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Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation

4.1  ·  Rating Details ·  4,719 Ratings  ·  272 Reviews
Foreword by Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence.

This groundbreaking book, from one of the global innovators in the integration of brain science with psychotherapy, offers an extraordinary guide to the practice of “mindsight,” the potent skill that is the basis for both emotional and social intelligence. From anxiety to depression and feelings of shame and inad
ebook, 236 pages
Published January 12th 2010 by Bantam (first published January 1st 2009)
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Jan 21, 2012 Stephanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 29, 2015 Amir rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
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 fel
Erika RS
Jun 01, 2012 Erika RS rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 12, 2010 Annie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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  ·  review of another edition
*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
Dec 08, 2009 Magi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 14, 2010 James rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 28, 2014 Daniel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Jeanine Marie Swenson
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
May 29, 2012 Thea rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 16, 2014 Jenifer Jacobs rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!
Apr 25, 2013 Homy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 11, 2012 Karin Yeung rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Christopher Daradics
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.
Jenny Phillips
Jun 17, 2012 Jenny Phillips rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A powerful, readable and instructive guide to the world of meditation, mindfulness, and the brain!
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 ...more
Taylor Hansen
Jun 30, 2013 Taylor Hansen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Sep 11, 2016 Andrea rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Super cool. There is so much interesting knowledge about our brains in this book- from our reactions to trauma and attachment, to meditation and mindful awareness. There are a lot parallels with Brene Brown's Rising Strong book. I'm pretty sure he mentioned something about how using 'Mindsight' can lead to peace for all mankind. Bringing us out of fear and into strength and acceptance.
Steven Waters
Mar 26, 2011 Steven Waters rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 29, 2011 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Branden Barnett
Jan 17, 2011 Branden Barnett rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
amazing cutting-edge lit review on mindfulness and neuroplasticity. all counselors read now!
Ann Whelan
Sep 17, 2016 Ann Whelan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book and that learned a lot about applying the psychology of mindfulness to every day problems.
Dec 20, 2016 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fascinating and inspiring book about how patterns in our brains can be reshaped by conscious mindfulness and body-awareness work as an adult. The book is based in neuroscience and the first part is quite technical. The second part goes through a number of different case studies, describing amazing results for people with depression, mental illness, anger, OCD, and other patterns that prevent them from reaching their full potential.

The entire thing was really interesting, but I was particularl
Feb 11, 2017 Justin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: psychology
Siegel, psychiatrist and leading proponent of "Interpersonal Neurobiology," presents the concept of mindsight, the ability to focus our attention to our own mental processes, to achieve greater awareness and integrate different parts together. Essentially it's like the core of therapeutic change, associated with mindfulness and being intentional rather than being swept up by emotions and being on autopilot. If you're familiar with these themes of therapy and psychology, the cool thing about this ...more
Jan 17, 2017 Utleydd rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a great introduction into what is going on between your brain, mind and environment. Even more it offers stories and practices that shed light on the possibilities and potential of taking advantage of neural plasticity through the shaping of our attention.
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  • The Polyvagal Theory: Neurophysiological Foundations of Emotions, Attachment, Communication, and Self-regulation
  • Being a Brain-Wise Therapist: A Practical Guide to Interpersonal Neurobiology
  • The Attention Revolution: Unlocking the Power of the Focused Mind
  • The Emotional Life of Your Brain: How Its Unique Patterns Affect the Way You Think, Feel, and Live--and How You Can Change Them
  • The Neuroscience of Human Relationships: Attachment And the Developing Social Brain
  • Healing Trauma: Attachment, Mind, Body and Brain
  • Trauma and the Body: A Sensorimotor Approach to Psychotherapy
  • Fully Present: The Science, Art, and Practice of Mindfulness
  • Born for Love: Why Empathy Is Essential--and Endangered
  • Rewire Your Brain: Think Your Way to a Better Life
  • The Sanity We Are Born With: A Buddhist Approach to Psychology
  • Becoming Attached: First Relationships and How They Shape Our Capacity to Love
  • Attachment in Psychotherapy
  • Attachment-Focused Parenting: Effective Strategies to Care for Children
  • Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma: The Innate Capacity to Transform Overwhelming Experiences
  • Succeed: How We Can Reach Our Goals
  • Buddha's Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom
  • Why Love Matters: How Affection Shapes a Baby's Brain
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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“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
“Loss of someone we love cannot be adequately expressed with words. Grappling with loss, struggling with disconnection and despair, fills us with a sense of anguish and actual pain. Indeed, the parts of our brain that process physical pain overlap with the neural centers that record social ruptures and rejection. Loss rips us apart.” 3 likes
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