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Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  5,646 Ratings  ·  339 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 *Very Stable Genius*
Jan 21, 2012 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
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
Shelves: owned
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Linda Vituma
Aug 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Saviļņojoši un satraucoši ir izlasīt teoriju tam, kas pirms kāda laika piedzīvots uz savas ādas - iejūtīgs un pārliecinošs vieds, kā atpazīt presonības sašķeltību (integrācijas trūkumu) un ceļš, kā integrēt pieredzes, pārdzīvojumus, traumas. Grāmata klasika.
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
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
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
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
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Diana Buliga
Dec 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What is fascinating about this book is the simplicity of ideas and in the same time, its usefulness. Mindfulness is as easy to apply as dreaming and yet, we hold back. There are some interesting insights to be explored as tried out - as I know not all exercises work for everyone.
Gail Davidson
Jul 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great book will keep going back to embed learning
Harsh Pareek
I think this is a must-read for everyone who finds themselves with any vaguely unpleasant feelings that bother them but that they can't put a finger on. The tl;dr is that your brain is trying to communicate something to you, which in your arrogance as a "self" you ignore. You are a meat machine, a chemical machine and you need to acknowledge and internalize that fact.

Dan Siegel has a great writing style and explains a number of facts about the brain's working and consequent failure under mental
Taylor Hansen
Jun 30, 2013 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
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Does goodreads get you into a rat race to finish books? 3 3 Apr 13, 2018 11:42AM  
  • 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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“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.” 5 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.” 5 likes
More quotes…