Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation

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Daniel J. Siegal
Bantam; 1St Edition (January 12, 2010)

Amazon.com Book 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.

For more information on Mindsight, visit the author’s website at http://drdansiegel.com/books/mindsight/

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  1. Christine Kurian says:

    This book really allowed me to have a better understanding of how my brain worked. It was really interesting to read about how it is possible to overcome certain mental traumas with a little bit of ‘mindsight’. I learned some new techniques to calm myself whenever I have anxiety. Dr. Siegal is truly remarkable and his personal experiences make the book even more interesting and relatable. This book gave me an overall greater appreciation for the study of psychology.

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  2. Fabio Arias says:

    The idea of Mindsight presented by Daniel Siegal is really interesting to me because it describes something I’ve been trying to practice on my own. In particular what struck me was the girl who said she would meditate and “watch herself from outside herself”. I too have had such experiences and found them to be incredibly informing of oneself. However I have not been using mindsight to get over any particular problems like many of the people portrayed in Siegals book. I have been using it to simply reflect on myself and try to improve every aspect of myself and I find it not only effective but relaxing and tiring at the same time. Its like separating my mind from my body for a moment and in those instances you can observe so much more about yourself than looking in a mirror. While the feeling is quite transcending it also seems to take a lot of will power and effort. It is well worth doing though.

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  3. Adrian Zugaj says:

    This book excellently depicts the idea of Mindsight, through various different anecdotes that the author was part of. The concept of Mindsight is a very intriguing one, in that it provides a different view on how our minds work, and why we behave the way we behave. Mindsight has the potential to allow us to better understand one another, and help us to act accordingly. The skills taught in Mindsight should prove helpful in life if time is devoted to master them.

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    • NEA Moderator says:

      Hi Adrian – in regard to your last sentence. Do you think it’s a realistic expectation for most people to be able to master Mindsight? Though the skills are undoubtedly valuable, do you think the they would be worth the effort required to develop them? If you don’t mind using yourself as a personal example – though you’re fully free not to – do you think it’s something you’ll actually take the time to develop?

      Just want to get some feedback and continue the discussion – books that make people think are great, but books that make people ACT are better, and that’s the objective of this whole search!

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