The Direct Route To Abiding Peace with Gail Brenner, Ph.D.

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Are we limited, damaged, and inadequate? Gail Brenner says we are not. She understands that the self-help movement can be useful, but believes that we possess the capacity to spontaneously find inner peace. She shares ideas for shedding the stories and thought patterns that bring about negative feelings. “The end of suffering is possible in any moment; we don’t need to keep searching for it,” she says. Brenner feels that the act of seeking implies that we think there’s something wrong that needs to be fixed. “Self-help is seeking for something outside ourselves that we think we don’t have.” She also believes that it is important to welcome and observe the feelings that are contributing to our suffering because we can learn from them. “Our attention to our experience is power because it comes from this place of infinite life…when we’re in touch with that, these conditioned patterns of thoughts and feelings begin to unravel.” (hosted by Justine Willis Toms)


Gail Brenner, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist and blogger.

She is the author of:

To learn more about the work of Gail Brenner go to

Topics Explored in This Dialogue

  • How can “self-help” be hurting us
  • What are some techniques to bring yourself out of suffering
  • What is the difference between feeling and emotion
  • What does it mean to be an observing presence
  • Do we make our thoughts
  • Why is it important to label a feeling
  • What are the two kinds of thoughts
  • What is the “sitting on the couch process”

Host: Justine Willis Toms   Interview Date: 6/25/2015   Program Number: 3551

Music Playlist

From Album: New Friend
Artist: Eugene Friesen with Paul Halley on piano
1986 Living Music Records CD #LMRCD-7

Opening Essay: Track 06 New Friend
Music Break 1: Track 01 First Ride
Music Break 2: Track 09 Full Circle
Music Break 3: Track 09 Full Circle (reprise)