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Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation [Anglais] [Broché]

Daniel J. Siegel
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Descriptions du produit

Extrait

Chapter One



A Broken Brain, a Lost Soul

The Triangle of Well-Being


Barbara's family might never have come for therapy if seven-year-old Leanne hadn't stopped talking in school. Leanne was Barbara's middle child, between Amy, who was fourteen, and Tommy, who was three. They had all taken it hard when their mother was in a near-fatal car accident. But it wasn't until Barbara returned home from the hospital and rehabilitation center that Leanne became "selectively mute." Now she refused to speak with anyone outside the family-including me.

In our first weekly therapy sessions, we spent our time in silence, playing some games, doing pantomimes with puppets, drawing, and just being together. Leanne wore her dark hair in a single jumbled ponytail, and her sad brown eyes would quickly dart away whenever I looked directly at her. Our sessions felt stuck, her sadness unchanging, the games we played repetitive. But then one day when we were playing catch, the ball rolled to the side of the couch and Leanne discovered my video player and screen. She said nothing, but the sudden alertness of her expression told me her mind had clicked on to something.

The following week Leanne brought in a videotape, walked over to the video machine, and put it into the slot. I turned on the player and her smile lit up the room as we watched her mother gently lift a younger Leanne up into the air, again and again, and then pull her into a huge, enfolding hug, the two of them shaking with laughter from head to toe. Leanne's father, Ben, had captured on film the dance of communication between parent and child that is the hallmark of love: We connect with each other through a give-and-take of signals that link us from the inside out. This is the joy-filled way in which we come to share each other's minds.

Next the pair swirled around on the lawn, kicking the brilliant yellow and burnt-orange leaves of autumn. The mother-daughter duet approached the camera, pursed lips blowing kisses into the lens, and then burst out in laughter. Five-year-old Leanne shouted, "Happy birthday, Daddy!" at the top of her lungs, and you could see the camera shake as her father laughed along with the ladies in his life. In the background Leanne's baby brother, Tommy, was napping in his stroller, snuggled under a blanket and surrounded by plush toys. Leanne's older sister, Amy, was off to the side engrossed in a book.

"That's how my mom used to be when we lived in Boston," Leanne said suddenly, the smile dropping from her face. It was the first time she had spoken directly to me, but it felt more like I was overhearing her talk to herself. Why had Leanne stopped talking?

It had been two years since that birthday celebration, eighteen months since the family moved to Los Angeles, and twelve months since Barbara suffered a severe brain injury in her accident-a head-on collision. Barbara had not been wearing her seat belt that evening as she drove their old Mustang to the local store to get some milk for the kids. When the drunk driver plowed into her, her forehead was forced into the steering wheel. She had been in a coma for weeks following the accident.

After she came out of the coma, Barbara had changed in dramatic ways. On the videotape I saw the warm, connected, and caring person that Barbara had been. But now, Ben told me, she "was just not the same Barbara anymore." Her physical body had come home, but Barbara herself, as they had known her, was gone.

During Leanne's next visit I asked for some time alone with her parents. It was clear that what had been a close relationship between Barbara and Ben was now profoundly stressed and distant. Ben was patient and kind with Barbara and seemed to care for her deeply, but I could sense his despair. Barbara just stared off as we talked, made little eye contact with either of us, and seemed to lack interest in the conversation. The damage to her forehead had been repaired by plastic surgery, and although she had been left with motor skills that were somewhat slow and clumsy, she actually looked quite similar, in outward appearance, to her image on the videotape. Yet something huge had changed inside.

Wondering how she experienced her new way of being, I asked Barbara what she thought the difference was. I will never forget her reply: "Well, I guess if you had to put it into words, I suppose I'd say that I've lost my soul."

Ben and I sat there, stunned. After a while, I gathered myself enough to ask Barbara what losing her soul felt like.

"I don't know if I can say any more than that," she said flatly. "It feels fine, I guess. No different. I mean, just the way things are. Just empty. Things are fine."

We moved on to practical issues about care for the children, and the session ended.

A Damaged Brain

It wasn't clear yet how much Barbara could or would recover. Given that only a year had passed since the accident, much neural repair was still possible. After an injury, the brain can regain some of its function and even grow new neurons and create new neural connections, but with extensive damage it may be difficult to retrieve the complex abilities and personality traits that were dependent on the now destroyed neural structures.

