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Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation

4.09  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,377 Ratings  ·  249 Reviews
From a pioneer in the field of mental health comes a groundbreaking book on the healing power of "mindsight," the potent skill that is the basis for both emotional and social intelligence. Mindsight allows you to make positive changes in your brain–and in your life.

• Is there a memory that torments you, or an irrational fear you can' t shake?
• Do you sometimes become unrea
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published January 12th 2010 by Bantam (first published January 1st 2009)
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Jan 24, 2012 Stephanie rated it really liked it
Shelves: psycology, brain, 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 ba
Erika RS
Jun 01, 2012 Erika RS rated it really liked it
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 pract
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 su
Aug 01, 2011 Annie rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
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 dee ...more
Jul 17, 2016 Kiwi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 10, 2012 Deb rated it it was amazing
*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
Jun 25, 2010 James rated it really liked it
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 presente
Dec 10, 2009 Magi rated it it was amazing
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 inspira
Jun 28, 2014 Daniel rated it liked it
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 book ...more
Jeanine Marie Swenson
Apr 07, 2013 Jeanine Marie Swenson rated it it was amazing
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
John Martindale
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' ...more
May 29, 2012 Thea rated it it was amazing
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!
Jenifer Jacobs
Feb 16, 2014 Jenifer Jacobs rated it it was amazing
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!
Christopher Daradics
Jul 21, 2015 Christopher Daradics rated it it was amazing
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.
Apr 25, 2013 Homy rated it it was amazing
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.
Chuck Morris
Dec 31, 2012 Chuck Morris rated it it was amazing
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.
Karin Yeung
Apr 19, 2012 Karin Yeung rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
After reading this book, I am inspired to believe that it might be possible to rewire my own brain to be less reactive and more responsive.
Jenny Phillips
Jun 17, 2012 Jenny Phillips rated it it was amazing
A powerful, readable and instructive guide to the world of meditation, mindfulness, and the brain!
Scott Wozniak
This is a therapy book more than it's a self-improvement book. Yes, there are overlaps. But this book focuses almost entirely on stories of the therapist author helping people with deep, life-controlling issues getting to normalcy through his techniques. That's not what the summary promised.

The stories were well-written and the techniques surprisingly helpful. Many were very basic--focusing on feeling your various body parts, moving slowly from feet to head. And almost all of his patients had a
Jul 29, 2011 Michael rated it really liked it
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 r ...more
Steven Waters
Mar 26, 2011 Steven Waters rated it it was amazing
This book blends the science of neuroplasticity with mindfulness meditation -- two subjects close to my heart, brain, and mind. I'm usually most attuned to the discussions of neuroplasticity but I found myself tuning out during the sections of the book that were on this topic exclusively. This may be a function of the several other books I've read on this subject ("The Brain That Changes Itself" by Norman Doidge; "Brain Rules," by John Medina; "Spark" by John Ratey and Eric Hagerman). However, t ...more
Taylor Hansen
Jun 30, 2013 Taylor Hansen rated it really liked it
Very interesting take on what the recent advances and understanding in the field of Neuroplasticity can mean for/to the average person. It covers quite a bit of technical information about the different areas of the brain, how they function, communicate, what portion of our "mind" they are responsible for; as well as how some "malfunctions" in certain areas can lead to various bodily responses, disease, and psychological issues.The author includes a lot of stories of his own experiences as a psy ...more
Chris Gard
Jan 02, 2016 Chris Gard rated it really liked it
This is an exceptional book with a great overview of the importance of separation of emotional responses and their subsequent behaviours, and focuses on being an observer of your own instinctive internal emotional responses to daily events, and only acting through non-evaluative means. Dr Siegel heavily emphasises on the importance of separation to support integration.

I have the utmost respect for medical professionals like Dr. Siegel, who focus on mindful awareness in practise coinciding psycho
Glen Grunau
Aug 03, 2015 Glen Grunau rated it really liked it
I found that my one previous encounter with a Daniel Siegel book was a rather tedious one - so I approached his book on the neuroscience of mindfulness with some fear and trepidation. How glad I am that I decided to give him another try. Although I am not well read in this area, this has to be one of the most profound attempts to join the ancient traditions of mindfulness/contemplation with neuroscience.

