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Pocket Guide to Interpersonal Neurobiology: An Integrative Handbook of the Mind (Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology) [Paperback]

Daniel J. Siegel
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)

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Book Description

April 2, 2012 039370713X 978-0393707137 0

The central concepts of the theory of interpersonal neurobiology.

Many fields have explored the nature of mental life from psychology to psychiatry, literature to linguistics. Yet no common “framework” where each of these important perspectives can be honored and integrated with one another has been created in which a person seeking their collective wisdom can find answers to some basic questions, such as, What is the purpose of life? Why are we here? How do we know things, how are we conscious of ourselves? What is the mind? What makes a mind healthy or unwell? And, perhaps most importantly: What is the connection among the mind, the brain, and our relationships with one another?

Our mental lives are profoundly relational. The interactions we have with one another shape our mental world. Yet as any neuroscientist will tell you, the mind is shaped by the firing patterns in the brain. And so how can we reconcile this tension—that the mind is both embodied and relational? Interpersonal Neurobiology is a way of thinking across this apparent conceptual divide.

This Pocket Guide to Interpersonal Neurobiology is designed to aid in your personal and professional application of the interpersonal neurobiology approach to developing a healthy mind, an integrated brain, and empathic relationships. It is also designed to assist you in seeing the intricate foundations of interpersonal neurobiology as you read other books.

Praise for Daniel J. Siegel's books:

“Siegel is a must-read author for anyone interested in the science of the mind.” —Daniel Goleman, author of Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relationships

“[S]tands out for its skillful weaving together of the interpersonal, the inner world, the latest science, and practical applications.” —Jack Kornfield, PhD, founding teacher of the Insight Meditation Society and Spirit Rock Center, and author of A Path With Heart

“Siegel has both a meticulous understanding of the roles of different parts of the brain and an intimate relationship with mindfulness . . . [A]n exciting glimpse of an uncharted territory of neuroscience.” —Scientific American Mind

“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, PhD, author of Wherever You Go, There You Are, Full Catastrophe Living, and Coming to Our Senses

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Pocket Guide to Interpersonal Neurobiology: An Integrative Handbook of the Mind (Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology) + Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation + Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain
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Editorial Reviews


“The book is a fascinating and lively guide, which engages the reader on many levels . . . . You can turn to any page of the book and find an access point to explore a web of integrated knowledge.” (Journal of Analytical Psychology (UK))

“Many have explored the nature of mental life, yet no interdisciplinary approach has existed to address its issues or even define what the mind is. This book offers a new way of assessing how the mind works.” (Midwest Book Review)

“Siegel’s book does an amazing job reflecting his vast knowledge of how our brains and our relationships interact to shape our lives.” (PsychCentral)

About the Author

Daniel J. Siegel, MD, is an internationally acclaimed author and award-winning educator and is currently a clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine where he is a co-investigator at the Center for Culture, Brain, and Development and is co-director of the Mindful Awareness Research Center. His books include Healing Trauma, The Healing Power of Emotion, The Mindful Brain, The Mindful Therapist, Trauma and the Body, Pocket Guide to Interpersonal Neurobiology, and more. He lives in Santa Monica, California.

Product Details

  • Series: Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology
  • Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company (April 2, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 039370713X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393707137
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.4 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #24,956 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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 DrDanSiegel.com.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
92 of 96 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Book organization and praise for the Kindle edition March 27, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is organized to have three hierarchical levels of division. Each level can be viewed as being an interconnected network of topics. Each node within the network provides entry to a separate topic.

The first level of the network is the book's individual 43 short chapters. The second level comprises 158 topics. These topics are listed at the very end of the book in a section titled Nodal Network. The third level has almost 400 nodes. These are keywords which link to the book's extensive annotated glossary. These keywords include all secondary nodes, plus about 240 additional concepts or processes. Dan Siegel views these other 240 network nodes as providing background for understanding.

From the point of view of someone who is not familiar with neurological research like me, these additional 240 concepts are absolute necessities. Without understanding them, much of the chapter text would be incomprehensible. For me the tertiary level of organization is necessary to getting a reward from this book.

A Kindle makes easy the task of moving from text to glossary; and back again. The procedure is: When reading a chapter I encounter a keyword that I don't understand. Using the moving cursor I select the keyword and push the "Enter" key. Rapidly the screen changes. At the top of the new screen is a glossary explanation for the keyword. After reading the explanation, I press the "Back" key to return to the chapter text I am reading. This process provides an almost seamless experience of reading.

