- File Size: 1924 KB
- Print Length: 422 pages
- Publisher: Bantam (November 30, 2009)
- Publication Date: January 12, 2010
- Sold by: Random House LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B002XHNONS
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #71,257 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Random House LLC
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Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation Kindle Edition
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"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...
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Honestly, just read the summaries of his books or any reviews of them online and you'll have basically 90% of the book. Save yourself the $.
The book synthesizes a lot of new research and inventively applies that very practically to how we can more effectively heal. It is complex, addressing several aspects of our minds from different angles, combining many disciplines, linking differentiated languages into a new language.
If that sounds overwhelming, it was for me! But it is also very personal, with the stories of Dr. Siegel and his patients and others being a main vehicle of expression, and it is very enjoyable to read. There is a heart of compassion and humanity at the center of the book, and the concept of mindsight.
I see myself and relationships utterly differently. I see how utterly dependent we are on each other and our cultures, for our own mental health (integration) and our own physical health, and for being able to express our potential in this world. Our brains can't develop in a vacuum and only develop to reflect the quality of our relationships. But the flip side is that it is possible to re-sculpt the brain in positive directions, in a therapeutic relationship, and in our relationships with ourselves and others.
I also see, from the chapter on a couple's therapy, that a crucial element of healing is to see your own, and (in this chapter) especially others', minds from a place of curiosity, openness, and acceptance, to respect each other's developmental history and how it has shaped each other's minds. I particularly feel this call for respect in how I have thought of my childhood and ancestral heritage, and the diagnostic labels that have helped me to make sense of it. A piece that I can see differently is that infantile rage (provoked by brakes and accelerator at the same time), an ancestral heritage, is something stuck in the brain, and it can be unstuck, but especially that it can be seen for what it is, without letting it cloud and muddy one's compassion toward family. The two can be separated.
I myself am struggling to heal from PTSD and severe environmental sensitivities. I feel more hope with these new mindsight approaches. A common theme (across chapters) is healing the implicit patterns from childhood, unconsciously driving our lives, so that we can become authors of our own story, as we come more into the present and move into our future. That said, I also have financial obstacles to getting access to these treatments. I aspire to reach the "transpirational" part of my journey (p. 256), an expansion of our care and concern, beyond ourselves and our immediate relationships, to identify with the world and its inhabitants at large, and seek their well-being -- a natural, incidental part of developing mindsight and integrating the disconnections in our brains.
In the meantime, I have turned a corner in developing my own mindsight with Dr. Siegel's books (building on graduate school, Jungian therapy, meditation, and ACA). Turning this corner has made so much difference in the day-to-day, moment-to-moment quality of my life. I had devised a new meditation based on Dr. Siegel's (with co-authors) 3 books on parenting, before I read Mindsight. Now I see that my 4 phrases are very related to mindsight, and I want to share them because they have meant so much to me on my journey (I use them frequently, like a lovingkindness practice):
I have a tender, open heart to [my current experience]
I am aware and accepting of [my current experience]
I an relaxed and soft [in my body as I hold my current experience]
I am quiet and calm [as I keep company with my current experience]
Developing mindsight "can give us access to [the] receptive self" (p. 209)..."an inner sanctuary...open to what is, ready to receive whatever arrives at the door, inviting all aspects of [one]self into the shelter of [one's] receptive mind" (p. 208).
Another view-altering insight I had is that while I myself am aware of at least 9 traumatic adulthood events that may have given rise to my PTSD, I would need to track the body sensations and images of my trauma-activated episodes, with an emotionally safe specialist, to find the actual moments in time where the situations overwhelmed me. I don't have any explicit memories of where the implicit trauma sensations are arising from, when I experience my almost-daily episodes. When we discovered the actual moments, then I would have to re-experience the actual moments, with the specialist, and with a dual focus (one foot in the past, one foot in the present), and connect them into a narrative and integrate them into explicit memory. After all these years of my studying PTSD, Dr. Siegel's understanding of the brain finally got that missing piece through to me. The implicit sensations are coming from specific moments of my past that I cannot as yet pinpoint.
I think psychoanalytic theories will have to keep evolving themselves to match the new neuroscience. Thankfully, there are people like Dr. Siegel, with the passion and ability and fortitude to synthesize large amounts of new research information and translate that into paradigm-altering new forms of more understandable and more effective psychotherapy. I know many are devoting their lives to this project, and it's exciting to be a part of it. Dr. Siegel's work is a very big gift to me and us.
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Complete waste of time