Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation Info

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From a pioneer in the field of mental health comes a
groundbreaking book on the healing power of "mindsight," the potent
skill that allows you to make positive changes in your brain–and
in your life.

Foreword by Daniel Goleman, author
of 
Emotional Intelligence
• Is there a
memory that torments you, or an irrational fear you can't
shake?
• Do you sometimes become unreasonably angry or upset and
find it hard to calm down?
• Do you ever wonder why you can't
stop behaving the way you do, no matter how hard you
try?
• Are you and your child (or parent, partner, or boss)
locked in a seemingly inevitable pattern of conflict?
What if
you could escape traps like these and live a fuller, richer, happier
life? This isn't mere speculation but the result of twenty-five years of
careful hands-on clinical work by Daniel J. Siegel, M.D. A
Harvard-trained physician, Dr. Siegel is one of the revolutionary global
innovators in the integration of brain science into the practice of
psychotherapy. Using case histories from his practice, he shows how, by
following the proper steps, nearly everyone can learn how to focus their
attention on the internal world of the mind in a way that will
literally change the wiring and architecture of their brain.

Through his synthesis of a broad range of scientific research
with applications to everyday life, Dr. Siegel has developed novel
approaches that have helped hundreds of patients. And now he has written
the first book that will help all of us understand the potential we
have to create our own lives. Showing us mindsight in action, Dr. Siegel
describes
• a sixteen-year-old boy with bipolar disorder
who uses meditation and other techniques instead of drugs to calm the
emotional storms that made him suicidal
• a woman paralyzed by
anxiety, who uses mindsight to discover, in an unconscious memory of a
childhood accident, the source of her dread
• a
physician–the author himself–who pays attention to his
intuition, which he experiences as a "vague, uneasy feeling in my belly,
a gnawing restlessness in my heart and my gut," and tracks down a
patient who could have gone deaf because of an inaccurately written
prescription for an ear infection
• a twelve-year-old girl with
OCD who learns a meditation that is "like watching myself from outside
myself" and, using a form of internal dialogue, is able to stop the
compulsive behaviors that have been tormenting her
These and many
other extraordinary stories illustrate how mindsight can help us master
our emotions, heal our relationships, and reach our fullest
potential.

Average Ratings and Reviews
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Reviews for Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation:

4

Jan 21, 2012

The problem with books of this nature are unfortunately named.

This is true of this book, Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation, sounds as self help-y and new age-y as a book title can get. It does have some of those elements, but it's more of a science/psychology book. I read a lot of these books because I find the brain and psychology endlessly fascinating. I try to figure out what makes some people are douche-nozzles and some not. If listening to peoples problems on a daily The problem with books of this nature are unfortunately named.

This is true of this book, Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation, sounds as self help-y and new age-y as a book title can get. It does have some of those elements, but it's more of a science/psychology book. I read a lot of these books because I find the brain and psychology endlessly fascinating. I try to figure out what makes some people are douche-nozzles and some not. If listening to peoples problems on a daily basis had appealed to me, I may have gone into the field.

You know what they say about people who find the subject of crazy fascinating.........?

Check.

What I keep coming across in different books lately is this word mindfulness. It's meditation basically, and learning to pay attention to your mind and the thoughts that trudge though it. Notice them, and put them aside and in there place instead of letting them make you crazy. The meditation doesn't have to be complicated.....no beaches, forest,.....birds are necessary. Just pay attention to your breath, count each breath (and in and out cycle) up to the count of ten. If you have a thought creep in at any point, put it aside and start over at the count of one. Keep going until you can get to the count of 10 (and beyond) without a thought. Not as easy as it might sound.

I have done this a few times....practiced, and an odd thing happened. I started noticing my thoughts, and the things I was about to say to people slightly removed from them. I would notice that what I was about to say was a bit mean, and could stop myself before I let it fly. Before, I might have let it fly.

Also what I liked about this book and this author is that when he would treat a patient, he would not reach for the prescription pad first off. He would do therapy and mindfulness training. I have a problem with how readily doctors reach for the drugs first these days.