In this way I match my reading of each sentence to my current ability to understand. An expert might seldom need to use glossary entries. In contrast I often use glossary explanations. The choice is yours.
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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unusually Arranged And Powerfully Informative March 31, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is truly ingenious. Dr. Siegel arranged the chapters to be used independently (i.e. no need to read each chapter sequentially) of each other. However, these chapters have indicators as to their interrelatedness. In other words, the layout conveys Dr. Siegel's central message of how the mind stores / maps information and how this information is interrelated. If you don't read the introduction, you may find it challenging to fully utilize the book's information. If you are looking for the traditional sequential lay-out, you will be disappointed. However, if you want to get a deeper understanding of how our mind stores, incorporates and utilizes information, you will be delighted. It is an intriguing concept to present information in a manner consistend with the book's central message of how the mind receives, arranges and utilizes information. I couldn't put it down after getting it yesterday. It is NOT your average book and will challenge you from the minute you begin to read it. Vielen Dank! Cathy W. LMFT, CADC
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51 of 55 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is a unique contribution to the understanding of how our minds, brains and relationships develop and interrelate. Although titled a pocket guide, (you will need a big pocket) it is actually an incredible and rich resource for exploring this new territory.

Dr Dan Siegel is well known as a gifted researcher and writer in the growing field of understanding what the mind actually is and what is consciousness. In his clear and inventive way he created and named the field of interpersonal neurobiology. This field explores the science of how mind and consciousness actually develop within the world of social interactions.

Understanding the complexity of how our minds form and function and interrelate with others is critically important to improving our capacity to function in the world and our own personal growth as emphatic beings. Although there are many books trying to explain this new field, this book is a special guide to these topics.

In many ways he ventures into areas that we know exist, take for granted but don't truly understand. We know we can be "aware" of things and that we have feelings and emotions, but what is really going on? What actually is awareness? And how does it work? What is a thought? What is consciousness? and how are these all interrelated? And how does one person's being truly affect the mind and being of another.

Neuroscience is giving us new tools and information about the nature of the brain and the mind. Dr Siegel has written several books and speaks often on the importance of developing an understanding of how our minds work. (See his web site for more info and videos drdansiegel.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely masterful in structure and substance April 13, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The layout of the book is as others have stated: a reflection of the networked reality of our neural selves. It is a masterful way to structure a book like this, and would be something that Einstein would likely be giddy over (being someone who believed that trail-blazing with the mind in innovative paths was the essence and inspiration of science, rather than textbook regurgitation).

For the younger generation of neuroscientists & medical practitioners out there, I'll put it this way:
it's structured as a "Choose Your Own Adventure Book" for the social brain. And as you will soon learn or be convinced of, there are no individual human brains in nature. Siegel demonstrates otherwise, integrating eloquent research and application of research findings from the likes of Cozolino, Porges, and Damasio into this fine text.

The only thing that could make this better, is more evidence from more research that has not yet been done. But since time travel isn't possible, I recommend rolling with this. I'm even encouraged that this could have significant clinical relevance, given the praise it's received from friends.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent book! I find myself going back and rereading parts again.
Published 10 days ago by Thelma Specker
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Dictionary of the Concepts of Contemporary Work on...
This is an excellent dictionary style explanation of the concepts in contemporary work on neuroplasticity and interpersonal neurobiology. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Stoma108
5.0 out of 5 stars What I didn't know I needed to read.
This book is so accessible and practical. It is not a typical help book, but I would it rather not be. This is my first exposure to Dan and it will not be the last.
Published 3 months ago by Brian Clinton
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Guide to Understanding Brain Science
I've read about a dozen books on the science of the mind, including works by Ramachandran, Cozolino and Goleman. This is among the very best. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Bart Popowski
5.0 out of 5 stars Daniel Siegel is the best
Buy everything from this author that you can! He has done a lot of research and is one of the best in the field
Published 4 months ago by Paige Littleton
5.0 out of 5 stars A worthwhile read
If you are looking for answers about how your experiences have shaped the person you've become, this book will enlighten you and can profoundly change your life if you want to put... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Maizie
4.0 out of 5 stars Encyclopedia of knowledge
Like his organization of topics with appendix.

Like his passion for his field, and his depth and breadth of knowledge.
Published 5 months ago by Mary C. Smith
3.0 out of 5 stars Content is excellent; Kindle format should be better
The content and set up of this informative reference tool is really well suited to the kindle format. The book assumes you will not read in a liner fashion. Read more
Published 6 months ago by K
4.0 out of 5 stars synthetic and practical
It has been a great opportunity to refresh a lot of knowledge and connect it all in a way that inspires my daily work with my patients.
Published 8 months ago by Camila Bannen
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book to further self insight!
A very insightful book that significantly assists in understanding the causalities of electro-chemical processes in our brain-mind. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Wilfried Rupieper
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