College English professor who loves classic literature, psychology, neurology and hates pop trash like Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey.
of sociology, psychology and neurology to help us understand how the neuroplasticity of the brain is influenced by and also influences all of our daily interactions and how we can take advantage of neuroplasticity to enrich our lives and those of others. That this book was endorsed by Daniel Goleman (Social Intelligence--Emotional Intelligence) was a big factor for me going in. Siegel extends Goleman's work, forging further ahead into the neurological realms to show us how our biology works in conjunction with our most intimate, and most casual interpersonal and social encounters--and what we can do to better them. I had just finished Doidge's The Brain That Changes Itself before beginning this book, and I recommend that they be taken together, in whichever order. Also helpful would be Sapolsky and Vishton's Great Courses lectures on the brain, also available on Audible.
Don't be deceived by listening to the provided clip on audible, that is the forward, narrated by someone else. I can't help but wonder if something went wrong with the download, Siegels voice is extremely slow, warbled, nasally. I listened to it high speed on my IPOD, which makes it a normal reading speed, but you still have his warbly voice, if you don't have high speed feature, you may need lots of mindsight to listen to this book, else you'll shoot yourself!
The author's intriguing topic gets lost in the thicket of in-depth patient profiles. I didn't want to hear a narrative of his patients' therapy sessions, but to learn about his novel approach to the "science of personal transformation." Sadly, chapter after chapter goes into in-depth patient profiles. Illustrative examples can illuminate a point, but here they smother it.
Dr. Siegel's basic premise is to practice Zen Buddhism as a form of psychotherapy. As far as it goes, this therapeutic idea probably works wonders if Dr. Siegel is the one administering the therapy session. As a practice on your own it would be more difficult, and it would require more discipline and insight than most mentally ill people are able to muster. The idea of mind-body therapeutics is refreshing, especially since it comes from a medical doctor with such a prestigious background, but is it really practical? By practical I mean would an insurance company be willing to pay for medical services that essentially amount to meditation practice? Probably not. The idea that meditation practice is positive for remolding the brain and becoming self-aware is good information. The suggestions to practice Buddhist like meditation is probably helpful, but keep in mind that most forms of psychotherapy are found to be equally effective. So if Dr. Siegel were to do a scientific investigation to find out if this form of therapy were more effective than Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, traditional talk therapy, or even simple bible study and prayer, it would make the information more significant, but until a scientific evaluation of this type of therapy becomes available I would question the usefulness of Dr. Siegel's therapeutic solutions.
This book was extremely insightful for the first half, may consider skipping to the appendix when you start to get to the middle. Overall, I was still blown away by the concepts presented.
Was not a big fan of this book. The majority of the book was the Author telling stories and talking about his case studies. Not necessarily geared towards the average joe who wants details and instructions on how to live a more fulfilling life. If the author did that in his book, the book would be more than half the size.
important body of knowledge presented in understandable terms and accompanied by pertinent case studies. nothing less than the survival of our species depends on us comprehending and practicing these concepts and truths. Siegel is to be applauded for his steadfast pursuit of solutions to our most vexing problems.
I am a social worker and I buy books that will help me help others.
It's very in depth with a lot of info on the science of how the brain works. This is for you if you need to know why mindfulness works. If you don't care about the science and just want info on mindfulness and how it can help then there are better books. My favorite is Get Some Headspace by Andy Puddicombe.