There is much more to this book than I can cover here, so if you are interested give it a read.
...more
5

Dec 29, 2015

After almost a year of having read this amazing book I opted for rewriting a worthy review.

The spirit of this book has always been with me during the past year. The insights Dr. Siegel provides to human mind and emotion are just marvelous. You start to see events and their effects on you from a whole new perspective.

I learned a lot about human brain, its structure and the way to cultivate and steer its power.

After getting to know the insights and techniques included in the book, I've never After almost a year of having read this amazing book I opted for rewriting a worthy review.

The spirit of this book has always been with me during the past year. The insights Dr. Siegel provides to human mind and emotion are just marvelous. You start to see events and their effects on you from a whole new perspective.

I learned a lot about human brain, its structure and the way to cultivate and steer its power.

After getting to know the insights and techniques included in the book, I've never felt more peaceful and in control of my emotions even in the toughest of moments and that's the invaluable gift the book has for you.

I hope you read this masterpiece and benefit as much as I did and gain the ultimate peace of mind. ...more
4

Jun 01, 2012

I read this book as part of a reading group at work. We had read Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman, and we had mixed feelings about that book. We had enjoyed the ideas but were disappointed by a lack of practical suggestions for personal growth. Siegel's Mindsight only focuses on one of Goleman's domains of emotional intelligence, self-awareness, but that piece is the fundamental one on which all other skill of social and emotional intelligence are built.

Siegel's book describes many I read this book as part of a reading group at work. We had read Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman, and we had mixed feelings about that book. We had enjoyed the ideas but were disappointed by a lack of practical suggestions for personal growth. Siegel's Mindsight only focuses on one of Goleman's domains of emotional intelligence, self-awareness, but that piece is the fundamental one on which all other skill of social and emotional intelligence are built.

Siegel's book describes many practical actions one can take to increase self-awareness. These techniques will sound familiar to anyone familiar with mindfulness traditions (observing the breath, the sensations of the senses, sensations within the body, thoughts, connections to others), but he brings a different perspective. Siegel is a practicing psychotherapist with an interest in understanding the neuroscience behind different techniques. Instead of presenting mindfulness practices from a religious/spiritual point of view, he presents these practices from a practical (e.g., case study oriented) and scientific point of view. For those who have studied mindfulness from a spiritual perspective, this book will broaden your perspective For those who see mindfulness as new age woo woo, this book shows the scientifically and practically grounded effects and benefits of mindfulness practices.

That said, this book was much more focused on the stories of the case studies than on the concepts or the science. This was interesting, but most of us in the reading group would have liked to see this coupled with a more conceptual presentation. Oddly enough, the author would have preferred that too. We had coordinated the reading of this book with a visit from Dr. Siegel. In addition to giving an interesting talk, Dr. Siegel was generous enough to have a more focused session with the members of the reading group. During that talk, he revealed to us that he wrote this book for a general audience, and most people learn best through stories. However, he did have another book which, as he put it, contains everything his editor would not let him put into Mindsight. That book is The Mindful Therapist, and I look forward to reading it! ...more
4

