This week on the Curiosity & Consciousness podcast, Dr. Bernie Siegel joins me.
Dr. Siegel who prefers to be called Bernie, not Dr. Siegel, was born in Brooklyn, NY. His surgical training took place at Yale New Haven Hospital, West Haven Veteran’s Hospital and the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. He retired from practice as an assistant clinical professor of surgery at Yale of general and pediatric surgery in 1989 to speak to patients and their caregivers.
In 1978, he originated Exceptional Cancer Patients, a specific form of individual and group therapy utilizing patients’ drawings, dreams, images and feelings. ECaP is based on “carefrontation,” a safe, loving therapeutic confrontation, which facilitates personal lifestyle changes, personal empowerment and healing of the individual’s life. The physical, spiritual and psychological benefits which followed led to his desire to make everyone aware of his or her healing potential. He realized exceptional behaviour is what we are all capable of.
In 1986 his first book, Love, Medicine & Miracles was published. This event redirected his life. Many more books followed including Peace, Love & Healing, How to live Between Office Visits & Prescriptions for Living. He is currently working on other books with the goal of humanizing medical education and medical care, as well as, empowering patients and teaching survival behaviour to enhance immune system competency.
Bernie wants to help people fix their lives before they are broken, and thus not have to become strong at the broken places.
Bernie, and his wife and coworker Bobbie, who died in 2018, lived in a suburb of New Haven, Connecticut. They have five children and eight grandchildren. Bernie and Bobbie have co-authored their children, books and articles. Their home with its many children, pets and interests resembled a cross between a family art gallery, museum, zoo and automobile repair shop. It still resembles these things, although the children are trying to improve its appearance in order to avoid embarrassment.
In this episode, Bernie talks about:
- Why he left surgery & moved into patient empowerment
- What people who were meant to die did differently
- How the medical system doesn’t know people, only disease
- The power of drawings
- Using your problem as your therapy
- How your thoughts change your chemistry
- Lessons his parents taught him
- And much more
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