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4.2 out of 5 stars
Mindsight
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42 of 42 people found the following review helpful
on 27 March 2012
I bought the book some time ago and it did require some degree of deep concentration as Dr. Siegel is very in-depth but that is also appreciated. I have read many books in my life in the areas of psych/self-help and the whole yadda but I will honestly say that after some 15 years of being on all kinds of anti-depressants, numerous suicide attempts and various other personal tragedies from PTSD to childhood abuse, Mindsight by Dr. Siegel is by far, the best book I have read that has given me so much hope that I can heal my mind and to change. In fact, this book beats any damn therapist I have sat with, listening to their psychobabble knowing exactly what they are getting at, and often wrong.

This book has given me so much hope that the clinicians I work with have ordered it for their medical library as a book to read.

I recommend an audiobook version to go with this title as some of the neurobiological terms might be hard for the layperson to grasp. I particularly enjoyed the level of detail because I did ace biology in school so I am not afraid of the technicalities. In fact, I think Dr. Siegel has done a tremendous job in simplifying the science and as Einstein has said - "Anyone can complicate a matter but it takes a genius to simply something complex" and Dr. Siegel has done just that.

Thanks for all your hardwork, Dr. Siegel. You have helped to transform otherwise downtrodden lives in much pain and after chancing upon your books, you have most certainly halved the therapeutic time needed for recovery with all your insight and genius.

*ps. The recording might seem some what hoarse as first but persevere as it gets better beyond the first few minutes and isn't the same the rest. Dr. Siegel narrates with sincerity and empathy. I have always preferred a writer to do the narration himself and readers/listeners are lucky that Dr. Siegel took the effort to do so.

Enjoy!

B.
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37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on 3 January 2011
Daniel Siegel's Mindsight offers a rare combination of clinical case studies and easy to understand neuroscience that allows us to understand his success with the treatment of mental illness. Siegel is a top psychiatrist who has himself experienced the power of meditation and he is brave enough to challenge the status quo and provide powerful evidence that techniques derived from the ancient practice of meditation work at a very deep level on the human psyche. It is reassuring to hear from a Harvard trained professional that drugs are not the answer to some of the mental disorders now so common among us: depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, and so on and so forth. The more medical and psychology professinals and therapists that read this book, the more chances we'll have of moving towards a more humane treatment of mental disorders.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
In Shakespeare's play, Hamlet, Polonius offers this advice to his son Laertes before his departure for college:

"This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,

Thou canst not then be false to any man."

Urging the young man to be true to himself is sound advice but presupposes that Laertes knows who he is. For most of us, self-knowledge is immensely difficult to obtain and even more difficult to accept. However, Socrates insists that the unexamined life is not worth living. All this is relevant to Daniel Siegel's latest book, Mindsight, in which he discusses the core principles and potential significance of "the new science of personal transformation," a process during which the brain creates itself or increases its capabilities "to promote physical, psychological, and interpersonal well-being."

As Daniel Goleman correctly observes in an uncommonly enlightening Foreword, "Daniel Siegel's theory of mindsight -- the brain's capacity for both insight and empathy...makes sense for us out of the cluttered confusions of our sometimes maddening and messy emotions...Self-awareness and empathy are (along with self-mastery and social skills) domains of human ability essential for success in life...Of these four skills, self-awareness lays the foundation for the rest."

There are several concepts or themes central to Siegel's narrative. For example, "The Triangle of Well-Being" reveals three aspects of our lives (i.e. relationships, mind, and brain) that "form the three mutual influencing points of the Triangle of Well-Bring." Mindsight enables us to become aware of, indeed monitor and modify "the flow of energy and information within the Triangle of Well-Being." Two others are "A Window of Tolerance" (see Pages 137-139 and 269-270) and "The Wheel of Awareness" (91-93 and 95-96). Siegel explains why Goleman is dead-on: "self-awareness lays the foundation for the rest." That is not to suggest, however, that one's self-awareness must be total before the expanded and enlightened mindsight can be applied. There are several reasons why I think this is so. Here are the two I think are most important: first, all human beings change (for better or worse) as does the potential self-knowledge to be obtained; the process of self-examination to which Socrates refers is endless until death. My second reason is that, over time, during our personal transformation, others will interact with us differently as will we with them and adjustments must be made, thereby increasing the number and quality of opportunities for gaining new, valuable insights about ourselves, of course, but also about human nature.