Nov 12, 2010

Mightsight is an interesting book about the neuroplasticity of the brain. To quote, "Mindsight is a kind of focused attention that allows us to see the internal workings of our own minds."Neuroplasticity is the ability for the brain to grow new pathways between neurons that fire in your mind, which create new pathways. These new pathways mean you can change. You can strengthen the areas that you are weak in and learn how to make better, healthier choices as a person. He talks about finding a Mightsight is an interesting book about the neuroplasticity of the brain. To quote, "Mindsight is a kind of focused attention that allows us to see the internal workings of our own minds."Neuroplasticity is the ability for the brain to grow new pathways between neurons that fire in your mind, which create new pathways. These new pathways mean you can change. You can strengthen the areas that you are weak in and learn how to make better, healthier choices as a person. He talks about finding a deep core within where you can observe your thoughts and feelings and not be tossed around by them or caught up in them. I really loved this book, it made me miss my psychology classes oh so much. Yes, it's true, this book may be a little dense for people not fascinated by the brain/behavior link. It requires concentration, focus and attention to get through and isn't a breezy read. However, Dr. Siegel does write in a way that is understandable and easier to follow than other brain-based books I read. He sprinkles his chapters liberally with analogies, some pictures, acronyms and vignettes to help the reader understand the abstract concepts. Part One focuses mainly on the brain and neurology 101. Part Two is actual experiences with his therapy clients, the problems they came in with and how applying his theory involving "Mindsight" these patients were able to change their minds and way of thinking and were much happier as a result. He talks about mood swings, OCD, couples therapy, overcoming your past, overcoming trauma and even developing the lesser used half of your brain to enjoy all aspects of life more fully. It's definitely inspiring to hear the problems and then after consistent sessions see how his clients are helped, although I do wish there had been a bit more specific techniques on how to strengthen your mind. He recommends writing, meditating, exercise and a regular sleep schedule, which I try to do now anyway. Since more specific steps were lacking, it kind of made me feel like I wanted to sign up for some therapy with this guy to help me become more responsive to life, not reactive. I hope to adhere more thoroughly to all the ideas in this book because the results he describes are so awesome and empowering. I definitely could read it again and continue to try everyday to apply these principles into my life.

My favorite quotes-many sections in the book! ...more
5

Mar 10, 2012

*Pieces of mind integrated into peace of mind,*

Only a (highly human) genius like Daniel Siegel could write such a masterpiece that magically transforms the complex science of interpersonal neurobiology into an understandable,compelling, fascinating, and exciting read. He beautifully weaves the concept of mindsight--the process that enables us to monitor and modify the flow of energy and information in our brains so we can achieve the ability to objectively look inward to our subjective internal *Pieces of mind integrated into peace of mind,*

Only a (highly human) genius like Daniel Siegel could write such a masterpiece that magically transforms the complex science of interpersonal neurobiology into an understandable,compelling, fascinating, and exciting read. He beautifully weaves the concept of mindsight--the process that enables us to monitor and modify the flow of energy and information in our brains so we can achieve the ability to objectively look inward to our subjective internal world--into the journey of creating healthy, stable, compassionate, and flexible relationships with the self and others. He provides illuminating guidance for this literally mind-altering journey via (clearly explained) emerging neuroscience research, clever acronyms/metaphors/models/illustrations, fascinating case studies, (at times humbling) personal experiences, mindfulness techniques, spiritual wisdom, and gracefully written prose. Siegel convincingly conveys how integrating the "pieces of the mind" (i.e., consciousness, horizontal, vertical, memory, narrative, state, interpersonal, and temporal domains) ultimately results in enhanced peace of mind, fulfilling reciprocal relationships, and the ability to feel connected to a much larger whole. _Mindsight_ clearly shows how "seeing the mind can enhance our individual and collective lives."

Your brain will never be the same after fully integrating the literally mind-altering concepts of _Mindsight_. ...more
4

Aug 21, 2010

Yet another book that supports the importance of meditation, or as I like to call it now, Self-directed-intentional-authorship. Good read, I especially enjoyed hearing all the success stories of people who managed to overcome life-long mental illnesses by using the power of their focused attention.

Too much of our lives appears to be fear-based-living which with its gradual grinding and gnawing saps the positive energy of our lives. It isn't surprising that this is the case, it is how we have Yet another book that supports the importance of meditation, or as I like to call it now, Self-directed-intentional-authorship. Good read, I especially enjoyed hearing all the success stories of people who managed to overcome life-long mental illnesses by using the power of their focused attention.

Too much of our lives appears to be fear-based-living which with its gradual grinding and gnawing saps the positive energy of our lives. It isn't surprising that this is the case, it is how we have survived as humans for thousands of years. Unfortunately most of that fear is simply psychological dead-weight that we continue to lug around. The author contends that it is possible to free ourselves of that through careful and focused meditation geared towards self-awareness. Feeling the emotions but not identifying with them, letting them wash over us like the waves of the sea.

To resolve unhealed issues of our past we have to develop a coherent narrative of our lives that makes sense to us. That is part of how we move on and get over the past.

So many good ideas from this book, I wish I could just perfectly remember them all.

