This groundbreaking book, from one of the global innovators in the integration of brain science with psychotherapy, offers an extraordinary guide to the practice of “mindsight,” the potent skill that is the basis for both emotional and social intelligence. From anxiety to depression and feelings of shame and inadequacy, from mood swings to addictions, OCD, and traumatic memories, most of us have a mental “trap” that causes recurring conflict in our lives and relationships. Daniel J. Siegel, M.D., a clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine and co-director of the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center, shows us how to use mindsight to escape these traps. Through his synthesis of a broad range of scientific research with applications to everyday life, Dr. Siegel has developed novel approaches that have helped hundreds of patients free themselves from obstacles blocking their happiness. By cultivating mindsight, all of us can effect positive, lasting changes in our brains—and our lives. A book as inspiring as it is profound, Mindsight can help us master our emotions, heal our relationships, and reach our fullest potential.
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.