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Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain
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Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  2,275 ratings  ·  262 reviews
In this groundbreaking book, the bestselling author of *Parenting from the Inside Out* and *The Whole-Brain Child* shows parents how to turn one of the most challenging developmental periods in their children's lives into one of the most rewarding. Between the ages of 12 and 24, the brain changes in important and often maddening ways. It's no wonder that many parents appro ...more
Kindle Edition, 336 pages
Published January 7th 2014 by Tarcher (first published December 26th 2013)
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Daniel Goleman
Jan 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents, educators, psychologists, therapists, counselors
The myths about the teen brain are not just wrong, but destructive. We've heard for decades about the downsides of the teen years -- the risks taken, impulsivity and the like. Recent brain research has pegged some of this to a peculiarity in brain growth during those years: The growth of circuitry for impulse and pleasure outpaces that for inhibiting those impulses, which do not catch up until the early 20s.

But Dr. Siegel takes that same data and puts a positive spin on what this means for the t
Rob Slaven
Firstly and as usual, I received this book for the ripe sum of nothing via a giveaway, this time from Shelf Awareness. Despite that kind consideration from all involved my candid opinions follow below. To extend the preamble a bit, this book wasn't quite what I expected. Because of that I'm going to keep the value judgments to a minimum and instead just try to describe what the book tries to be. It's up to you whether it's what you want to be reading or not. I just make with the descriptions.

There were some interesting things in the book, but I had a few problems with it.
First, the title was wrong. This book dealt primarily with how adults can train their brains to be younger - and not about the teenage brain, which was secondary or even perhaps tertiary. Second, the way this book was written reminded me of a 1980's style. The author loved creating acronyms for everything and describing his ideas based on an alliteration of words. This best descriptions don't always rhyme or begin w
Morgan Blackledge
Aug 27, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm kind of a Danieal Siegel fan boy. I am unapologetic about this. His work is one of the major factors behind my decision to become a mental health clinician. I think he's a master communicator/educator/popularizer of these hitherto esoteric and complicated ideas i.e. the mind, the brain, mental health, mindfulness etc. I loved the Mindfull Brain and Mindsight and (despite the fact that some of this book is fruity as hell) I think this may be my favorite so far.

People criticize Daniel Siegel
Mar 09, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The tag line for this book is "the Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain". Thus I expected some profound insights on adolescence. And yes, to be fair, the author did talk about teen behavior and how the brain functions. But I felt that the bulk of this book was made up of "mind sight" exercises - things like breathing techniques, reflection, and other stuff that my teen will never do. If this book had been labeled as such - meditation and breathing exercises for teens, or something like that, m ...more
Britt warren
Sep 27, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
I received this book through a giveaway on GoodReads. Within the first few pages I was already realizing that my way of thinking was being challenged and changed. This book takes a positive look on the changes of a 'teen brain' but isn't restricted for only that age group, but for adults as well. This is not just a book for parents of teens but anyone who is curious about the changes in the brain and how to deal with them.
Mar 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015-reads
i enjoyed this book despite the fact that i cannot stand the way daniel siegel writes. he means well, i know he does--his earnestness and enthusiasm are in boldface all over every page. but i came to this book looking for information, not a new best friend, so at times it was incredibly difficult to get through. still, there's a lot of good stuff in this book, which came across to me as a kind of one-stop compilation of the latest good science on neurology, brain development, mindfulness, psycho ...more
Molly Octopus
Jan 03, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
"The Teenage Brain for Dummies"
I personally was hoping for a science and research-heavy book about adolescent development and brain changes. Maybe that was my mistake, because this book is definitely not any of that. No, it's like a bad self-help book for teens/parents. Definitely not worth the read.
Apr 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The discussion of the physiological changes in the brain during this period of growth (12-24) was fascinating and I appreciated the reframing of a negative mindset about adolescence. However, the book as a whole tends to be a bit repetitive and I’m not sure how willing an adolescent/teen is going to be to engage in the mindful exercises provided.
Janet Eshenroder
Based on research into actual brain changes, this book defines teenage years as between ages 12-24. This book was written so it could be read by either teenagers or their parents. While somewhat simplified for the benefit of younger readers, the book presents ideas that are helpful to any person (even senior citizens).

