|Basic InformationMore InformationLatest NewsQuestions and AnswersVideosLinksBook Reviews|100 Things Guys Need to Know3 NBS of Julian DrewA Guide to Asperger SyndromeA Tribe ApartA User Guide to the GF/CF Diet for Autism, Asperger Syndrome and AD/HDA Walk in the Rain With a BrainAdolescent DepressionAfterAggression and Antisocial Behavior in Children and AdolescentsAll Alone in the UniverseAmelia RulesAmericaAnother PlanetAntisocial Behavior in Children and AdolescentsArtemis FowlAssessment and Treatment of Childhood Problems, Second EditionAutistic Spectrum DisordersBad GirlBetween Two WorldsBeyond AppearanceBeyond Diversity DayBig Mouth & Ugly GirlBill HensonBipolar DisordersBody Image, Eating Disorders, and ObesityBody Image, Eating Disorders, and Obesity in YouthBoyBoysBrandedBreaking PointBreathing UnderwaterBringing Up ParentsBullying and TeasingCan't Eat, Won't EatCatalystChild and Adolescent Psychological DisordersChildren Changed by TraumaChildren with Emerald EyesChildren’s Dreaming and the Development of Consciousness City of OneConcise Guide to Child and Adolescent PsychiatryConquering the Beast WithinContentious IssuesCrackedCutDancing in My NuddypantsDemystifying the Autistic ExperienceDescartes' BabyDilemmas of DesireDirtyDoing ItDoing SchoolDying to Be ThinEating an ArtichokeEducating Children With AutismElijah's CupEllison the ElephantEmerald City BluesEmotional and Behavioral Problems of Young ChildrenEvery Girl Tells a StoryFast GirlsFeather BoyFiregirlForever YoungFreaks, Geeks and Asperger SyndromeFreewillGeography ClubGeorgia Under WaterGirl in the MirrorGirlfightingGirlsourceGirlWiseGLBTQGood GirlsGoodbye RuneGranny Torrelli Makes SoupGrowing Up GirlHandbook for BoysHealing ADDHeartbeatHelping Children Cope With Disasters and TerrorismHelping Parents, Youth, and Teachers Understand Medications for Behavioral and Emotional ProblemsHollow KidsHow Children Learn the Meanings of WordsHow to Keep Your Teenager Out of Trouble and What to Do If You Can'tHug MeIntrusive ParentingIt's Me!It's Perfectly NormalJake RileyJoey Pigza Swallowed the KeyJuvenile-Onset SchizophreniaKeeping the MoonKilling MonstersKim: Empty InsideKnocked Out by My Nunga-NungasLaura Numeroff's 10-Step Guide to Living with Your MonsterLearning About School ViolenceLeo the Lightning BugLet Kids Be KidsLiberation's ChildrenLife As We Know ItLisa, Bright and DarkLittle ChicagoLord of the FliesLoserLove and SexLove That DogManicMastering Anger and AggressionMind FieldsMiss American PieMom, Dad, I'm Gay.MonsterMore Than a LabelMyths of ChildhoodNew Hope for Children and Teens with Bipolar DisorderNo Two AlikeNot Much Just Chillin'Odd Girl OutOdd Girl Speaks OutOf Mice and MetaphorsOn the Frontier of AdulthoodOne Hot SecondOne in ThirteenOphelia SpeaksOphelia's MomOur Journey Through High Functioning Autism and Asperger SyndromeOut of the DustOvercoming School AnxietyParenting and the Child's WorldParenting Your Out-Of-Control TeenagerPediatric PsychopharmacologyPeriod PiecesPhobic and Anxiety Disorders in Children and AdolescentsPINSPraising Boys WellPraising Girls WellPretty in PunkPrincess in the SpotlightProblem Child or Quirky Kid?Psychotherapy As PraxisPsychotherapy for Children and AdolescentsRaising a Self-StarterRaising BlazeRaising Resilient ChildrenReclaiming Our ChildrenRedressing the EmperorReducing Adolescent RiskRethinking ADHDReweaving the Autistic TapestryRineke DijkstraRitalin is Not the Answer Action GuideRunning on RitalinSay YesSexual Teens, Sexual MediaShooterShort PeopleShould I Medicate My Child?Skin GameSmackSmashedStaying Connected to Your TeenagerStick FigureStoner & SpazStop Arguing with Your KidsStraight Talk about Your Child's Mental HealthStrong, Smart, & BoldStudent DepressionSurvival Strategies for Parenting Children with Bipolar DisorderSurviving OpheliaTaking Charge of ADHD, Revised EditionTaming the Troublesome ChildTargeting AutismTeaching Problems and the Problems of TeachingTeen Angst? NaaahThat SummerThe American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook Of Child And Adolescent PsychiatryThe Arctic IncidentThe Bipolar ChildThe Buffalo TreeThe Bully, the Bullied, and the BystanderThe Carnivorous CarnivalThe Depressed ChildThe Developing MindThe Dragons of AutismThe Dream BearerThe Dulcimer Boy The Einstein SyndromeThe EpidemicThe Eternity CubeThe Explosive ChildThe Field of the DogsThe First IdeaThe Identity TrapThe Inside Story on Teen GirlsThe Little TernThe Mean Girl MotiveThe Men They Will BecomeThe Myth of LazinessThe New Gay TeenagerThe Notebook GirlsThe Nurture AssumptionThe Opposite of InvisibleThe Order of the Poison OakThe Other ParentThe Present Moment in Psychotherapy and Everyday LifeThe Real Truth About Teens and SexThe Rise and Fall of the American TeenagerThe Secret Lives of GirlsThe Sex Lives of TeenagersThe Shared HeartThe Spider and the BeeThe StepsThe Thought that CountsThe Unhappy ChildThe Vile VillageThe Whole ChildThen Again, Maybe I Won'tTherapy with ChildrenThings I Have to Tell YouTouching Spirit BearTrauma in the Lives of ChildrenTreacherous LoveTrue BelieverTwistedUnhappy TeenagersWay to Be!We're Not MonstersWhat about the KidsWhat Would Joey Do?What's Happening to My Body? Book for BoysWhat's Happening to My Body? Book for GirlsWhen Nothing Matters AnymoreWhen Sex Goes to SchoolWhen Your Child Has an Eating DisorderWhere The Kissing Never StopsWhose America?Why Are You So Sad?WinnicottWorried All the TimeYes, Your Teen Is Crazy!You Hear MeYoung People and Mental HealthYour Child, Bully or Victim?
