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 into the mysterious shadows of the mind.


On the other hand, when I practiced Medicine, my knowing was based on what was seen or suspected, compared to known medical knowledge, and relegated to a box, i.e., labeled; and treatment was based on ‘proven’ information.  I have lived long enough to know that, ‘proven’ keeps changing.


The Mind is the Mind, unnameable, free of definable parts, resistant to compartmentalizations, conceived by the Self and others; yet holds no form, always disappearing into infinite shadows…to be explored by fellow Shadowers.  The Shadower knows that if these vapors remain unresolved, they can take the form of definable illness.  If the client wants to create healthy change, it is best for client and therapist to locate the origin of those shadows that need to be transformed into health, through the medicine that is called Psychology.

Who knows what lurks in minds of men:  you and The Shadow….with mutual permission.