This book has many fascinating ideas and for some odd reason I keep finding myself with books like this on my shelf without me really seeking them out. hmmm..... ...more
3

Oct 12, 2015

This book is much more about neurology than your typical self-help book. I enjoyed immensely the first part, which presents the advancement in neuroscience and theory of the mind. The second part focuses on a number of psychotherapy study cases and the use of mindfulness in their treatment to leverage neuroplasticity. I felt that this second part, while interesting, was not very helpful in practice. 3.5 stars
5

Dec 08, 2009

An accessable but rigorously researched take on neuroplasticity, with useful approaches to how mindfulness can assist in overcoming a range of what are usually considered mental illnesses only treatable with medication. A unique and clear approach to the question of what is mind and what is brain, incorporating relationships into the concept of what it is to be human, and the importance of attachment in infancy, and how issues with attachment can be addressed in adulthood.

A positive and An accessable but rigorously researched take on neuroplasticity, with useful approaches to how mindfulness can assist in overcoming a range of what are usually considered mental illnesses only treatable with medication. A unique and clear approach to the question of what is mind and what is brain, incorporating relationships into the concept of what it is to be human, and the importance of attachment in infancy, and how issues with attachment can be addressed in adulthood.

A positive and inspirational contribution to the applications of the neurobiology of brain plasticity in psychotherapy and personal fulfillment in life.Not just a good read, but an essential desktop reference for anyone working in mental health who is interested in instilling hope in clients who may have doubts of their ability to transcend the "chemical imbalence" in the brain version of mental illness, or parents of young people with developmental disabilities. His "holy trinity" of brain, mind, and relationships as what makes us human places Dan Seigal as a paradigm shifter extrordinaire. Worth reading over and over IMHO. If you know the value of meditation but have trouble finding the self-discipline, this book will reingnite your motivation!

The title may be misleading- The actual title of the edition I read was "Mindsight- change your brain and your life" and there were a couple of other titles in the Goodreads list which just read "Mindsight". I was fortunate to hear Dan Seigal speak at the Mind and it's potential conference in Sydney Nov 2009, and picked up a signed copy. ...more
4

Jun 14, 2010

I really enjoyed this book. It basically makes the case that a lot of problems people go to counseling for can be addressed by a form of mindfulness meditation. It describes how the brain drives behavior, and then presents a series of case studies detailing ways a brain can drive negative or destructive behavior. And then illustrates how each patient was able to use practised focused attention to train the brain out of bad habits, rewiring it to work better.

I share some of the problems I really enjoyed this book. It basically makes the case that a lot of problems people go to counseling for can be addressed by a form of mindfulness meditation. It describes how the brain drives behavior, and then presents a series of case studies detailing ways a brain can drive negative or destructive behavior. And then illustrates how each patient was able to use practised focused attention to train the brain out of bad habits, rewiring it to work better.

I share some of the problems presented in his case studies, and it was very helpful to see that other people share my exact problems and it is simply the result of parts of the brain not operating in balance. I also find the idea that i can retrain my brain into healthier patterns. By indulging in what is more or less a form of mindful meditation. It's still hard work, but it gave me hope that i can retrain myself into better modes of being.

The only thing i didn't like is it seemed a little light on techniques and helpful things to practice. It taught me a lot about what's wrong, but less about how to fix it. Also, he's invented the buzzword "mindsight" and insists on using it constantly in hopes it will catch on.

Recommended if you suffer from depression, anxiety or other emotional disconnects, although maybe as a library rental. ...more
4