Neuroplasticity is the term used to describe this capacity for creating new neural connections and growing new neurons in response to experience. Neuroplasticity is not just available to us in youth: We now know that it can occur throughout the lifespan. Efforts at rehabilitation for Barbara would need to harness the power of neuroplasticity to grow the new connections that might be able to reestablish old mental functions. But we'd have to wait awhile for the healing effects of time and rehabilitation to see how much neurological recovery would be possible.

My immediate task was to help Leanne and her family understand how someone could be alive and look the same yet have become so radically different in the way her mind functioned. Ben had told me earlier that he did not know how to help the children deal with how Barbara had changed; he said that he could barely understand it himself. He was on double duty, working, managing the kids' schedules, and making up for what Barbara could no longer do. This was a mother who had delighted in making homemade Halloween costumes and Valentine's Day cupcakes. Now she spent most of the day watching TV or wandering around the neighborhood. She could walk to the grocery store, but even with a list she would often come home empty-handed. Amy and Leanne didn't mind so much that she cooked a few simple meals over and over again. But they were upset when she forgot their special requests, things they'd told her they liked or needed for school. It was as if nothing they said to her really registered.

As our therapy sessions continued, Barbara usually sat quietly, even when she was alone with me, although her speech was intact. Occasionally she'd suddenly become agitated at an innocent comment from Ben, or yell if Tommy fidgeted or Leanne twirled her ponytail around her finger. She might even erupt after a silence, as if some internal process was driving her. But most of the time her expression seemed frozen, more like emptiness than depression, more vacuous than sad. She seemed aloof and unconcerned, and I noticed that she never spontaneously touched either her husband or her children. Once, when three-year-old Tommy climbed onto her lap, she briefly put her hand on his leg as if repeating some earlier pattern of behavior, but the warmth had gone out of the gesture.

When I saw the children without their mother, they let me know how they felt. "She just doesn't care about us like she used to," Leanne said. "And she doesn't ever ask us anything about ourselves," Amy added with sadness and irritation. "She's just plain selfish. She doesn't want to talk to anyone anymore." Tommy remained silent. He sat close to his father with a drawn look on his face.

Loss of someone we love cannot be adequately expressed with words. Grappling with loss, struggling with disconnection and despair, fills us with a sense of anguish and actual pain. Indeed, the parts of our brain that process physical pain overlap with the neural centers that record social ruptures and rejection. Loss rips us apart.

Grief allows you to let go of something you've lost only when you begin to accept what you now have in its place. As our mind clings to the familiar, to our established expectations, we can become trapped in feelings of disappointment, confusion, and anger that create our own internal worlds of suffering. But what were Ben and the kids actually letting go of? Could Barbara regain her connected way of being? How could the family learn to live with a person whose body was still alive, but whose personality and "soul"-at least as they had known her-were gone?

"You-Maps" and "Me-Maps"

Nothing in my formal training-whether in medical school, pediatrics, or psychiatry-had prepared me for the situation I now faced in my treatment room. I'd had courses on brain anatomy and on brain and behavior, but when I was seeing Barbara's family, in the early 1990s, relatively little was known about how to bring our knowledge of such subjects into the clinical practice of psychotherapy. Looking for some way to explain Barbara to her family, I trekked to the medical library and reviewed the recent clinical and scientific literature that dealt with the regions of the brain damaged by her accident.

Scans of Barbara's brain revealed substantial trauma to the area just behind her forehead; the lesions followed the upper curve of the steering wheel. This area, I discovered, facilitates very important functions of our personality. It also links widely separated brain regions to one another-it is a profoundly integrative region of the brain.

The area behind the forehead is a part of the frontal lobe of the cerebral cortex, the outermost section of the brain. The frontal lobe is associated with most of our complex thinking and planning. Activity in this part of the brain fires neurons in patterns that enable us to form neural representations-"maps" of various aspects of our world. The maps resulting from these clusters of neuronal activity serve to create an image in our minds. For example, when we take in the light reflected from a bird sitting in a tree, our eyes send signals back into our brain, and the neurons there fire in certain patterns that permit us to have the visual picture of the bird.

Somehow, in ways still to be discovered, the physical property

of neurons firing helps to create our subjective experience-the thoughts, feelings, and associations evoked by seeing that bird, for example. The sight of the bird may cause us to feel certain emotions, to hear or remember its song, and even to associate that song with ideas such as nature, hope, freedom, and peace. The more abstract and symbolic the representation, the higher in the nervous system it is created, and the more forward in the cortex.

The prefrontal cortex-the most damaged part of the frontal lobe of Barbara's brain-makes complex representations that permit us to create concepts in the present, think of experiences in the past, and plan and make images about the future. The prefrontal cortex is also responsible for the neural representations that enable us to make images of the mind itself. I call these representations of our mental world "mindsight maps." And I have identified several kinds of mindsight maps made by our brains.

