Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain

Overview

In this New York Times–bestselling book, Dr. Daniel Siegel shows parents how to turn one of the most challenging developmental periods in their children’s lives into one of the most rewarding.

Between the ages of twelve and twenty-four, the brain changes in important and, at times, challenging ways. In Brainstorm, Dr. Daniel Siegel busts a number of commonly held myths about adolescence—for example, that it is merely a stage of “immaturity” filled with often “crazy” behavior. ...

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Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain

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Overview

In this New York Times–bestselling book, Dr. Daniel Siegel shows parents how to turn one of the most challenging developmental periods in their children’s lives into one of the most rewarding.

Between the ages of twelve and twenty-four, the brain changes in important and, at times, challenging ways. In Brainstorm, Dr. Daniel Siegel busts a number of commonly held myths about adolescence—for example, that it is merely a stage of “immaturity” filled with often “crazy” behavior. According to Siegel, during adolescence we learn vital skills, such as how to leave home and enter the larger world, connect deeply with others, and safely experiment and take risks.

Drawing on important new research in the field of interpersonal neurobiology, Siegel explores exciting ways in which understanding how the brain functions can improve the lives of adolescents, making their relationships more fulfilling and less lonely and distressing on both sides of the generational divide.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
10/14/2013
The notoriously tumultuous and mysterious lives of teenagers are illuminated in this study of the teenage brain. The title is slightly misleading, as what Siegel (Mindsight) offers is less a manual than a guide for dealing with relationships. Nevertheless, he attempts to shatter, or at least challenge, popular misconceptions: to be a teenager is not to be irrationally explosive, immature, or to crave wild independence. However, it might mean having an increased dopamine reward drive and extra activity in the lower, more emotional parts of the brain. Hormones and sexuality receive mention here but are not, as in other work on the subject, isolated as the sole cause of all teenage behavior. A physician and father himself, Siegel balances his brain discussions with anecdotes from his family and practice. Humorous illustrations throughout the book lighten the mood. For more practical guidance, Siegel intersperses his discussion with “Mindsight” tools and other strategy-oriented sections, which can be used to guide teenagers toward healthier, more involved relationships. And since as adults we are merely grown-up teens, Seigel’s insights often apply to us, too. By the end of this book, the teenager has been transformed from a monstrous force into a thinking, feeling, and entirely approachable human being. (Jan.)
Kirkus Reviews
2013-10-20
Siegel (Psychiatry/UCLA School of Medicine; Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation, 2010, etc.) tenders approaches to making adolescence work for parents rather than tearing them apart emotionally and psychologically. Although adolescence is often appreciated as a hormonal experience, the author examines it as a brain-change experience in which the brain is more integrated through the testing of boundaries, seeking independence but nurturing an interdependence that will offer both safe harbor and a launching pad to overcome the qualms of the unknown. For every bright side of the adolescent road, Siegel adds, there is typically a downside, so he endeavors to exercise the positive and minimize the negative impacts. Self-awareness and empathy are critical aspects of the process. The neuroscience involved can sometimes feel a bit wobbly. Regarding his "mindsight" skill, was it really necessary that he needed "some word to remind me that seeing the mind, being empathetic, compassionate, and kind, were important"? Must the process of tapping into "our own and others' inner workings [to]…understand the outer behavior of ourselves and of others" now be called the inside-out approach? Siegel emerges as a bighearted writer, fully convinced that we all possess the fundamental virtues to navigate the choppy waters of adolescence, and he is eager for us to set them loose, working with adolescents to cultivate the positive aspects--and he is hugely convincing of the intense engagement and creativity that often accompany this time period in a person's life. However, no new buzzy nomenclature is needed; it's distracting. Still, those twin pillars he presents to imbue life with meaning and joy--to savor and serve--really can't be beat. Smart advice, if unnecessarily repackaged, on providing the most supportive and brain-healthy environment during the tumultuous years of adolescence.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399168833
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 5/5/2015
  • Pages: 336

Meet the Author


Daniel J. Siegel, M.D., is clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine, founding codirector of the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center, and executive director of the Mindsight Institute. He is also coauthor of Parenting from the Inside Out and The Whole-Brain Child, and the proud father of two children in their twenties.
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