If You Think You are Ready to Die, Buy a Puppy

Julie/ October 6, 2021/ Paul Brenner, MD, PhD

Here, I’m 87 years old, having difficulty walking, in intractable pain in my legs; and, at times, think of chucking it all in! So what can I do? No, not go to a therapist. Right, buy a puppy! Our Lucky is sheer Joy. He takes my mind off myself, and directs my moments of lost love of self to my

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Old Age

Julie/ February 1, 2021/ Paul Brenner, MD, PhD

Now that I’m old (and I am sure that is the correct definition of my present age, 87), I’ve learned a great deal about aging. But it always boils down to acceptance and permission, since I’ve lost the ability to walk when I was 80 (after falling off a surfboard in Hawaii on my birthday). I further fractured my already

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The Mirror

Julie/ July 8, 2020/ Paul Brenner, MD, PhD

This cry for equality is so very different than I have ever experienced. Mr. Trump has been our mirror of the vestiges of the racist, privileged lives we all have lived so it’s time for each of us to take an inventory of our own lives. Anyone who lives life with more than they need is privileged. If that is

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Balance – The Illusion of a Steady State and Other

Mary H/ May 1, 2020/ Paul Brenner, MD, PhD

Balance is the state of dynamic equilibrium. It is a dynamic state in which opposites exchange between one another, without loss. It is the state referred to as the transpersonal experience. It is a state devoid of comparison or judgment. Since it may appear that nothing is happening, it is often misunderstood as a state of ‘oneness.’ Balance is the

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Emotions are stories

Mary H/ April 16, 2020/ Paul Brenner, MD, PhD

Emotions are our behavioral responses to stories that we tell ourselves; and those fearful experiences of our generational, epigenetic past. These often shape our reality, and our responses to that reality. The stories originate in the mind, as well as external environmental input that can trigger our own stories and internal memories. They are retold, consciously and unconsciously, until they

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The Curse of Being Special

Mary H/ December 30, 2019/ Paul Brenner, MD, PhD

Over a number of years, I have encountered clients who demonstrate the curse of being told in childhood, how special they are. ‘Special’ can come with a dark side: anxiety, pressure to succeed, perfectionism, isolation and failure to meet expectations; and, in time, may lead to illness. The ‘gifted’ may either burnout or self-sabotage, in order to prove their family

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Psychology as Medicine

Mary H/ December 11, 2019/ Paul Brenner, MD, PhD

When I was a kid, 85 years ago, my favorite radio series was ‘The Shadow.’  The program began, ‘Who knows what lurks in the hearts of man?  (Pause) The Shadow Knows!’  And it ended with the same deep, mysterious voice, repeating, ‘Who Knows…?  (Longer pause) The Shadow knows.’  Psychology, for me, is playing the role of The Shadow. Psychologists delve

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On Fear

Mary H/ September 10, 2019/ Paul Brenner, MD, PhD

Of all the statements of the sixties and seventies that I use practically everyday, one is the title of Gerald Jampolski’s book, “Love is Letting Go of Fear.” The other day on seeing a patient, I used that phrase for the umpteenth time; and thought to myself: ‘What is fear?.’ It is an emotional experience, not unlike love, and as

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Love for Self is a Gift to Other

Mary H/ August 9, 2019/ Paul Brenner, MD, PhD

Perhaps the greatest gift that we can offer another is the love that we discover within ourselves. Self-love has a beginning, but no end. One of the many games of life is to learn alchemy: the transmutation of emotional pain into love. Physical pain, on the other hand, is meant to be remembered. It tells us where to tread lightly.

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The Beauty of Difference

Mary H/ July 26, 2019/ Paul Brenner, MD, PhD

The acknowledgment of ‘that other,’ those we observe to be different from ourselves, is the origin of all of our problems: disconnection, loneliness, judgment, comparison and more. What if the purpose of ‘that other’ is simply to see ourselves, outside ourselves; in another form with acceptance. How would life be different if we could accept ‘that other’ as a part

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