The brain makes what I call a "me-map" that gives us insight into ourselves, and a "you-map" for insight into others. We also seem to create "we-maps," representations of our relationships. Without such maps, we are unable to perceive the mind within ourselves or others. Without a me-map, for example, we can become swept up in our thoughts or flooded by our feelings. Without a you-map, we see only others' behaviors, the physical aspect of reality, without sensing the subjective core, the inner mental sea of others. It is the you-map that permits us to have empathy. In essence, the injury to Barbara's brain had created a world without mindsight. She had feelings and thoughts, but she could not represent them to herself as activities of her mind. Even when she said she'd "lost her soul," her statement had a bland, factual quality, more like a scientific observation than a deeply felt expression of personal identity. (I was puzzled by that disconnect between observation and emotion until I learned from later studies that the parts of our brain that create maps of the mind are distinct from those that enable us to observe and comment on self- traits such as shyness or anxiety-or, in Barbara's case, the lack of a quality she called "soul.")

In the years since I took Barbara's brain scans to the library, much more has been discovered about the interlinked functions of the prefrontal cortex. For example, the side of this region is crucial for how we pay attention; it enables us to put things in the "front of our mind" and hold them in awareness. The middle portion of the prefrontal area, the part damaged in Barbara, coordinates an astonishing number of essential skills, including regulating the body, attuning to others, balancing emotions, being flexible in our responses, soothing fear, and creating empathy, insight, moral awareness, and intuition. These were the skills Barbara was no longer able to recruit in her interactions with her family.

I will be referring to-and expanding on-this list of nine middle prefrontal functions throughout our discussion of mindsight. But even at first glance, you can see that these functions are essential ingredients for well-being, ranging from bodily processes such as regulating our hearts to social functions such as empathy and moral reasoning.

After Barbara emerged from her coma, her impairments had seemed to settle into a new personality. Some of her habits, such as what she liked to eat and how she brushed her teeth, remained the same. There was nothing significantly changed in how her brain mapped out these basic behavioral functions. But the ways in which she thought, felt, behaved, and interacted with others were profoundly altered. This affected every detail of daily life-right down to Leanne's crooked ponytail. Barbara still had the behavioral moves necessary to fix her daughter's hair, but she no longer cared enough to get it right.


From the Hardcover edition.

Revue de presse

“In his new, wise, and utterly approachable book, Dr. Siegel uses beautiful and often remarkable case histories to show us how we can change our minds, brains, relationships, and even the course of certain mental illnesses.”—Norman Doidge, M.D., author of The Brain That Changes Itself

“Will forever change the way we understand ourselves and our relationships.”—Mary Pipher, Ph.D., author of Reviving Ophelia and Seeking Peace

“Accessible and visionary, Mindsight is bound to be a classic.”—Jack Kornfield, author of The Wise Heart
 
“[A] revolutionary book.” —The Boston Globe
 
“Utterly compelling . . . life-altering.”—Jon Kabat-Zinn, author of Wherever You Go, There You Are
 
“An exciting exploration of how a troubled mind can right itself.”—Publishers Weekly

Détails sur le produit

  • Broché: 336 pages
  • Editeur : Bantam; Édition : Reprint (28 décembre 2010)
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 0553386395
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553386394
  • Dimensions du produit: 20,8 x 14,2 x 1,9 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (4 commentaires client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: 24.145 en Livres anglais et étrangers (Voir les 100 premiers en Livres anglais et étrangers)
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2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Format:Broché
I loved this book, the reference to case studies is great, and the explanation of how the brain works is easy to understand. Fantastic insight into how we develop and what we can do to change programming.
I especially enjoyed the "crepes of wrath".
Brilliant. Thanks.
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Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Ce livre très clair et accessible, y compris pour des non spécialistes, montre comment avec les progrès récents en matière de connaissance du cerveau, on peut, à tout âge, faire évoluer comportements et ressentis.
Il livre différents cas cliniques et explique comment, à partir de ce que lui dit le patient (par ses mots et par son comportement), il pose son diagnostic. Il précise les différentes aires du cerveau impliquées ainsi que leur fonction. Il explique ensuite comment il a procédé pour accompagner ses patients vers la guérison. La qualité du lien qu'il crée avec eux, le discernement dont il fait preuve dans l'utilisation des différents exercices de pleine conscience ainsi que d'autres dispositifs explique les résultats impressionnants auquel il parvient. Au delà des apports scientifiques et thérapeutiques que cet ouvrage contient, il nous délivre un véritable message d'espoir : il n'y a pas de fatalité à être bloqué dans son chemin d'épanouissement. Un grand livre qui, espérons-le inspirera beaucoup de praticiens.
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5.0 étoiles sur 5 très complet 28 mai 2013
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
C'est un livre très intéressant qui relie le psyché avec les derniers découverts au niveau de la neurobiologie. Un très beau complément aux travaux de Jon Kabat Zinn et les "méditations mindfulness". Seulement dommage qu'il n'est pas traduit en français.
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Par Amazon Customer VOIX VINE
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Daniel Siegel est psychiatre, neurologue qui utilise la méditation comme outil thérapeutique. C'est l'objet de cet ouvrage : sorte de point sur la question tant théorique que pratique.