These are among the dozens of passages that caught my eye:

o "Hand Model of the Brain" (Pages 14-22)
o "The Mechanism of Mindlessness" (26-30)
o "What Fires Together, Wires Together" (40-43)
o "A healthy Mind: Complexity and Self-Organization (68-69)
o "A Mindful Approach to Changing the Mind" (83-84)
o "Awareness Training and Stabilizing the Mind" (93-98)
o "Building Inner Resources" (135-137)
o "Patterns of Attachment" (167-171)
o "An Unresolved and Disorganized Mind" (182-188)
o "Top-Down and Bottom-Up" (200-203)
o "Making Sense of the Past to Free the Present" (217-220)

Then in the Appendix, I especially appreciate the provision of "a dozen basic concepts and related terms and ideas that form a foundation for our approach of mindsight, integration, and well-being" (267-270) followed by extensively annotated Notes (271-300). When reviewing key points later, I would begin with these two sections.

No brief commentary such as mind can possibly do full justice to the scope and depth of material that Siegel provides in this volume. I conclude with three points that are of special importance to me and will be, perhaps, to many others who read this brilliant book. First, our mind is what the brain does and the brain (viewed as a muscle) can be expanded and strengthened, with that process limited only by the nature and extent of our commitment to it. Second, the material Siegel provides has compelling and substantial importance to improving child development within and beyond their schools. Finally, I agree with Daniel Siegel that mindsight can allow us to "see the internal workings of our own minds," to be sure, but it can also help us to increase our understanding and appreciation others and -- through meaningful interaction with them -- increase their understanding and appreciation of us. That is indeed a compelling vision.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 4 May 2013
Dr Siegel explains how understanding the structure of the brain can be used to heal people. Thus someone who has difficulty accessing their feelings or understanding others will do exercises to strengthen the 'feelings' parts of the brain and are able to change more effectively than they would by talking about why they can't understand feelings. I would love to watch Dr Siegel treating patients and see him demonstrate the exercises he uses - any chance of a DVD?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 27 July 2013
New information and very clear explanations of how the brain and neurotransmitters work and how you can use the brain's plasticity to make changes to your behaviour. Recommend.
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on 3 April 2015
I seldom write reviews but Mindsight is one of the gems that we all need, and writing a review is my way of helping spread the words. As someone who has dealt with lifelong issues when it comes to caring for myself and for others, this book has been a godsend.

Daniel Siegel explains the complex topic of how our brain shapes our world and how some of us have become prisoners of our own thoughts. Over the past six years I have read numerous books on how to better myself, how to live a fulfilling life and how to achieve good things but eventually my mind went back to its normal state of being chaos driven and full of uncertainties.

The ability to look inwards into our own minds to understand how our past experiences has shaped our mind, how our mind drives our actions and then unlearning the past behaviour to compassionately work with it towards a better outcome is the essence of Daniel Siegel's Mindsight.

Mindsight is a unique gift that all of us should read with an open mind. For those of you who can afford it I would suggest buying the audiobook. Dan Siegel's narration of Mindsight is as compassionate as the content of the book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 2 May 2014
This is an easy read which pulls together the current scientific research of psychotherapy and the brain, without getting lost in unnecessary words. It keeps to the point in an effortless flow of information. I really enjoyed it !
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on 24 December 2014
where there are a lot of self-help books on mental methods but not where exactly in your brain things change, Siegels book connects perfectly the inner world with the parts of the complex brain that are dealing with this change.
Where neuroscience deals only with the physical parts and the connectness between them, the don't describe the psychological change.
Siegel's book connects the two in a very pleasant and readable way without delving too much in the complexety of both worlds.
I was referred to this book by reading Panksepp's work via Damassio through reading a lot of Stephen Wolinsky's fantastic work.
Great work from Siegel which I read with a lot of revelations during the journey in the book.
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on 3 March 2015
This is the first book I have read which has inspired me to develop a greater understanding of the brain and the various functions science has revealed so far about these functions; - but this book is a complete mind-opener -this is a totally fascinating read, with compelling case examples demonstrating how Mindsight principles can enable clients to become unstuck from rigidity or chaos. I started and had to complete it within 3 days such was it's clarity,educational value to anyone new to Interpersonal Neurobiology and compelling descriptions of patients Daniel has worked with. A must read for any therapist or counsellor to expand your thinking in ways that just may change the way you work. Highly recommended.
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on 7 April 2015
I have the audio book. I struggled through 11 hours of slow drone. I am struggling to understand what the point of this book is really. It does not help the lay person because he talks about techniques that would be no good unless you paid money to see a psychiatrist yourself. This is not a self help book. at all
There were 2 occasions where I thought it was interesting, just 2 in the whole 11 hours. It was pretty much case study after case study.I enjoyed 'whole brain child' but this was a huge disappointment.
I do a lot of mindfulness meditation and if one was introduced to mindfulness via this book they might decided never to do it again!
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