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Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation
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Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation

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Description:

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 unreasonably angry or upset and find it hard to calm down?
• Do you ever wonder why you can't stop behaving the way you do, no matter how hard you try?
• Are you and your child (or parent, partner, or boss) locked in a seemingly inevitable pattern of conflict?

What if you could escape traps like these and live a fuller, richer, happier life? This isn't mere speculation but the result of twenty-five years of careful hands-on clinical work by Daniel J. Siegel, M.D. A Harvard-trained physician, Dr. Siegel is one of the revolutionary global innovators in the integration of brain science into the practice of psychotherapy. Using case histories from his practice, he shows how, by following the proper steps, nearly everyone can learn how to focus their attention on the internal world of the mind in a way that will literally change the wiring and architecture of their brain.

Through his synthesis of a broad range of scientific research with applications to everyday life, Dr. Siegel has developed novel approaches that have helped hundreds of patients heal themselves from painful events in the past and liberate themselves from obstacles blocking their happiness in the present. And now he has written the first book that will help all of us understand the potential we have to create our own lives. Showing us mindsight in action, Dr. Siegel describes

• a sixteen-year-old boy with bipolar disorder who uses meditation and other techniques instead of drugs to calm the emotional storms that made him suicidal
• a woman paralyzed by anxiety, who uses mindsight to discover, in an unconscious memory of a childhood accident, the source of her dread
• a physician–the author himself–who pays attention to his intuition, which he experiences as a "vague, uneasy feeling in my belly, a gnawing restlessness in my heart and my gut," and tracks down a patient who could have gone deaf because of an inaccurately written prescription for an ear infection
• a twelve-year-old girl with OCD who learns a meditation that is "like watching myself from outside myself" and, using a form of internal dialogue, is able to stop the compulsive behaviors that have been tormenting her

These and many other extraordinary stories illustrate how mindsight can help us master our emotions, heal our relationships, and reach our fullest potential.

A book as inspiring as it is informative, as practical as it is profound, Mindsight offers exciting new proof that we aren't hardwired to behave in certain ways, but instead have the ability to harness the power of our minds to resculpt the neural pathways of our brains in ways that will be life-transforming.

Features:
  • Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation

Product Details:
Author: Daniel J. Siegel
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Bantam
Publication Date: January 12, 2010
Language: English
ISBN: 0553804707
Product Length: 9.3 inches
Product Width: 6.36 inches
Product Height: 1.15 inches
Product Weight: 1.19 pounds
Package Length: 9.3 inches
Package Width: 6.2 inches
Package Height: 1.3 inches
Package Weight: 1.2 pounds
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Customer Reviews:
Average Customer Review:4.5 ( 179 customer reviews )
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

657 of 705 found the following review helpful:

3not primarily about mindfulness therapy  Feb 18, 2010
By Kristin
I began reading "Mindsight" eagerly because I have a strong interest in mindfulness therapy and Siegel comes highly recommended. I found, however, that I could never get really engaged in the book. I pushed forward and read the whole thing, because Siegel obviously knows his stuff and writes in a clear and easy manner. But I didn't find what I was looking for.

It took a while to figure out why this book was not for me. Three reasons:

First, this book isn't primarily about mindfulness as its title suggests. Siegel has his own well-developed system of therapy. It includes mindfulness, yes, but also a lot of neuroscience, interpersonal therapy, and psychoanalysis (i.e., using insights about one's upbringing to bring about a cure.) Though the word psychoanalysis is never used, it seems to me that it is the dominant strand in his system.
For example, he writes, "With mindsight I was able to make use of the reflections that arose from that conflict [a run-in with his son] to arrive at more clarifying insights into my own childhood experiences."
So because mindfulness is not the main theme, or for some other reason, it is not very thoroughly developed--certainly not as much as in many other books I've read. Hence my disappointment.

The second problem I had is that the bulk of the book is made up of clinical cases (stories of the lives of the author's patients and the therapy he does with them) and stories from the author's life. I find that a few such cases in this kind of book can be illuminating, but reading one story after another becomes tedious.

Third, this book is not directed at helping the reader use the techniques that are mentioned.

None of these observations are meant as criticisms--just some information for anyone trying to make a decision. But if you are mainly interested in mindfulness therapy and would like to use it in your own life, I would recommend "The Mindful Way Through Depression" -- a clear, insightful, and practical book, written by researchers in the field.

159 of 168 found the following review helpful:

5Ticket to a Higher Quality of Life: Buy Yesterday  Jan 15, 2010
By Mary Ann Lowry "Martha Beck Master Coach"
I found this gem of a book in a Dallas, TX bookstore before the official release date. As an educator with post graduate work in teaching children how to think as they learn (cognitive learning specialist), I loved Dr. Siegel's tag line "Inspire to Rewire". That is exactly what the book teaches you to do. I now work as an educational consultant and a parenting consultant. It is so evident that people are holding onto thoughts that are keeping them in their own prison of the mind due to the rigid or chaotic thinking and lack of cohesive brain integration. While working with a client, who was struggling with parenting issues, she began to develop Mindsight and understood the leftover issues keeping her trapped in a rigid mindset. After applying Dr. Siegel's suggestions to overcome the brain's rigidity, she realized that she received a message from her childhood implying that she was responsible for everything and everyone. We were both "inspired to rewire" her thinking, as it was apparent that she was learning to see her own rigid views on life. After three sessions, she began to change her own views on parenting and responsibility. For the first time in her life, she understood her story.

