What are the Humanize Dyads?

In sociology, a dyad means two individuals maintaining a sociologically significant relationship (Becker and Useem, 1942) and Dyads are the foundational units of Humanize. In this way, Humanize is unlike most mainstream contemplative programs which focus on the individual as the foundational unit. 

Humanize Dyad

The Humanize Dyad, as a contemplative practice, was inspired by seminal research by the Max Planck Institute’s Social Neuroscience Lab, which was led by Prof. Dr. Tania Singer and team in one of the largest scientific mental training studies, the ResourceProject (Singer et al., 2016, Kok& Singer, 2017) and more recently the 9-week online curriculum from the CovSocial project (Godaraet al., 2021). Humanize has adapted and further developed these engaging and efficient partner-based mental exercises, through the Humanize Dyads. Our aim is to scale this intersubjective skill-learning approach for broader use in society to foster resilience, mental health and social cohesion. 

The Dyad Structure

A Humanize Dyad is a brief, structured, intersubjective daily mental practice, where two people alternate between speaking and listening. It is a container for self-awareness and connection. When both the speaker and the listener are fully present, there is a welcoming space for the range of intra and interpersonal experience to arise. This vulnerability deepens the connection to ourselves and each other. 

As the Dyad is a relational practice, it gives us the opportunity to observe our social nature through increasing awareness of the thoughts and conditioning that form the patterns of connection and disconnection.


Godara, M.; Silveira, S. J.; Matthäus, H.; Heim, C.; Voelkle, M.; Hecht, M.; Binder, E. B.; Singer, T.: Investigating differential effects of socio-emotional and mindfulnessbased online interventions on mental health, resilience and social capacities during the COVID-19 pandemic: The study protocol. PLoS One 16 (11), e0256323 (2021)

Kok, B. E.; Singer, T.: Effects of contemplative dyads on engagement and perceived social connectedness over 9 months of mental training: A randomized clinical trial. JAMA Psychiatry 74 (2), S. 126 – 134 (2017).

Singer, T.; Kok, B. E.; Bornemann, B.; Zurborg, S.; Bolz, M.; Bochow, C.: The ReSource Project: Background, design, samples, and measurements. Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig (2016)

Photo Credit: Franziska Schmitt