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The Developing Mind: How Relationships and the Brain Interact to Shape Who We Are
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The Developing Mind: How Relationships and the Brain Interact to Shape Who We Are

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  1,455 ratings  ·  53 reviews
This book goes beyond the nature and nurture divisions that traditionally have constrained much of our thinking about development, exploring the role of interpersonal relationships in forging key connections in the brain. Daniel J. Siegel presents a groundbreaking new way of thinking about the emergence of the human mind, and the process by which each of us becomes a feeli ...more
Paperback, 1st edition, 394 pages
Published October 22nd 2001 by The Guilford Press (first published 1999)
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 ·  1,455 ratings  ·  53 reviews

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Jan 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: psychology
I first read this as part of a graduate program and found it absolutely fascinating. This is NOT one of those silly self-help books but a transformative wealth of knowledge that explains how the physical structure of the brain is altered and organized by our significant relationships.

I consider it one of the most important books I've read. It helped me deepen my insights regarding familial relationships, but it also helped me to be a more compassionate partner and friend.
Jun 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an excellent book! I came to know Daniel Siegel through the Whole-Brain Child where I was fascinated with his passion in discussing brain development. Following this, I read Mindsight and became drawn to the development of the brain even more. Having read the Whole-Brain.. and Mindsight provided excellent introduction to the more technical and in depth discussions in the Developing Mind.

The Developing Mind have helped me understand aspects of myself better (i.e. why I am the way I am).
Jun 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a very dense and challenging book but fascinating about how the brain develops in response to interpersonal interaction - even in infancy. It talks about how we connect the right brain and the left brain through making mental connections which occur as we have meaningful and attuned experiences with the significant people in our lives. The study of neurobiology is exciting because it helps us understand that responses to traumatic events - or deeply emotionally satisfying events aren't j ...more
Maureen Moriarty
Nov 26, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: those with a deep interest in EQ
As a leadership coach and trainer, I specialize in emotional intelligence. This book is a must for anyone who wants to understand the human mind and the link between our childhood upbringing, social relationships and brain science (neurobiology) with emotional intelligence (a lack of is the number one cause for career derailment for professionals). It's also important for educators and parents of very young children to understand more about how their actions (how they attend to their child's emo ...more
Feb 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Siegle is one of a handful of psychologists whose research centers on the interface between experience and mind...a functional explanation based solidly in neuroscience as to how the mind actually works, how experience shapes function. Tough sledding but well worth the effort. Quite literally a life changing book for me--opened up a whole new world I've been building on since.
Ben Lamorte
Mar 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Must read for any student of psychology, pediatrician, pre-school teacher, and serious parent. Also read Parenting from the Inside Out...

This appears to be one of the best books on the topic of child development in the modern, post-attachment theory era.
Feb 24, 2017 rated it liked it
A bit simplistic. Siegel fixates heavily on pathology, especially in self-regulation and attachment, without giving the reader much insight about how his ideas about the mind apply in a more nuanced, less extreme way. Still an illuminating and interesting read.
Daniel Coburn
Jul 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This provides a thorough introduction to Daniel Siegel's Interpersonal Neurobiology (IPNB). He defines the mind as "an embodied and relational process that regulates the flow of energy and information." Working with this definition, he includes chapters on memory, emotion, states of mind, representational processes, and self-regulation. He also includes heavy amounts of brain science and attachment theory throughout the book to highlight the role neurobiological and social variables have in shap ...more
Michael-David Sasson
Jul 23, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: trauma
The author knows a whole lot about a whole lot. I think for someone who was appropriately curious about all the things explored here this should be a 5-star book. I just was less interested in the level of detail about the internal working of the human brain. I’m glad some people are so that theories about harm and healing are connected to collective scientific understanding of human biology (among other things) but I want to leave that part to others.
Oct 18, 2018 marked it as to-keep-reference
Neuroscientists observe that an infant’s brain is especially plastic, so that the attachment pattern may be viewed as a set of information, only partially accessible, correlated with neuronal connections.