I heard Daniel Siegel being interviewed on NPR and instantly ordered a book for myself and one for our daughter-in-law. My husband is always interested in learning more about brai
Pooja Goyal
Brainstorm is a book that deals with a very pertinent topic- understanding adolescent brain. I had picked up the book hoping it would shed light on research in the area of neuroscience of adolescent brain. It did that to certain extent but it tried to do much more and lost the plot. There were nuggets of good information and some strong case studies but there was way too much repetition and meandering thoughts which made it very difficult to get through the book. Particularly irritating were the ...more
Jun 22, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: differences
An attempt to expand on his previous works, by bringing mindfulness to adolescence. The book fails to choose if it will focus on the adolescent or the parent who is trying to help them, and switches back and forth, without good effect. The parent focused section just tells you to analyze your own up-bringing and resolve your issues. The examples of clients in therapy provided were so mild they don't really seem like they needed therapy. It took me forever to get through because I was determined, ...more
Talk about bait-and-switch. I thought that this was a neuroscience book; it was rather a reminiscence on mindfulness that read like a Buddhist self-help book with some science sprinkled throughout. This is not to say that it had no redeeming qualities; rather, such qualities should have taken up most of the book.

As a teacher, I was curious about adolescent development and motivation. Siegel mentions, for example, how pitching anti-smoking campaigns as resistance against brainwashing corporation
Feb 04, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The idea was interesting, to observe the traits of adolescence from the perspective of the brain. After finishing the book, I think I do a little more things about teens, but I do not know whether it was worth the whole time it took me to read it.

The writer has many years of experience working with adolescents and shows passion about his profession and field of studies.

Honestly speaking the book feels like an almost desperate attempt from the author to popularize his ideas and methods
Ugh. I read plenty of books for adults as a teen and still read YA fiction, so I didn't think I would have a problem with a book directed at both adolescents and their parents.... but I did not have the patience for a book that provides labored definitions of basic terms like ambivalence and empathy. I also loathed the illustrations, which were not adolescent but downright juvenile. I want to understand more about adolescence and the teenage brain, but I'm not sufficiently motivated enough to wa ...more
Susan Bazzett-Griffith
I received this book in a GoodReads Giveaway; this was a galley copy.

I found this book informative, but dry. I enjoyed the sections about how to use the teenage mind's propensity for pleasure and new things in a positive way very enlightening, and was definitely one of the highlights of the book. The beginning I found very drawn out, but it picks up pace and becomes less repetitive in the later chapters. I think Siegel is at his best when explaining the neurology and science behind adolescent b
Gabrielle Taylor
Appreciated the scientific basis for teenage decision-making and behavior. Also, enjoyed the positive perspective and explanation of unique gifts that teenagers possess at this time of life.
155.5 SIE All
PLAYER 155.5 SIE All
My review: Basically I read twice, simply because before I finished it I had to return back to library. After I got it from library, I simply feel I could not recall anytime I remember. So I reread it again. Basically I find the main theme of this is how to integrate your brain.

p1 Adolescence 12 -24 years old.
p2 one myth that raging hormones cause teenagers to "go mad" or "lose their minds". That's simply false. primarily the result of changes in deve
Dec 03, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, parenting
"What were you thinking!" is a phrase I repeat often as my son approaches adolescence. After reading Brainstorm, I realize his typical answer of "I don't know" is probably correct. If this knowledge helps our relationship (because I'll try not to roll my eyes and sigh in exasperation), Siegel has accomplished one of his goals.

He also has convinced me to focus on the positive aspects of adolescence and try to nurture my teen's brain development (and, along the way, my own). The book is a refreshi
Jan 27, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I received a copy of Brainstorm from Goodreads First Reads.