Jan 21, 2011

This book was really interesting to me in light of my current interest in substance dualism; the idea that we have a soul that is immaterial and yet can influence the brain, while being influence by the physical itself. Siegel is quite obviously a scientific naturalist, yet he is unlike many others in that he is willing to live with the mystery that the mind is non-physical, and this was fascinating to me. Mind, in his mind of course is just the magical result of evolution, and as of yet it This book was really interesting to me in light of my current interest in substance dualism; the idea that we have a soul that is immaterial and yet can influence the brain, while being influence by the physical itself. Siegel is quite obviously a scientific naturalist, yet he is unlike many others in that he is willing to live with the mystery that the mind is non-physical, and this was fascinating to me. Mind, in his mind of course is just the magical result of evolution, and as of yet it can't really be understood or explained scientifically, but its reality is obvious; this consciousness, this ability to think about thinking, to have beliefs, freewill and volition is commonsense. The main idea of the book is we need mind sight, the ability to be an observer of the happenings within our brain. The low road as he calls it, is influence by desires, personality, trauma, memories and evolutionary factors of fight, flight and freeze among many other things will cause us to do extremely inappropriate and irrational things if we let it have its way. But since we are not only our brain, we can in essence take a step back and observe that what is happening inside of us is just mere happenings in parts of our brain, that most often are influenced by our childhood and genes. The emotions and irrational fear or self-destructive tendencies are not our identity, these things can be changed. And through mindfulness we can rewire our brain. He never calls the mind our soul, which is important since I am sure he wants to remain a respected academic, yet the theist could easy reference this book in making a cause for a soul that fills the body, and that the only reasonable explanation for this non-physical mind is A MIND, the Spirit who fills the universe. For how can non-thinking materiel create a non-phyiscal mind through the process of evolution?

After Siegel writes about the mind, the rest of the book is filled with examples of psychoanalysis with his patients. With each person he discovers the childhood events that has resulted in their current issues and helps the patient by getting them to understand that what they are feeling is located in the brain and that the brain can be rewired through mindful effort. Recognizing whats happening inside and the why its happening, takes a lot of the wind out of the sails. I like that he never wanted the patients to blame other or see themselves as victims, but wants to help them to rise above it through mindsight. But yeah, I am making a mess of this review, I think I ought to stop. ...more
5

Jul 05, 2017

Dan Siegel's approach to psychotherapy seems to be sound, rooted in the scientific understanding of brain functioning and its changes in response to the activites of daily life and deliberate practice. Speaking of practices, I haven't much new stuff in the book, but Dan's explanation of practice's mechanics and long-term effects were very good. I was inspired by an example of a man who went into therapy being 92 years old and who could significantly improve the quality of his and his wife's Dan Siegel's approach to psychotherapy seems to be sound, rooted in the scientific understanding of brain functioning and its changes in response to the activites of daily life and deliberate practice. Speaking of practices, I haven't much new stuff in the book, but Dan's explanation of practice's mechanics and long-term effects were very good. I was inspired by an example of a man who went into therapy being 92 years old and who could significantly improve the quality of his and his wife's lives. It's never too late to grow! ...more
5

Sep 18, 2018

Review/Personal insights ahead: I’ll be up front. This was a very hard book for me to read. I long ago decided, arbitrarily and with the mind of a teenager and then a (unintentionally) delusional adult that my past, including my childhood, through college, had absolutely no bearing on my current life, thought, mood, proclivities, etcetera.

This seems immensely foolish. Yet even a short time ago I would have fought tooth and nail to defend that belief. (Just ask my wife). This began to change Review/Personal insights ahead: I’ll be up front. This was a very hard book for me to read. I long ago decided, arbitrarily and with the mind of a teenager and then a (unintentionally) delusional adult that my past, including my childhood, through college, had absolutely no bearing on my current life, thought, mood, proclivities, etcetera.

This seems immensely foolish. Yet even a short time ago I would have fought tooth and nail to defend that belief. (Just ask my wife). This began to change after I read Hillbilly Elegy by J. D. Vance. That opened the door, the tiniest crack, to the idea that maybe, just maybe, something hadn’t been ‘normal’ or ‘average’ about my life. Ironically, it wasn’t in nursing school, (where low socioeconomic status seemed to be a prime predictor of social, substance abuse, crime, health problems and psychological problems) where I learned this. It was through more books like ‘The Deepest Well’ by Nadine Harris, MD, and now by this book, Mindsight, by Daniel Siegel.

I admit body scanning, insight meditation, attachment theories, and mindfulness sound dreadfully ‘new age’ to me, but given how DEEPLY UNSETTLING these books are to me, if nothing else, is opening my eyes to where I might have been going wrong all these years.