Daniel Siegel has certainly taken the mental health field by storm with his unique contribut
May 27, 2015 Lesli rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book it was a little dry at times but come on its a psychology book, that often explains brain neurology how could it not be dry. Understanding brain neurology is not my strong suit, but in the beginning of the book the author mentions people who study the brain for a living don't understand it so that made it easier to wade through this book.
It was a timely book to read for me. I feeling some residual anxiety left over from my postpartum depression last year so it helped me find
Alan Livingston
On a recent routine visit to the Mayo Clinic, my oncologist recommended this book to me. We had been discussing something akin to “survivor’s guilt” in the context of my past few years. When we talked about my most recent MRI, I mentioned my recent read of “Why Dogs Love Us”. Maybe it was that book’s relationship to neuroscience that led the doctor to suggest this book. I wondered all the way through reading it why he would have recommended “Mindsight”; I never found it.

This is probably a great
Vitaliy Georgiev
Книга написана практикующим психологом и поэтому интересна историями реальных пациентов. На 3-ей истории начинаешь чувствовать себя доктором Хаусом и ставить диагнозы всем подряд.
Изложенная же автором концепция майндсайта, имхо, является попыткой брендировать набор известных практик по развитию осознанности. Так что если вы в этой теме, то вряд ли найдете эту книгу новой или впечатляющей.
Тем не менее, я благодарен автору за его труд и вдохновение. Его забота о пациентах была настолько искренней
Adam Miller
Aug 04, 2014 Adam Miller rated it it was amazing
Great book on brain science and combining the theories with counseling. Basically, Mindsight is a particular kind of "mindfulness" Siegel uses in his own practice. The skill helps to integrate thinking patterns and helps with many disorders including anxiety and depression as well as OCD, PTSD, and many other issues. He gave clear examples from his own practice and explains everything in a very easy to understand way. I would highly recommended this book for anyone interested in psychology, mind ...more
Jan 10, 2016 Olga rated it really liked it
A very thorough read about how our mind works and how its work affects all aspects of our personality and lives.

The book gives detailed information on how our brain is organized, how it functions and how it all comes together to create mindsight - a special state which allows us to be content, have meaningful relationships and be at peace with ourselves.

The first part of the book is mainly theoretical, and the other focuses on stories about various patients the author worked with over the year
Jan Höglund
Jan 08, 2016 Jan Höglund rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is about the “kind of focused attention that allows us to see the internal workings of our own minds” (p.xi). The book is based on “three fundamental principles” (p.xiv): (1) mindsight is a “learnable skill” (p.xiv), (2) developing mindsight changes “the physical structure of the brain” (p.xiv), and (3) mindsight helps “the brain achieve and maintain integration, a process by which separate elements are linked together into a working whole” (p.xv).

Daniel Siegel has come to believe that
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Daniel J. Siegel, M.D., is an internationally acclaimed author, award-winning educator, and child psychiatrist. Dr. Siegel received his medical degree from Harvard University and completed his postgraduate medical education at UCLA with training in pediatrics and child, adolescent and adult psychiatry. He is currently a clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine, where he also ...more
More about Daniel J. Siegel...

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“mental activity such as directing attention, actually shape the structure of the brain?” As we’ve seen, experience means neural firing. When neurons fire together, the genes in their nuclei—their master control centers—become activated and “express” themselves. Gene expression means that certain proteins are produced. These proteins then enable the synaptic linkages to be constructed anew or to be strengthened. Experience also stimulates the production of myelin, the fatty sheath around axons, resulting in as much as a hundredfold increase in the speed of conduction down the neuron’s length. And as we now know, experience can also stimulate neural stem cells to differentiate into wholly new neurons in the brain. This neurogenesis, along with synapse formation and myelin growth, can take place in response to experience throughout our lives. As discussed before, the capacity of the brain to change is called neuroplasticity We are now discovering how the careful focus of attention amplifies neuroplasticity by stimulating the release of neurochemicals that enhance the structural growth of synaptic linkages among the activated neurons.” 4 likes
“Mindfulness is a form of mental activity that trains the mind to become aware of awareness itself and to pay attention to one’s own intention.” 4 likes
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