suffering in his personal life, illustrating its ability to help us become more compassionate and sympathetic, he also highlights how suffering can be enriching and give meaning to life. Dr McGilchrist discusses the etymology of suffering illustrating how it is closely linked to passion. He then outlines pathways to work with patients who are suffering.
  12. 12


    In this session, Dr Iain McGilchrist investigates imagination. He comments on how imagination is something that some people tend to distrust. Dr Iain McGilchrist distinguishes the differences between imagination and fantasy, he illuminates this by looking at the contribution of the brain’s two hemispheres. Dr McGilchrist illustrates how both hemispheres interpret imagination and how one hemisphere cannot see the value and importance of imagination as the other can. Dr McGilchrist discusses how imagination is not a ‘flight from reality but a flight into the heart from reality’, highlighting how imagination is how we truly understand anything. He then reviews the impact both the left and right hemisphere have on the creative process.
  13. 13

    Happiness and Fulfilment

    In this session, Dr Iain McGilchrist investigates happiness and fulfilment. He examines what it means to be happy and fulfilled through the lens of both the left and right hemispheres of the brain. Dr McGilchrist discusses the implications and limitations of achieving happiness when living a self-oriented, competitive and capitalistic life. He outlines the important role social connectedness plays in achieving both physical and mental health in life and provides us with three constituents for cultivating happiness.



more sessions released soon

Select from the Series below

  • Psychiatrist Iain McGilchrist describes the real differences between the left and right halves of the human brain. It's not simply "emotion on the right, reason on the left," but something far more complex and interesting.
    Divided Brain Clinic
    Dr Iain McGilchrist
  • Internationally-renowned PTSD researcher and clinician, founder of the Boston Trauma Centre and professor of Psychiatry at Boston University Medical School.
    PTSD Relief Therapy
    Dr Bessel van der Kolk
    EMDR Skills Training 1
    Dr Jennifer Sweeton
  • Internationally-renowned psychotherapist, 40 years’ experience integrating the mind and body, offers relief and a new way of living in our body.
    Body Wisdom Therapy
    Dr Pat Ogden
  • World-renowned trauma clinical psychologist and clinician with over 30 years’ experience helping survivors to accept and love their wounded selves.
    Advanced Trauma Therapy
    Dr Janina Fisher
    ACT Therapy Training 1
    Dr John Boorman
  • Internationally-acclaimed clinical psychologist, professor at Harvard University, McLean Hospital and clinician with over 30 years’ experience working with high-conflict couples.
    Conflict in Relationships
    Dr Alan Fruzzetti
  • Clinical psychologist with over 20 years’ experience helping people manage out of control emotions, irrationality, feelings of hopelessness and distress.
    Emotional Regulation
    Carolyn Bright
  • Internationally-acclaimed clinical psychologist, professor at Harvard University, McLean Hospital and clinician with over 30 years’ experience working with children and families.
    Divorcing: Parents & Kids
    Dr Alan Fruzzetti
  • Doctor of counselling psychology offers understanding and relief from depression with a variety of skills and a wealth of treatment experience.
    Depression Relief Therapy
    Dr Lauren Axelsen
  • Clinical psychologist, researcher and expert in behavioural treatment for phobias, provides dynamic treatment and relief from anxiety.
    Anxiety Relief Treatment
    Dr Sia Bandarian
  • Brain Skool will be a collection of sessions from internationally-renowned specialists investigating the function and processing of their favourite brain regions.
    Brain Skool
    Various Presenters