Thank you for those of you who prodded, poked, or cajoled me into reading more about this. I think I need to, and I think I’m convincing myself that I need to even though I have an IMMENSE unconscious aversion to reading about it. ...more
4

Feb 01, 2018

The author defines Mindsight as "...a process that enables us to monitor and modify the flow of energy and information within the Triangle of Well-Being." (The triangle being composed of Mind, Brain and Relationships.)

So thinking about thinking. Mind you, we already have metacognition, introspection, self-awareness, and Blue Hat Thinking (from DeBono's Six Thinking Hats. http://www.debonogroup.com/six_thinki... ) and probably a dozen others. But if "mindsight" works better for you, then great. The author defines Mindsight as "...a process that enables us to monitor and modify the flow of energy and information within the Triangle of Well-Being." (The triangle being composed of Mind, Brain and Relationships.)

So thinking about thinking. Mind you, we already have metacognition, introspection, self-awareness, and Blue Hat Thinking (from DeBono's Six Thinking Hats. http://www.debonogroup.com/six_thinki... ) and probably a dozen others. But if "mindsight" works better for you, then great. It is short and easy to remember.

The book is packed with fascinating case studies and approaches to using mindsight as a psychotherapy tool. I liked the emphasis on integration. Many people seek to eliminate psychological problems, but Mindsight works to come to terms with the problem, recognize why the brain works that way in the first place, and learn how to accept and work with the brain instead of against it. Very holistic thinking. Very Tao. And from the case studies in this book, very effective.

The focus is on neural integration, which relies on neuroplasticity, the ability of the brain to adjust itself. There's some mentions of science and studies without too much reliance on terminology. Very accessible, and while the book touts "personal transformation" I'd say it's more useful to my therapist friends. For those seeking personal transformation, start with meditation and learning to control your own awareness. If you aren't there yet, then Mindsight is best left to the person in the chair and not the person on the couch.

Of course there's an entire cult built around this, with online courses and "immersion weekends." Have fun with that. ...more
2

Jan 18, 2017

The first half of this book is largely theory, which was a little dry but interesting. The back half is then basically case studies used as examples to prove his theories. However, it started to feel self-indulgent pretty quickly, and more like he wanted to show off what he'd accomplished than like he was demonstrating the science of it. I have a hunch that the science in this is outdated as well, since he focuses heavily on left brain vs right brain theories, but I'm not a psychologist so I The first half of this book is largely theory, which was a little dry but interesting. The back half is then basically case studies used as examples to prove his theories. However, it started to feel self-indulgent pretty quickly, and more like he wanted to show off what he'd accomplished than like he was demonstrating the science of it. I have a hunch that the science in this is outdated as well, since he focuses heavily on left brain vs right brain theories, but I'm not a psychologist so I can't be too confident in that statement. Overall left me feeling very meh. Had some interesting content, but was somewhat dry and self-indulgent. ...more
3

Jun 28, 2014

It's interesting in theory, but it ended up being so-so. Good old Daniel is a psychiatrist who uses mindfulness to treat all sorts of mental illnesses, from PTSD to OCD to emotional stuntedness... It's great to see Western docs digging into the science of mindfulness, but I like Jon Kabat-Zinn's books about mediation better, and other books about psychology (Predictably Irrational or Thinking: Fast and Slow) are more compelling. So, it was a nice mix of psychology AND mindfulness, but other It's interesting in theory, but it ended up being so-so. Good old Daniel is a psychiatrist who uses mindfulness to treat all sorts of mental illnesses, from PTSD to OCD to emotional stuntedness... It's great to see Western docs digging into the science of mindfulness, but I like Jon Kabat-Zinn's books about mediation better, and other books about psychology (Predictably Irrational or Thinking: Fast and Slow) are more compelling. So, it was a nice mix of psychology AND mindfulness, but other books about those independent topics were more interesting. ...more
4

Jun 03, 2017

The book was pretty clinical, but totally fascinating. Siegel talks about how he helped a variety of his patients learn to essentially rewire their brains in a more healthy way. The theory is that you do a lot of things that are unhealthy because your brain is aware of things your conscience self is not. It's sort of freud for the neuroscience-y world we're in.
5

Jan 16, 2014

Recommended by the psychologist teaching the healing from trauma seminar I am taking. This book is useful and insightful, and offers great ways of explaining the mind to clients. Good suggestions for healing as well. It was a library book but will have to buy a copy!
0

Nov 19, 2018

Neurons that fire together, wire together.

