Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Power and the Purpose of the Teenage Brain

A young Johnny, played by Marlon Brando in THE WILD ONES, is asked what he’s rebelling against? He answers “what have you got?” Rebellion and the youthful desire to shape one's identity, have long been a part of the adolescent experience.

Today however, we know so much more about it. About what goes on inside the brain that shapes that rebellion and the quest for identity. What we also understand, but perhaps as parents we don’t always practice, is the the kind of virtuous circle, or feedback loop that results when parents react to adolescent behavior. What we know is that the behavior isn’t fixed. That it’s profoundly influenced by action and ways that have a lifetime impact.

Few understand this better than UCLA clinical professor of psychiatry and Mindsight Institute Executive Director, Dr. Daniel Siegel. He's also the author of Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain.

My conversation with Dr. Daniel Siegel:

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