Siegel livre d'abord dans cet ouvrage une théorie du cerveau et son fonctionnement de manière très simplifiée afin d'être compréhensible par quiconque n'a aucune connaissance médicale ou scientifique. Son modèle de représentation de la structure du cerveau basé sur la main et les doigts, ainsi que le lien entre celle ci et certains problèmes psychologiques est à lui seul captivant et mérite l'achat.

Une fois ce cadre théorique posé, Siegel passe à la pratique thérapeutique. Il explique de manière très simple et complète la théorie de l'attachement en lien avec le développement du cerveau et la façon dont le système nerveux façonne et est façonné par l'expérience et le vécu.

Il montre ensuite comment la méditation de pleine conscience, a pu aider certains de ses patients au travers de plusieurs cas. Les problèmes ne sont pas tous les mêmes et illustrent comment la méditation peut permettre de changer de point de vue, prendre du recul sur les émotions, leur trop plein ou leur absence, et les réintégrer. La méditation permettrait pour Siegel de réintégrer verticalement les émotions mais également horizontalement.
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Amazon.com: 4.4 étoiles sur 5  165 commentaires
648 internautes sur 694 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 not primarily about mindfulness therapy 18 février 2010
Par Kristin - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
I began reading "Mindsight" eagerly because I have a strong interest in mindfulness therapy and Siegel comes highly recommended. I found, however, that I could never get really engaged in the book. I pushed forward and read the whole thing, because Siegel obviously knows his stuff and writes in a clear and easy manner. But I didn't find what I was looking for.

It took a while to figure out why this book was not for me. Three reasons:

First, this book isn't primarily about mindfulness as its title suggests. Siegel has his own well-developed system of therapy. It includes mindfulness, yes, but also a lot of neuroscience, interpersonal therapy, and psychoanalysis (i.e., using insights about one's upbringing to bring about a cure.) Though the word psychoanalysis is never used, it seems to me that it is the dominant strand in his system.
For example, he writes, "With mindsight I was able to make use of the reflections that arose from that conflict [a run-in with his son] to arrive at more clarifying insights into my own childhood experiences."
So because mindfulness is not the main theme, or for some other reason, it is not very thoroughly developed--certainly not as much as in many other books I've read. Hence my disappointment.

The second problem I had is that the bulk of the book is made up of clinical cases (stories of the lives of the author's patients and the therapy he does with them) and stories from the author's life. I find that a few such cases in this kind of book can be illuminating, but reading one story after another becomes tedious.

Third, this book is not directed at helping the reader use the techniques that are mentioned.

None of these observations are meant as criticisms--just some information for anyone trying to make a decision. But if you are mainly interested in mindfulness therapy and would like to use it in your own life, I would recommend "The Mindful Way Through Depression" -- a clear, insightful, and practical book, written by researchers in the field.
156 internautes sur 165 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Ticket to a Higher Quality of Life: Buy Yesterday 15 janvier 2010
Par Mary Ann Lowry - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
I found this gem of a book in a Dallas, TX bookstore before the official release date. As an educator with post graduate work in teaching children how to think as they learn (cognitive learning specialist), I loved Dr. Siegel's tag line "Inspire to Rewire". That is exactly what the book teaches you to do. I now work as an educational consultant and a parenting consultant. It is so evident that people are holding onto thoughts that are keeping them in their own prison of the mind due to the rigid or chaotic thinking and lack of cohesive brain integration. While working with a client, who was struggling with parenting issues, she began to develop Mindsight and understood the leftover issues keeping her trapped in a rigid mindset. After applying Dr. Siegel's suggestions to overcome the brain's rigidity, she realized that she received a message from her childhood implying that she was responsible for everything and everyone. We were both "inspired to rewire" her thinking, as it was apparent that she was learning to see her own rigid views on life. After three sessions, she began to change her own views on parenting and responsibility. For the first time in her life, she understood her story.

