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Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  8,364 ratings  ·  489 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, 314 pages
Published January 12th 2010 by Bantam (first published January 1st 2009)
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Stephanie *Eff your feelings*
Jan 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012, psycology, brain
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
Amir Tesla
Dec 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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 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
Kiwi Begs2Differ  ✎
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
Nov 12, 2010 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
Mar 10, 2012 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 14, 2010 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
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
Dec 08, 2009 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
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
Sep 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: psychology
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 afte
Gleb Kalinin
Jul 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: pyschotherapy
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 live ...more
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
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
Jun 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
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. ...more
Jenifer Jacobs
Jan 16, 2014 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!
Carol Bakker
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 N
Leigh Pilkington
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 n ...more
Jeanine Marie Swenson
Apr 07, 2013 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
Conrad Zero
Feb 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
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. ) and probably a dozen others. But if "mindsight" works better for you, then great. I
Jul 29, 2011 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
Magnus Lidbom
Having read dozens of books on psychology and mindfulness I've gotten used to most new books just filling in some blanks or presenting an interesting new different perspective. Not so with this book. It provided revelation after revelation about how the brain and the mind interact and actually shape each other. It is also the first time ever that I have read a book that provided a sensible definition for what "mind" actually is, as well as a description of what mental health is and how it can be ...more
Jeromie Rand
May 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book offers a mix of insights from the science of neurobiology and the practice of mindfulness. Overall it is very good, though toward the end of the book the author reveals his Buddhist perspective, which certainly influences his understanding of mediation and "mindsight," his term for this fusion of understanding the brain and meditative practice. (The clearest example of his descent into Eastern thought comes in the last few pages when he talks about mindsight as a technique that "helps ...more
May 29, 2012 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! ...more
Apr 25, 2013 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.
Karin Yeung
Mar 11, 2012 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 rated it it was amazing
A powerful, readable and instructive guide to the world of meditation, mindfulness, and the brain!
Chuck Morris
Dec 31, 2012 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. ...more
Christopher Daradics
Jun 05, 2015 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. ...more
Jim Flores
Aug 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Highly useful and enlightening book for understanding the mind and our emotions without the medical jargon. Illustrative cases are written in an almost novel-like manner for easy reading.
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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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