From Publishers Weekly
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. (Dec. 1)
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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, Goleman’s personal friend and fellow Harvard alum, 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 as well as studies conducted by his own, L.A.-based Mindsight Institute, 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. Unlike his earlier, more academic works, Mindsight is refreshingly accessible, offering solid practical advice while avoiding the naive optimism of many mainstream self-help books. --Carl Hays