This book belongs in the hands of everyone in the helping profession. It's also written in such a way that your clients/parenting students, spouses, friends can use the meditations and other suggestions by Dr. Siegel to begin to rework their story into a cohesive narrative. Boomers will love this, as they search for reasons why their lives may not be working. Dr.Siegel's suggestions for rewiring take time, but I'm convinced they are well worth the time involved. There appears to be a better life awaiting all, who are dealing with confusion or a weak sense of self. His teachings illustrate how to rewrite a new autobiography in a way that makes sense. The book is a huge prescription for a happier more resilient life. An added bonus is the fact that the book offers Mindsight exercises designed to foster enjoyable relationships with those in our families and circle of friends.

I'm pleased to recommend this book to my colleagues and friends. Mary Ann Lowry, M.Ed.
54 internautes sur 57 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Mindsight 28 avril 2010
Par Steven M. Savlov - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:MP3 CD|Achat vérifié
I have read several other books authored by Dr. Siegel including the Developing Mind, The Mindful Mind and recently read Mindsight. As a neuropsychologist and clinical psychologist, I found the previous two books as well as Mindsight to be excellent in terms of bringing neuroscience and psychotherapy together in a very humanistic and readable manner. Many books about neuroscience are very technical and dry when it comes to practical application of science and theory. Dr. Siegel's presentation in Mindsight is very readable and practical with lots of wonderful examples of his thinking and the science behind his approach to psychotherapy which lets the reader adopt or adapt many of his strategies into their practice or their lives very easily. Even after 35 years of clinical practice, I have found that Dr. Siegel's approach has had a significant influence on how I conceptualize and understand my patients. I would highly recommend Mindsight to my colleagues and to my patients as I feel it would be very meaningful and useful to both.
39 internautes sur 44 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Life changing, solid science, easy to read 29 janvier 2010
Par Kirke Olson - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
Mindsight is a life changing, well researched, easy to read book. Life changing because Dr. Siegel explains the science of the brain in an understandable way so you can apply it to everyday life. Knowing how your brain works is a game changer when you are trying to improve your life, parent or help other people improve their lives.

Mindsight is a fantastic resource for teachers, because knowing how the brain learns; why your connection to your kids helps learning; and, why kids lose it when they get frustrated (and what to do about it) changes the way you deal with them in a positive way. I know because I teach and use Mindsight to train teachers.

It is a valuable resource for therapists, because teaching people how their brain works gives them hope and a huge amount of power in their own lives. I know this from my own experience as a psychologist.

Mindsight, written in two sections, combines factual presentation with captivating story for an integrated reading experience.

Buy and read Mindsight. You will need to own it, because if you are like me, you will put it down - mull it over - go back pick it up - and re read parts. I've been having this long term dialog with Mindsight since I read it, I think you will too.

Kirke Olson, PsyD[...]
25 internautes sur 28 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Life Changing. 28 mars 2011
Par S. Dixon - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
This book was recommended to me by my therapist who I have been seeing for decades. It helped me in ways she was never able to. The question always is - How do I change? - when you are finding that you are not living your life effectively. This book is all about how you can change from the inside. The bottom line is meditation and body scans to increase awareness and to connect with your physical, emotional and mental self. There are the terms neuro plasticity and mindfulness that I investgated after reading the book. It is all about the new science of the brain and how we are capable of of helping ourselves to heal in significant ways. The stories in Mindsight were excellent in explaining the variations of how peoples lives can be impacted and healed by these techniques. That was great, a story a chapter.Explains in detail how the brain works, and what is happening when it doesn't. It was good for that.

But as others have said the book was short on explaining how the details of the techniques are actually employed or saying how you can apply it to yourself. So my search did not end, it was just started with this book. Happens that I have a another book already on my shelf. I think I bought it soon after it was published in 1990 on someone's recommendation but never read it - Full Catastrophe Living - by Jon Kabat-Zinn. He had a clinic where they developed an 8 week course to implement these same ideas currently receiving attention now. His book is a practical guide to mindfulness meditation and healing - using the wisdom of your body and mind to face stress, pain and illness. It is a jem. I rediscovered it because it is recommended for a local 8 week course offered at Swedish Hospital (Seattle). Such classes may be offered elsewhere, if not, Jon Kabat-Zinn's book will help. Also the teacher and developer of the Swedish class - Carolyn McManus also has a great website with tapes that would help with the healing process utilizing these techniques.

So Mindsight is a good book but not an endpoint. It takes a village.
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