Mindsight

Praise:

"Siegel (Parenting from the Inside Out) combines Western neuroscience with Eastern meditation in an exciting exploration of how a troubled mind can right itself. Drawing on current science and case studies, Siegel, a clinical professor of psychiatry at UCLA School of Medicine, reinforces "the idea that the power of reflection allows us to approach, rather than withdraw, from whatever life brings us." And learning to stay with a feeling, even a threatening one, is the beginning of discovering that this emotion is just "a set of neural firings in our brain." There is enormous pain in the clinical cases: 31-year-old Allison’s back pain conceals a painful memory; 12-year-old Sandy is stuck in a panic expressed in obsessive-compulsive behavior. But there is also enormous hope—that therapy, sometimes even without medication, can guide a patient through life. Siegel’s method isn’t a quick fix and doesn’t sugarcoat reality: The mindful traits of serenity, courage and wisdom involve accepting our place in the order of things." He challenges his patients to a life of tough work and convincingly suggests it will be well worth the effort."

- Publishers Weekly

The concept of emotional intelligence, or EI, rather than IQ as the true barometer of social success has been a hot topic in psychological circles since Daniel Goleman’s landmark Emotional Intelligence (1995). Yet, according to UCLA psychiatrist Siegel, the notion of "mindsight," or the mind’s knack for stepping back and analyzing its own thought processes, is just as critical. Drawing on cutting-edge neurobiological research and Eastern meditation practices, Siegel presents a convincing case that mindsight’s dual focus on mindfulness and empathy can literally rewire the brain and catalyze greater personal fulfillment. In 12 lucid yet scientifically grounded chapters, he provides the evidence for mindsight’s powerful effect on human behavior and then presents a guidebook for developing and applying mindsight in one’s life. Mindsight is refreshingly accessible, offering solid practical advice while avoiding the naive optimism of many mainstream self-help books.

— Carl Hays, Booklist

"Integrating ancient contemplative practice with contemporary neuroscience and psychotherapy, Dan Siegel removes the veil on the mysteries of the interface between mind, brain and relationships with novel and profound descriptions of how we become who we are, what makes things go wrong and how all of us can achieve optimal well being by using our capacity for attention to change the very structure and function of our brains. Weaving the narrative of his own life, his intellectual and clinical journey and the experiences of his clients through his explanation of deep clinical theory and sophisticated practice, he has written a book that reads like a mystery novel."

- Harville Hendrix, Ph.D., author of Getting The Love You Want: A Guide for Couples

"Mindsight is a rare book. Rooted in groundbreaking scientific research and searching professional practice, it is also a deeply compassionate and human account of what it is to be human. Mindsight has powerful lessons for doctors, parents and educators, and for all of us who are trying to make sense of how we make sense of things."

- Sir Ken Robinson, author of The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything

"This exciting book reveals the secrets of the mind that we have sought in Eastern and Western thought for 2000 years. How do we see the mind and learn to tame it for a happier and healthier life? Filled with engaging stories, Mindsight uses cutting edge science and deep humanity to address the questions that we all have about the mystery in our skull."

- Natalie Goldberg, author of Old Friend from Far Away and Writing Down the Bones

"In this brilliant and highly readable book, Dan Siegel combines his prodigious knowledge of brain science, clinical psychology and mindfulness with his immense capacity for original thinking to develop a new and useful concept—mindsight. An intrepid navigator of the vast sea inside us all, he maps the territory and offers amazing insights into how to benefit from the journey. His work will forever change the way we understand ourselves and our relationships."

- Dr. Mary Pipher, author of Reviving Ophelia and Seeking Peace

"In his new, graceful, wise, creative, utterly approachable book, Mindsight, Dr. Daniel J. Siegel integrates two of the most important discoveries of our time: the cutting-edge research into the brain functions relevant to understanding our emotions, and the discovery that our brains are plastic and can grow and change through properly guided mental activity. Through beautiful and often remarkable case histories, he shows us the principles we can use to better understand ourselves and, more often than we might imagine, change our minds, brains, relationships, some lifelong character traits, and even the course of some important mental illnesses."

- Norman Doidge, M.D., author of The Brain That Changes Itself

"An extraordinary and practical wedding of neuroscience and spiritual wisdom. Accessible and visionary, Mindsight is bound to be a classic."

- Jack Kornfield, author of The Wise Heart

"Mindsight is a literary MRI: a mind-blowing book that will change the way you think about the way you think."

- Arianna Huffington

"Dr. Daniel Siegel is one of the most thoughtful, eloquent, scientifically solid and reputable exponents of mind/body/brain integration in the world today."

- Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D., author of Wherever You Go, There You Are and Full Catastrophe Living

"In The Developing Mind, Daniel Siegel brilliantly revealed how relationships sculpt and are sculpted by the brain. Mindsight is the perfect follow-up, a daring plan of action for a wiser and kinder life that’s transformative, yet easy to understand, and should appeal to specialists and laymen alike—in fact, to anyone who wants to enrich their life, their children’s, and society.”  

-Diane Ackerman, author of The Zookeeper's Wife

"Right now, Dan Siegel is creating a stir among therapists unmatched by any other in the field. Mindsight offers a fascinating synthesis of his innovative ideas about the implications of the new brain science for understanding relationships and the processes of human change."

- Richard Simon, Ph.D., editor, Psychotherapy Networker

"Drawing upon and explaining the intricate workings of the brain, Mindsight sets itself apart from other self-help books. Dr. Siegel helps the reader understand how we can change our dysfunctional habits of mind and become more flexible, adaptive, coherent, energized, and stable. He helps us see that we can rewire our own brains and become truly integrated, through personal understanding and, most important, through meaningful relationships with others. This is a must-read for anyone who wishes to have a happier, more productive life."

- Eugene Beresin, M.D., professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School

"Mindsight is a seminal piece on bringing neuroscience to everyday life, helping us to understand what can go awry in the mind so that, armed with that knowledge, we will be better able to change. The book is a wonderful journey from the mind through the brain and the body and then back again. Siegel's use of elaborate personal as well as patient stories makes us feel as though we are on a guided tour with a friendly group of fellow travelers."

- John J. Ratey, M.D., author of Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain