Book Review: Mindsight by Daniel J. Siegel

In Mindsight, Daniel J. Siegal combines neuroscience with psychotherapy to guide people towards mental health. Siegal teaches that by developing mindsight, which is the ability to create mental representations of your own mind, to analyze and modify it, you can intergrate the different parts and functions of your brain to achieve mental wellbeing.

It sounds complicated, but in summary, the mindsight method incorporates cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfullness, talk-therapy, and brain science knowledge to achieve an integrated and harmonious inner life. The therapy techniques listed above are not new, but the way Siegel uses them to to achieve an "integrated and harmonious inner life" is what makes this book unique.

There are many insightful principles in this book that help you gain a new perspective on mental health.
One of the first thing Siegel teaches in this book is the "triangle of wellbeing," which consists of the mind, brain, and relationships, which are all interconnected and must be integrated properly to attain mental health.

Siegel does a great job explaining the basics of neuroscience and the anatomy of the brain. He explains how the brain and mind interact with each other. The brain and its neural patterns make up your mind, but your mind and your freewill can also actively change your brain. Learning about the different areas of the brain and their functions helps you integrate them together to help activate the pros of each part and counter the negative side effects of each part of the brain.

Next, Siegel breaks downs the 8 domains of the brain and teaches how you can use mindsight skills to work on each one to create an integrated whole.
The 8 domains of integratrain are:
Consciousness integration, horizontal integration, vertical integration, memory integration, life-narrative integration, state integration, interpersonal integration, and temporal integration.
There is a chapter on each of these domains that go into great detail on how you can improve them. 

Siegel’s approach to mental health greatly emphasizes the importance of relationships. As social beings, humans need to feel connected and have healthy relationships to thrive. One of the best things I learned in this book is that people learn mindsight skills by being "attuned" with other people. We learn about the inner workings of our minds by the reflections and feedback we receive from others. This is why it's so important for parents to be there emotionally for their kids, to help them develop their own mindsight skills. We need to cultivate more attunement and connection in our relationships in order to improve each other's mental health.

Without mindsight skills, you get stuck on autopilot and are driven by your mind down a dark road. With mindsight skills, you can take control of your mind, and therefore take control of your life and reach success and happiness.

Most people understand the importance of the mind and mental health, but many people don't know how to effectively improve their mental health. Psychology is a complex subject.  You need help from expert, and Daniel J. Siegel is an expert who has written a very helpful and practical book. I highly recommend Mindsight. It's not an easy read, though. It'll take some time and effort to read and understand the book, but it's worth it!