Robert Berezin, MD

Psychiatrist and author of Psychotherapy of Character:
The Play of Consciousness in the Theater of the Brain

The Nature-Nurture Question – Nurture – The function of the limbic system is to map our nurture experience into the cortex.


The Nature-Nurture question is the big question, It is central for psychiatry, neuroscience, and child development. And of course, the answer is… it is not either/or, but both. But this answer is insufficient on the face of it. We need to understand what nurture really means. And what are we talking about regarding nature? And how do they actually work together?

Unfortunately the exciting explosion of brain science has led to a confusion and faulty assumption about the what constitutes ‘nature’. The operating belief is that specific brain nuclei, neurotransmitters, cortical locations, and genes directly determine our behavior. And whatever… Continue reading

The Idea that Suicide is Caused by a Gene Defect is Absurd. Enough is Enough Series: #2


A study qualifies for my ‘Enough is Enough’ series when bad science crosses the line to total absurdity. Today’s entry is Identification and Replication of a Combined Epigenetic and Genetic Biomarker Predicting Suicide and Suicidal Behaviors, by Jerry Guintivano, Ph.D et all, in the American Journal of Psychiatry online July 30, 2014.which is accessible on “Blood Test for Suicide May Come From Stress Gene Defect”. This well regarded study proposes that 80% of suicide, suicidal behavior, and suicidal ideation comes from a variation in the region of the SKA2’s genetic and epigenetic expression. Suicidality can be predicted… Continue reading

‘Evidence-based’ Psychiatry is ‘Evidence’ in Name Only, A call for the science of psychotherapy has taken a wrong turn


Sadly, I have to disagree with Emily A. Holmes, Michelle G. Craske and Ann M. Graybiel, in their article in Nature, July 16, 2014, “Psychological treatments: A call for mental-health science, Clinicians and neuroscientists must work together to understand and improve psychological treatments.” As a psychiatrist who practices intensive psychotherapy and has written a book on the subject, “Psychotherapy of Character, the Play of Consciousness in the Theater of the Brain”, I was enthusiastic to read this article, but I was quickly disappointed in the direction it took.

I completely agree that we need good science for psychotherapy… Continue reading

Consciousness Encompasses and Reflects Chaos and Order. It protects us from the chaos of our random environment.


Kelly Clancy, in her brilliant article, “Your Brain Is On the Brink of Chaos, Neurological evidence for chaos in the nervous system is growing”, ”, in ‘Nautilus’, July 10, 2014, presents more compellingly than I can that the ‘Brain is not a Computer Stuck on Top of a Body’. She articulates in a very technical way that the brain utilizes a balance between chaos and order for its operations. It does not operate like a computer, feeding into established static bytes.

Chaos and order is the big subject of the universe – the creation of order… Continue reading

Yes, Psychotherapy is the Answer, Much Maligned, It is the Real Item.


Psychotherapy is a rewarding and effective practice that encompasses the depth and reach of human nature. It effectively heals psychiatric symptoms, the struggles of human character, and allows for the recovery of authenticity and the capacity to love. As a psychiatrist for the last forty years I have treated patients in the psychotherapy of character. Each of us coalesces our character as our genetic temperament fields responsiveness, abuse and deprivation during our formative years. This is at one with the organization of consciousness in the brain as a play with a cast of characters, feeling relationships between them, scenarios and… Continue reading

A Unified Field Theory of Consciousness – A New Paradigm

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A theory of consciousness has to correspond to the actualities of human nature. It has to be consonant with the living of a human life. Its design has to reflect the productions it creates. My view through the looking glass came from many years of psychiatric practice, the long term, intensive psychotherapy of character. This provided me an unusual circumstance where I had a considerable sampling of the vast array of human character. I saw the whole range of symptoms and human suffering. Since I was allowed into the inner sanctum of my patients’ stories, I was privy to… Continue reading

Ray Kurzweil’s presentation of hybrid thinking does not grasp the biological operations of the brain and consciousness. Sentience and the limbic-cortical play is what makes us human.


I love Ray Kurzweil and his brilliant and encompassing mind– his grasp of technology past, present, and future, and the singularity. However, in his ‘Ted Talk’ – “Get Ready for Hybrid Thinking” he does not fully grasp the biology of the brain and consciousness. Instead, like most Artificial Intelligence theorists, he mistakenly imposes a technological model.


When we consider the evolution of the human species, what makes us human is not defined by our unique human functions, such as opposable thumbs, abstract thinking, reasoning, or computational abilities—those are good. The defining feature of our species is the creation of… Continue reading

The Secrets of Consciousness, The limbic-cortex is organized as a drama in the brain.


In order to comprehend the workings of human consciousness, we need to understand the function of consciousness itself, its Darwinian evolution, as well as its specific development in each of our brains.

Human consciousness is the vehicle of our evolutionary adaptation, for our thriving, surviving, and propagation. It has adapted to serve our actual lives. We are social beings and we live it out with family, friends and community. All people and tribes inhabit a culture with art, music, theater, morality, and language. We form intimate relationships, we propagate; raise our children; teach them the values and mores of our… Continue reading

Enough is Enough – Amphetamines for Toddlers is a Travesty.


Alan Schwarz writes, in the New York Times, May 17, 2014 – “Thousands of Toddlers Are Medicated for A.D.H.D., Report Finds, Raising Worries”. We are talking about two and three year old children, 10,000 of them, drugged with amphetamines. This is not some bad sci-fi movie. This is America 2014.

As I have previously addressed in How do Our Children get Misdiagnosed with So-Called ADHD? And Reflections on “The Selling of Attention Deficit Disorder, ADHD is a fictitious disease. It was invented by the American Psychiatric Association and Big Pharma. They have successfully indoctrinated the culture at… Continue reading

Robert Berezin, MD, psychiatrist and author of Psychotherapy of Character: The Play of Consciousness in the Theater of the Brain

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© 2013 by Robert Berezin, MD