This book belongs in the hands of everyone in the helping profession. It's also written in such a way that your clients/parenting students, spouses, friends can use the meditations and other suggestions by Dr. Siegel to begin to rework their story into a cohesive narrative. Boomers will love this, as they search for reasons why their lives may not be working. Dr.Siegel's suggestions for rewiring take time, but I'm convinced they are well worth the time involved. There appears to be a better life awaiting all, who are dealing with confusion or a weak sense of self. His teachings illustrate how to rewrite a new autobiography in a way that makes sense. The book is a huge prescription for a happier more resilient life. An added bonus is the fact that the book offers Mindsight exercises designed to foster enjoyable relationships with those in our families and circle of friends.

I'm pleased to recommend this book to my colleagues and friends. Mary Ann Lowry, M.Ed.

57 of 60 found the following review helpful:

5Mindsight  Apr 28, 2010
By Steven M. Savlov
I have read several other books authored by Dr. Siegel including the Developing Mind, The Mindful Mind and recently read Mindsight. As a neuropsychologist and clinical psychologist, I found the previous two books as well as Mindsight to be excellent in terms of bringing neuroscience and psychotherapy together in a very humanistic and readable manner. Many books about neuroscience are very technical and dry when it comes to practical application of science and theory. Dr. Siegel's presentation in Mindsight is very readable and practical with lots of wonderful examples of his thinking and the science behind his approach to psychotherapy which lets the reader adopt or adapt many of his strategies into their practice or their lives very easily. Even after 35 years of clinical practice, I have found that Dr. Siegel's approach has had a significant influence on how I conceptualize and understand my patients. I would highly recommend Mindsight to my colleagues and to my patients as I feel it would be very meaningful and useful to both.

40 of 45 found the following review helpful:

5Life changing, solid science, easy to read  Jan 29, 2010
By Kirke Olson
Mindsight is a life changing, well researched, easy to read book. Life changing because Dr. Siegel explains the science of the brain in an understandable way so you can apply it to everyday life. Knowing how your brain works is a game changer when you are trying to improve your life, parent or help other people improve their lives.

Mindsight is a fantastic resource for teachers, because knowing how the brain learns; why your connection to your kids helps learning; and, why kids lose it when they get frustrated (and what to do about it) changes the way you deal with them in a positive way. I know because I teach and use Mindsight to train teachers.

It is a valuable resource for therapists, because teaching people how their brain works gives them hope and a huge amount of power in their own lives. I know this from my own experience as a psychologist.

Mindsight, written in two sections, combines factual presentation with captivating story for an integrated reading experience.

Buy and read Mindsight. You will need to own it, because if you are like me, you will put it down - mull it over - go back pick it up - and re read parts. I've been having this long term dialog with Mindsight since I read it, I think you will too.

Kirke Olson, PsyD[...]

25 of 28 found the following review helpful:

5Life Changing.  Mar 28, 2011
By S. Dixon "Suzi"
This book was recommended to me by my therapist who I have been seeing for decades. It helped me in ways she was never able to. The question always is - How do I change? - when you are finding that you are not living your life effectively. This book is all about how you can change from the inside. The bottom line is meditation and body scans to increase awareness and to connect with your physical, emotional and mental self. There are the terms neuro plasticity and mindfulness that I investgated after reading the book. It is all about the new science of the brain and how we are capable of of helping ourselves to heal in significant ways. The stories in Mindsight were excellent in explaining the variations of how peoples lives can be impacted and healed by these techniques. That was great, a story a chapter.Explains in detail how the brain works, and what is happening when it doesn't. It was good for that.

But as others have said the book was short on explaining how the details of the techniques are actually employed or saying how you can apply it to yourself. So my search did not end, it was just started with this book. Happens that I have a another book already on my shelf. I think I bought it soon after it was published in 1990 on someone's recommendation but never read it - Full Catastrophe Living - by Jon Kabat-Zinn. He had a clinic where they developed an 8 week course to implement these same ideas currently receiving attention now. His book is a practical guide to mindfulness meditation and healing - using the wisdom of your body and mind to face stress, pain and illness. It is a jem. I rediscovered it because it is recommended for a local 8 week course offered at Swedish Hospital (Seattle). Such classes may be offered elsewhere, if not, Jon Kabat-Zinn's book will help. Also the teacher and developer of the Swedish class - Carolyn McManus also has a great website with tapes that would help with the healing process utilizing these techniques.

So Mindsight is a good book but not an endpoint. It takes a village.

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