by Daniel J. Siegel
Guilford Press, 1999
Review by James E. de Jarnette, Ph.D. and Robert N. Grove, Ph.D. on Feb 7th 2003
In the Preface to this most
readable and enjoyable book, Daniel Siegel puts the question, What is the
mind? How does the mind develop? From
this point we are taken on a psychoneurobiological expedition exploring one of
the oldest questions for mankind, i.e. soma vs. psyche; what is consciousness.
The beginning questions lead us to
the philosophical conclusion that consciousness, i.e. mind, is something that
is developed, and it is implicit in this that it is something that grows along
developmental lines and is linked to some biological structures. This question even after this book will
continue to be debated in the best salons around the world.
Epistemology and eschatology set
aside, this is a truly ground breaking work that is very user friendly. Anyone with a high school education can
follow the yellow brick road beginning with learning basic brain structures and
understanding the need for consilience.
Consilience is at the heart of this
book. Edward O. Wilson the author of
the book Consilience and the Unity of Knowledge said in an interview
with David Gergen said about the word consilience: "Well, it's not a new
word. It's been used for 160 years by philosophers of science, and essentially
it means the way the different fields, you know, like Biology and Physics and
the social sciences connect up at least in terms of the laws, the basic laws
that they share together. It really goes back to a very old dream of the
enlightenment in the 17th and 18th century when philosophers believed that you
could unite knowledge. So consilience means really the uniting of knowledge at
a fundamental level."
work empirically demonstrates what we have all been reading about how important
attachment is and its effects in all areas of life and relationship. However its implications for the healing of
traumas that effect brain structure point toward a new appreciation of the
wisdom teachings of the ages about meditative solitude. He states,
Each of us
needs periods in which our minds can focus inwardly. Solitude is an essential experience for the mind to organize its
own process and create an internal state of resonance. In such a state, the self is able to alter
its constraints by directly reducing the input form interactions with others. As the mind goes through altering phases of
needing connecting and needing solitude, the states of mind are cyclically
influenced by combinations of external and internal process. We can propose that such a shifting of focus
allows the mind to achieve a balanced self-organizational flow in the states of
mind across time. Respecting the need
for solitude allows the mind to heal itselfwhich in essence can be seen as
releasing the natural self-organizational tendencies of the mind to create a
balanced flow of states. Solitude
permits the self to reflect on engrained patterns and intentionally alter
reflexive responses to external events that have been maintaining the dyadic
dysfunction. (pg. 235).
to the use of psychotherapy as a means toward repairing continuing trauma and
restoring self-regulation, he states,
clinical setting, the relationship of therapist and patient becomes the
external constraint that can help produce changes in the individuals
capacity for self-organization. (pg. 242)
of evidence support the view that the conscious self is in fact a very small
portion of the minds activity.
Perception, abstract cognition, emotional processes, memory and social
interaction all appear to proceed to a great extent without the involvement of
consciousness. Most of the mind is
Nonconscious processing influences our behaviors, feelings and
when processes become linked with consciousness, they can be more
strategically and intentionally manipulated and the outcome of their processing
can be adaptively altered.
Consciousness may allow us to become free from reflexive processing and
introduce some aspect of choice into our behavior. (pg.263)
Developing Mind is a
must read for professional behavioral scientists, people interested in parenting,
early childhood development, neurobiology, and those who really want the
empirical facts about the effects of parenting over the lifespan. It is full of wonder and written so that
anyone can understand and appreciate the wonders that consilience in the
sciences are bringing to us in understanding how we arrived at who we are and
what we can do to effect change at the systemic level.
© 2003 James E. de Jarnette and Robert N. Grove
James E. de Jarnette, Ph.D. and Robert
N. Grove, Ph.D.