Entries by Robert Berezin

Personas — the Cast of Characters of the Play of Consciousness. How Other People Shape Our Consciousness

One of the most fascinating and central elements in the Play of Consciousness are the personas. The function of waking consciousness in the brain is the overall management of our human existence. The play serves our being and our functioning: our bodies, our physical needs, social relations, loving, and fighting, nurturance, our labors and our […]

On Consciousness: Explaining the Brain’s Beautiful Illusion

Our consciousness is a brain-generated neurologic illusion. Our brain creates representations of reality, self, other people, objects, set designs, and landscape, which correspond quite accurately to reality. It is, however, not reality, but simulations. Our consciousness also encompasses the entire scope of the human narrative, developing step by step as our experience is mapped into […]

The Yearly event… Dickens’ “Christmas Carole”, A Psychiatric primer of Character and Redemption

  Forty-three years before Freud arrived on the scene with the Interpretation of Dreams, Charles Dickens wrote A Christmas Carol. He taught us all we need to know about character formation, the effects of trauma, and the healing process of mourning. This most illuminating story prefigures the Psychotherapy of Character and is an exemplar of […]

Why Do We Love Sad Music? Mourning Our Pain

 As an experiment, my son and I asked the following question on Facebook ”Looking for the sad song you love to listen to when you’re down. Open to any and all genres. ” We received 71 responses in 24 hours. Each person sent their go-to music, or even long playlists. All were very enthusiastic about this […]

A Hit Documentary Exposes Psychiatry’s Past Failures

Stranger Than Fiction The documentary Three Identical Strangers by filmmaker Tim Wardle takes us (spoiler alert!) from fun and frothy to a surprising left turn about the evils of human experimentation. The film raises moral questions that lead us, unsuspectingly, to a very dark place. When Bobby Shafran went off to college at age 19, he was […]

The Real Story of PTSD

I was driving in Cambridge in a blinding snow storm on Thanksgiving Day, 1970. When I braked to slow down, my car didn’t stop, it just kept on skidding. I slowly continued on. When I approached the stop light at Memorial Hall, I braked far in advance of the light and skidded twenty feet until […]