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Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain Hardcover – January 7, 2014

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Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain + No-Drama Discipline: The Whole-Brain Way to Calm the Chaos and Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind + The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Tarcher (January 7, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 158542935X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1585429356
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (113 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,114 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Brainstorm is a must read book for every parent if they want to avoid emotional turbulence in their own lives as their children go through adolescence. It's lifesaving for the whole family."
—Deepak Chopra, MD

Brainstorm is eye-opening and inspiring, a great gift to us all—teens, parents of teens, and anyone who wants a full and rich life on this planet. Daniel Siegel shows how the supposed downsides of the teen years all have upsides, and that the lessons for living that await teens are ones any of us, at any age, can learn from.”
Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence
“This book is chock-full of cutting-edge knowledge as well as a deep compassion for teenagers, the adults they will become, and the teenagers in all of us.”
Alanis Morisette

Brainstorm is a necessary look at why adolescents do what they do that can put parents in an emotional frenzy. The information that Dr. Dan Siegel shares is not only invaluable for understanding your growing child's brain, but helps build more compassion and patience. A gift for us all.”
—Goldie Hawn
"By the end of this book, the teenager has been transformed from a monstrous force into a thinking, feeling, and entirely approachable human being."

“I strongly recommend Brainstorm to teens and those who care for them.”
Mary Pipher, author of Reviving Ophelia

"Siegel emerges as a bighearted writer, fully convinced that we all possess the fundamental virtues to navigate the choppy waters of adolescence, and he is eager for us to set them loose, working with adolescents to cultivate the positive aspects—and he is hugely convincing of the intense engagement and creativity that often accompany this time period in a person’s life. Smart advice...on providing the most supportive and brain-healthy environment during the tumultuous years of adolescence."

“‘You just don’t get me’ is a common refrain from teenagers to their parents and teachers. Adolescents who read this book will discover that Daniel Siegel gets them . . . This respectfulness is why the book works so well as a manual for adolescents, as well as for their parents and mentors.”
Lawrence Cohen, author of The Opposite of Worry

About the Author

Daniel J. Siegel, M.D., is clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine, founding co-director of the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center, and executive director of the Mindsight Institute. A graduate of Harvard Medical School, he is the author of the New York Times bestseller, Brainstorm; coauthor of two classic parenting books, Parenting from the Inside Out (with Mary Hartzell, M.Ed.) and The Whole-Brain Child (with Tina Payne Bryson); and author of Mindsight and the internationally acclaimed professional texts, The Mindful Brain and The Developing Mind. Dr. Siegel keynotes conferences and presents workshops throughout the world. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two children.

More About the Author

Daniel J. Siegel, M.D., is an internationally acclaimed author, award-winning educator, and child psychiatrist. He is currently a clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine where he also serves as a co-investigator at the Center for Culture, Brain, and Development and co-director of the Mindful Awareness Research Center. He is also the Executive Director of the Mindsight Institute, an educational center devoted to promoting insight, compassion, and empathy in individuals, families, institutions and communities. His books include "Mindsight," "The Developing Mind," "The Mindful Brain," "The Mindful Therapist," "Parenting From the Inside Out," and "The Whole-Brain Child." He is the Founding Editor of the Norton Professional Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology which includes "Healing Trauma," "The Power of Emotion," and "Trauma and the Body." He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two children. For more information on Dr. Siegel's work, please visit

Customer Reviews

He good to read; he's good to listen to.
Dr Siegel puts all the latest research findings on the adolescent brain into a book that is readable and relatable for teens and their parents.
elizabeth bloom
This book is an amazing book to help parents understand the changes their teen is going through and why.
Ginger Anderson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Firstly and as usual, I received this book for the ripe sum of nothing via a giveaway, this time from Shelf Awareness. Despite that kind consideration from all involved my candid opinions follow below. To extend the preamble a bit, this book wasn't quite what I expected. Because of that I'm going to keep the value judgments to a minimum and instead just try to describe what the book tries to be. It's up to you whether it's what you want to be reading or not. I just make with the descriptions.

What I expected out of this book was something rather harder and more specific about the science. The book jacket says it's based on the latest research and I have no doubt that's the case but none of that research seems to have made its way directly into the book. Instead what you have is very soft and results-based approach to the topic. So if you're expecting data on brain chemistry changes through the adolescent years then, like me, you'll likely be disappointed. Instead you'll get instruction through analogy with concepts like "Mindsight" and the "Wheel of Awareness". This all seemed a bit soft to me but I suspect that for the majority of the population this sort of 'softness' is actually a ringing endorsement. Siegel has made a decidedly complex topic easily readable and provides parents with the tools they need to deal with a historically difficult period of parenthood.

Even more usefully, the doctor doesn't just dole out information but provides mental exercises the reader can perform to help internalize the lesson being taught and make it easier to implement personal changes. His text is also filled with abundant anecdotes from his own practice to reinforce the idea that the situations parents face are far from unique and have been dealt with successfully in the past.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I read with alacrity "Brain Based Parenting: the neuroscience of caregiving for healthy attachment", on which Daniel J. Seigel was the third author, and gave that book 5 stars in an review. So I started out with high expections for Siegel's more recent work, Brainstorm. Really, I did. Unfortunately the weaknesses of the book far outweighed its strengths, for me anyway, as I'll outline below. There are multiple other books on raising and understanding teenagers I'd recommend before this one, as I'll list at the end.

(1) It's always good to remind oneself of the positive aspects of the developmental phase of the adolescent. Siegel lists these strengths as: intense and spontaneous emotions, intense and powerful peer and social connections, a spark of uniqueness and originality, and a profound search for one's identity and place in the universe. Frustrated parents can easily fall into the trap of seeing only your teenager's faults and negative behaviors. Remembering to see the upside (which is really only discussed in the first chapter of the book) is a good thing.

(2) Somehow Siegel wanders into the topic of healing your brain from trauma. During the course of this digression, he reviews an intriguing theory of psychological trauma (p. 176ff) that painful memories that are 'locked up' in the right hemisphere - the seat of emotion, imagery, and "implicit" (timeless and voiceless) memories - cause intense pain, fear, and flashbacks. When the right and left (verbal, analytic, logical and chronological) brain are integrated, the left side of the brain can give a coherent narrative to the trauma story and place it into a past perspective.
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39 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Geraldine Ahearn TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 7, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Daniel J. Siegel M.D. delivers a helpful guide for parents, teachers, mentors, and caregivers on the journey of adolescence. The author discusses the age of 12-24, a challenging time for the adolescent and the caregiver, which can also be a painful, thrilling time. Tips are given of how to help the adolescent survive and thrive, through this period in life. In addition, Doctor Siegel presents myths that are not true, such as raging hormones to be the evil cause, or to lose their minds. He explains that hormones do increase, but they don't determine what goes on.

The author highlights that what goes on, what they experience, is the result of changes in the development of the brain. To know about these changes, is the golden key to helping an adolescent. This knowledge can help the parent, teacher, and mentor to make things more smoothing. Another myth is that adolescence is a time of immaturity, and they need to 'grow up.' The truth is that an adolescent travels through a path that can be confusing, and intense.

Doctor Siegel also presents information on the testing of boundaries, the passion to explore the unknown,and the exciting. The findings of research and the truths of understanding this stage of life, can help the adolescent to lead an adventure, and purpose. The author also discusses dependence versus independence. More important, he points out that if we get beyond the myths, we can make this journey much better for the adolescent, and the caregiver.

In conclusion, if we project negative attitudes, then this is how they see themselves. They will sink to that level, instead of realizing their true potential. We need to understand that this is a time of emotional intensity, social engagement, and creativity.
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