“Suffering is optional“Dr. Gail
Dr. Gail Brenner, Ph.D. is a psychologist, author, speaker, and lover of truth with a fire that burns brightly. She is an expert in healing from early trauma and brings years of experience with individuals and groups. Her work lovingly illuminates our everyday humanness with the deepest spiritual truths, and she is known for creating the safe space needed for inner exploration.
Gail has special expertise working with older adults and their families in the transitions of aging, death, and dying. She was an assistant clinical professor at the University of California San Francisco where she trained physicians and maintained a clinical practice. She has published numerous professional articles on coping with stress and chronic medical illness and is the author of the award-winning The End of Self-Help and Suffering Is Optional. She loves healthy living and exploring different cultures through international volunteering.
She received her B.A. from Carnegie-Mellon University and her Ph.D. from Temple University. She completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Florida and a clinical internship at the Veteran’s Administration Hospital in Palo Alto, CA. She has special expertise working with older adults and their families, bringing clear seeing and compassion to the transitions of aging, death, and dying. As a member of the clinical faculty at the University of California, San Francisco, she helped physicians develop communication skills and learn to address psychosocial issues with their patients. She has authored numerous published articles on coping with stress and chronic medical illness. And she has consulted with staff of assisted living and skilled nursing facilities about aging, dementia, and caregiving and given presentations to the community at large on these topics.
Check online 5-session course with Gail Brenner, Deep Trauma Healing: Finding Ease and Well-Being in Everyday Life
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Stream the audio here
- Suffering Is Optional: A Spiritual Guide to Freedom from Self-Judgment and Feelings of Inadequacy
- At the Core of Every Heart: Reflections, Insights, and Practices for Waking Up and Living Free
- Gabor Mate
- Bessel Van Der Kolk
- Eckhart Tole
- Nisargadatta Maharaj
- Ralitza Zaya Benazzo and Maurizio Benazzo
Resources Mentioned: The Wisdom of Trauma
You can also supplement this interview with my other 2 interviews:
- Dr. Susan LaCombe — Coping with Trauma, Emotionally Available Therapist, Somatic Models, Connection of Trauma with Nervous System, and Much More (#135)
- Beth Tyson — Childhood Trauma Consultant and Mental Health Educator (#197)
- Where did you grow up and what was your childhood like?
- Could you share any memorable favorite story from a childhood?
- If people do not know about you and your work, how do you usually respond when people ask you?
- Why did you become clinical psychologist?
- Sometimes people have trouble believing in themselves and they might accept everybody’s opinion and do not trust their own instincts and opinion. What is your recommendation to those people?
- Is there any practice, or conscious practice to realizing this pattern of not trusting in our own instincts?
- When you work with clients who have gone through different issues and traumas, It takes months and years sometimes. How do you take them from point a to point B in that process?
- How do you help your patient or client to feel safe if they are having a bad day?
- What would be the good tool for those people who have trouble grounding themselves through the breathing technique?
- In the mindfulness community and in the trauma healing space, everybody talks about breathing the power of breath, and you’re mentioning that breathing can activate trauma.I’m interested to ask you why breathing can activate trauma?
- How do you define trauma?
- Role of compassion in healing
- I’m wondering now that I recognize something happened to me in the child. But as an adult, I’m not sure what are my next steps? Where should I go? Should I hire a therapist?
- How do you find compassion for yourself?
- Conscious life and Embodied living
- How does someone can work through that trigger in our relationships? When is the right time to communicate with our partner that we are triggered?
- Cultivating a secret garden in a relationship
- Explaining the end of self-help
- Who is your inspiration in trauma informed care world?
- You have come across many spiritual teachings about the nature of happiness and through that you have made some life changing discoveries in your life. So can we please talk about that as spiritual teachings and the nature of happiness?
- What activities give you happiness?
- How would you describe what is a healthy relationship? What does it look like? What does it feel like?
- Do you recall any book from your life that have had the most positive impact in your life book?
- Could you describe a little bit more on attachment theory?
- Suffering is optional
- When you wake up in the morning, what do you do in the first 60 to 90 minutes of your waking up?
- Parting thoughts
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