Capabilities and Happiness p.240
Jul 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
A very dense and yet interesting take on how the mind works within itself and in relationship. It combines neurobiology and attachment theory in equal measure. Dr. Siegel uses simple language to explain very complex realities and processes and although you need to be alert to figure out the book it is accessible.
Feb 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The knowledge and information is dense, but worth the effort. Object relations and attachment theories explained via neurological development. In many ways this is the book I wish I could have written.
Jun 15, 2017 rated it it was ok
Not very well written, would not recommend.
AnaMaria Rivera
Jul 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Very interesting book, although equally painful to read for the style in which it is written.
Jason Kanz
Jun 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
This is the most comprehensive of Siegel's books I've read. Really good information.
Sandra Ramos
Jan 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Takes understanding of the mind to a new level. Must read for psychologists, psychiatrists, teachers, parents, anyone who is trying to help others understand themselves and grow.
Dec 18, 2019 added it
Shelves: read-for-school
Way over my head in many ways, but had some interesting insights into attachment.
Jul 25, 2010 marked it as to-read
I have been putting off reading this book for some time, even though I felt like I needed to read it. When I began reading it for a paper I was writing, I figured I would likely only read sections of it. But I got hooked. It is a bit repetitive at times (helpful if not familiar with neuropsychology) and, as most neuropsychology is for me, boring at times. Yet, I was surprised that the majority of it was quite interesting. I also was quite taken by how many of his positions really provide some in ...more
Joy Fox
Jan 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I am a psychology graduate student and this book was used as a text book in my program for a developmental class. I must say that at first I was a little concerned over the professor's choice of material, but after I started digesting this material, I realized how brillant this book is. I have never seen anyone try to explain how brain structures create consciousness. Dr. Siegel utilizes neurobiology in a most profound way. This is a top notch book, and one I did not sell back at the end of the ...more
Aug 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
Ambitious, detailed work that blends biology, sociology, psychology, and neurology (and a couple more -ologies) to explain that the Mind is shaped by the brain (chemical and physiological responses), relationships with others, and the mind (perception and interpretation of responses and relationships). These three major systems/processes are inseparable and completely interdependent. It is a fascinating book but the material is like eating a pretty steady diet of mind spinach rather than mind gu ...more
Jan 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This is a textbook style of sorts that discusses the lifespan from the viewpoint of how relationships affect who we are. I read it in conjunction with Candace Pert's infamous Molecules of Emotion and found they went extremely well together. This is a synthesis of neurobiology that is accessible, talking about and answering questions such as why we remember certain things and don't remember others. Written in 1999 and as relevant as his 2007 "The Mindful Brain."
Nov 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing
The parenting guide I wrote(Caring and Connected Parenting: A guide to raising connected children)is based on this book This book is life-changing and I hope that it is changing the field. of psychology. I am seeing more books written about how relationships affect who we are. The actual architecture of our brains is molded by our earliest relationships- how can this be taken lightly? A MUST READ for anyone who works with people. ...more
Feb 28, 2013 rated it liked it
I had to give up on this one which I almost never do. It isn't poorly written, Dan Siegel is an extremely intelligent and insightful man. I just don't think I was prepared for what a scholastic read this was. I would say go for it if your looking for a more academic science-based read otherwise its quite dense!
Aug 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is a great book- well done and rich with information. I have to be honest that I did not read it from cover to cover mostly because it was SO info dense and a lot of it was info that I have learned in the past through coursework and other reading. It would be a great book for a class about brain development, emotion regulation and attachment.
May 08, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Very detailed information about recent studies regarding how the brain is formed in every stage of life. Everything from the mother child relationship to trauma and talk therapy potential.
The writing style has a very text book feel.
Jan 14, 2009 rated it liked it
Hard book to really get into reading, yet a fantastic book. Reads very slow as it is basically a literature review for all things relating to the mind and how it develops. Thus the title... Worth reading if you have the time and are interested.
Jul 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I found this book fascinating and easy to read. My boyfriend did not find it easy to read, so I guess this is only for those who really like psychology. But I thought it was AWESOME and helped me understand why the way we are. Highly recommend!
Jun 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: human-science
This book has added much to my knowledge about the interaction between the physical brain and the mind, what influences development and how it all hangs together. It has really added to my understanding in ways that leaves me awed. It is also written compassionately. A real joy!
Oct 30, 2007 rated it liked it
Its not an easy read... it could have been condensed. All in all it gives a good informative message.
Jul 31, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Super powerful book about the brain, ourselves, behavior, mindfulness and much more.
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
The Brain and Mind: The Developing Mind by Daniel Siegel 6 38 Mar 03, 2008 11:22AM  
Chapter 3 & 4- Attachment and Emotion 1 13 Feb 28, 2008 07:52AM  
Chapter 1 & 2- Introduction & Memory 1 12 Feb 28, 2008 07:49AM  

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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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