Brainstorm was more spiritual than I expected. I was looking forward to concrete examples of how to get my future kids in shape for the world, and I got breathing and meditation exercises instead. As a practicing psychiatrist, Siegel is very knowledgeable on the topic of adolescence, and it’s his clinical stories that I found most interesting; however, this book reads more like a textbook than anything else, and even though Siegel wrote
Quinn Cummings
Jan 04, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think it's a tremendously important book for parents of teens and preteens to read and a pretty compelling read even if you don't have skin the game, parenting-wise. Dr. Siegel walks the reader through the "Whys" of the adolescent brain, not to mention the "Huhs?" and the "CAN YOU PLEASE STOP DOING THAT YOU ARE MAKING ME INSANES" (Sorry; they can't). The science is up to date and chewy but not overwhelming and it will give the reader a real sympathy and understanding for the degree to which ad ...more
Mar 02, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Brainstorm was a fascinating new read about the mind. As a School Counselor, I found the book to be very well delineated for when one might need a quick reference OR have an hour or two to delve into the inter-workings of any informative title. Although some of the book reiterated what we already know (understanding vs. telling/demanding), it gave me a scientific perspective on brain growth as well that I did not receive in Graduate School. I found Mr. Siegel's research to be relatable and reada ...more
Tobin Elliott
This book was recommended to me to help me get some better insight into the teenage mind, and in that regard, it did its job well. In fact, the third part of the book was likely the most helpful. Like other reviews, I found it took a while to actually get to the meat of the issues, and I was hoping for a little more on what the average parent can do specifically to cope with teens going through this stage of life. The examples helped put things in perspective a bit, but on the other hand, I coul ...more
Feb 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful, wonderful book. I am reevaluating my parenting from top to bottom. I've particularly liked the discussions around attachment theory, and how that shows up. I saw so much of myself in this book. I deeply appreciation the stories which demonstrate the neuroplasticity which is, in so many ways, the essential story of this book. I've had my parenting a bit backwards, where I was focusing on fixed, and advising rather than having her Seen, Soothed, Safe, and Secure. You may find his endl ...more
Apr 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
If you ARE an adolescent, LIVE WITH an adolescent, ONCE WERE an adolescent, work with adolescents, or hope to one day nurture any adolescents, I HIGHLY recommend this book. Oh, also, if you don't fit any of the above categories, but you are a human with a brain... This book was absolutely incredible, shed a tremendous amount of light on aspects of my humanity, and, I daresay, was written in such a way that I feel reaches out to my human experience with empathy. I'll be mulling this one over for ...more
Anna Purdum
Jan 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book is extremely helpful for anyone struggling to understand why their teenager does the things they do...despite the teen's admittedly knowing better. It's biological! It details the pathophysiology of the changing teenage brain and helps you understand the why behind their impulsivity and unbreakable need for peer acceptance. It also asks you to examine your own childhood to understand any attachment flaws carried as baggage that impact your parent-child role today. It includes many mind ...more
Rachel Constanzo
I found this book to be really helpful in terms of explaining the brain, especially the first chapter. After that though, it went downhill for me. I felt that the other chapters were filled with the author saying the same thing over and over. I would still recommend this book for people who work with teens. I’ll probably incorporate things the author says in his intro and first chapter into my work. Also, if you never had heard of attachment theory before, the chapter on that would most likely b ...more
Pritesh Pawar
Aug 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The teenage and adolescent years are the most frustrating years for most of us. Neither are we kids anymore nor are we fully grown-ups.
Personally, I found this age disturbing when all of us were growing to face the real world and yet we were not ready.
Daniel has beautifully explained the psychology of a teenager and the ways to deal with it. This will be helpful for most of the parents who are facing their kids' teenage.
Zac Stojcevski
Feb 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great book for professionals as well as those seeking professional help. A great read, though there are a few flat bits of meandering prose is more than made up for by the examples and personal insights that are covered in great breadth and depth. Definitely one I pass onto my patients which creates a helpful perspective to therapy.
May 26, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
It's a good overview of brain development, particularly as it relates to the adolescent. He discusses the pros and cons of the need for exploration and experimentation that is characteristic of teens. There are some great sections on meditation and mindfulness. One thing I really liked is that he wrote the book with both adolescent readers and adult readers in mind.
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The Brain and Mind: The myths about the teenage brain 5 63 Apr 04, 2015 02:18PM  

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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

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