This is far beyond my typical reading. I'm not rating it, because I don't even know how to. A random reference to it stimulated my interest. Two things attracted my attention: neuroplasticity and trauma-induced memory loss.

About neuroplasticity? Factors that enhance changing the channels or canals of brain activity, I learned, are diet, sleep, focused attention, aerobic exercise, novelty, and emotional arousal.

Dr. Siegel is a pioneer in "Interpersonal Neurons that fire together, wire together.

This is far beyond my typical reading. I'm not rating it, because I don't even know how to. A random reference to it stimulated my interest. Two things attracted my attention: neuroplasticity and trauma-induced memory loss.

About neuroplasticity? Factors that enhance changing the channels or canals of brain activity, I learned, are diet, sleep, focused attention, aerobic exercise, novelty, and emotional arousal.

Dr. Siegel is a pioneer in "Interpersonal Neurobiology." I guess that's a thing. Although Siegel used case histories and employed a really cool model of the brain using a folded hand to show how the cortex is folded over the limbic areas, I struggled with the esoteric nature of the book.

But this gripped my musical sensibilities. When Siegel teaches, he uses an exercise called The Complexity Choir. A group of random volunteers comes forward and is asked to sing, a capella, three ways.

1. Sing the same note at the same time. Dull and boring, but it illustrates how their voices are linked.
2. Covering their ears, each launches into any song. The cacophony and chaos illustrates differentiation.
3. Choose a song, sing together, harmonize freely. The glory of the blending voices illustrates integration at its acoustic best.

I learned that stress hormones can be memory-blocking. This intrigued me because there are a few chapters of my childhoold memories after the sudden death of my mom that remain blank pages. When families do not offer a place for children to express their feelings and recall what happened after an overwhelming event, their implicit-only memories remain in dis-integrated from and they have no way to make sense of their experience. 161

I'm not sure how to process Siegel's beliefs in the context of my own belief system (Creator-made, Creator-involved). They seem to have the thinnest line of overlap. But I like the challenge of reading outside the canon, so to speak.

The best chapter title I've read in a long time: The Crepes of Wrath



...more
5

Dec 04, 2017

This book took a long time to read. A really long time.... It was hard to put down and hard to move through all at the same time. It was hard to move through because there were so many stories and anecdotes, so many strategies and things to look into further, that I had to keep going away to come back. I am trying to restore some old neural pathways that are withering away because our brain remaps itself to how we do things - I'm reading proper paper books again instead of on my tablet (that's This book took a long time to read. A really long time.... It was hard to put down and hard to move through all at the same time. It was hard to move through because there were so many stories and anecdotes, so many strategies and things to look into further, that I had to keep going away to come back. I am trying to restore some old neural pathways that are withering away because our brain remaps itself to how we do things - I'm reading proper paper books again instead of on my tablet (that's not true - I'm using a device with e-paper but it's as close to a paper book as my nerdy side will allow me to get) and I'm trying not to google stuff while I read, highlight passages and see what other people are noting down in sections etc. It's a real challenge in the modern world as we are so connected. This book explains how the brain works, what parts do what and why we do the things we do. It really takes all the stuff I have learnt in personality profiles, HBDIs and other tests and makes me go.... ohhhhhhh! Now I get it. It's the why to the how. It's how our neurons fire and who they fire with, it's the primitive brain and how it interacts with our higher order brain. It's helped me think about responding to situations and not to react. I'm excited to have finished this book because I now get to slide back into a trashy book, but I'm excited to have read it. It's an amazing piece that will neatly slot into any number of other reading I've done on behaviour because this was about the brain. Loved it! ...more
5

Apr 07, 2013

Life muse and respected author, Dr. Daniel J. Siegel, has added another gem to his rich collection of heplful personal and family guides for the serious student of brain and relationship transformation. Written thoughtfully to speak to a broad audience, I found this nonfictional work to be gentle yet mesmerizing.

After 4 introductory and explanatory chapters, Dr. Siegel gets to the brillant framework of his vision and introduces eight domains of integration. Each domain represents an imbalance of Life muse and respected author, Dr. Daniel J. Siegel, has added another gem to his rich collection of heplful personal and family guides for the serious student of brain and relationship transformation. Written thoughtfully to speak to a broad audience, I found this nonfictional work to be gentle yet mesmerizing.

After 4 introductory and explanatory chapters, Dr. Siegel gets to the brillant framework of his vision and introduces eight domains of integration. Each domain represents an imbalance of the extended nervous system that can be improved by psychotherapy or other reparative relationships. This wonderful metaphor fits my personal strength-based, solution-focused perspective of "mental illness" and leaves the less helpful, problem focused and pathogolizing ideas in the dust. He then goes on to develop and highlight each domain with excellent research evidence, examples and case presentations. Weaving in newer ideas of neuroplasticity , mindfulness, and interconnectedness, the author skillfully crafts many of the old concepts with newer proactive ways to reshape the brain using the mind and body.

A majority of the book starts at the level of individual psychology, however, I appreciate Dr. Siegel's efforts to then expand the system and bring in family or other important relationships into almost every case presentation. By chapter eleven, the author finally dives head on into the rich possibilites of systemic psychotherapy with a couple's case discussion.

If neuroanatomy is not a major interest, you may want to skip the "Minding the Brain" section of chapter one, and refer to it later as a reference guide. Like the deeper sections of the brain that contain peace and tranquility, I would encourage you to dive slower and carefully into this book (and possibly at your own pace and order) to enjoy the many levels of transformation that this book promises and delivers. Like great music, this explanation of mindsight fulfills its promise to speak to each listener in their own language and with their own unique cadence. ...more
4

Jul 29, 2011

Siegel provides an excellent clinical guide for any aspiring therapist. Using case examples he weaves the latest in neuroscience into an easy to read manual, which is well organized and inspiring. Siegel makes complex systems theory remarkably easy to understand and he makes neuroanatomy come alive with his lucid writing style and simple metaphors. Siegel's case examples are charming and he includes anecdotes from his own life with good effect. Siegel's "domains of integration" are logical and Siegel provides an excellent clinical guide for any aspiring therapist. Using case examples he weaves the latest in neuroscience into an easy to read manual, which is well organized and inspiring. Siegel makes complex systems theory remarkably easy to understand and he makes neuroanatomy come alive with his lucid writing style and simple metaphors. Siegel's case examples are charming and he includes anecdotes from his own life with good effect. Siegel's "domains of integration" are logical and resonate with my clinical and personal experience. There is wisdom to the concepts he presents that is badly needed in the field of psychiatry. Siegel's use of meditative practice may seem new age and at times Siegel's lucid style seems almost deceptively simple. Don't be deceived, Siegel's work translates the latest in neuroscience and research on meditative practice into a practical clinical guide. I highly recommend this book. Time to bone up on my mindfulness techniques. Anyone know a good yogi? ...more
5

May 29, 2012

This is a book I will read every year for the rest of my life. It focuses in on what happens in the brain when we are "irritated" and in our "fear" brains and what to do to get back to using our prefrontel cortex. One of the tips that I keep seeing over and over is mindfulness based stress reduction. This is the best book on the brain I have read this year!
5

Apr 25, 2013

Fascinating read if you like to have a deeper view into mind and the brain. Siegel is one of the most renowned experts in the topic and blends his scientific views with the wisdom of the east beautifully.
5

Jun 05, 2015

Blew the doors off the barn. Love this book. My only complaint is that there weren't more explicit step by step instructions about how to DO it. But then, maybe it's there, I'm just impatient.
5

Dec 31, 2012

Excellent. This book will help you to understand how your brain actually works and how to "tame" it when it tends toward the irrational. Will transform how you see yourself and your relationships.

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