Q. You’ve been in clinical practice for over 15 years. Why write LIVING THE TRUTH now?
A. I have delivered my message in a variety of ways over the years—as a practicing psychiatrist, as a novelist and as a television host. Having seen the incredible power of the ideas in LIVING THE TRUTH to transform lives in each of those environments, I believe this is the right time to crystallize what I have learned and make it accessible to the largest number of people possible. I intend this book to be the start of a movement toward universal healing principles that form the basis not only of psychology and psychiatry, but the great religions of the world.
LIVING THE TRUTH is more needed than ever because of the number of forces we are all exposed to that can distance us from our real potential, core values and dreams. Dehumanizing forms of technology, alcohol and drugs, eating problems and relationship difficulties are all reaching crescendo levels. It’s time to reclaim our selves and our true abilities to face reality and make it work for us in magnificent ways.
Q. If you could name one, what is the most essential step people must be willing to take in order to “live the truth?”
A. The most essential step people can take is to open their hearts to the idea of taking a journey to find what I call their “buried treasure”—lessons from the past that can power their futures. It is a true healing and empowering journey into the earlier chapters of their life stories, in order to create wonderful new chapters in the future.
Q. In LIVING THE TRUTH, you talk about how difficult it can be to confront the roots of our troubles. Do you feel that our society has become dependent on “quick fix” solutions to our problems? Why or why not?
A. Our society has definitely become dependent on “quick fix” solutions. Taking psychiatric medicines without taking yourself in hand, following fad diets that don’t get to the real emotional reasons you’re overeating to begin with, trying to follow slick steps to improve your marriage or find romance instead of following the real path to true love, wishing for greater financial success instead of finding the true reasons it has alluded you are all examples. LIVING THE TRUTH is my answer to the fads and fixes that don’t work. Because I have seen the principles and strategies in this book revolutionize the existence of everyone who has made a commitment to them.
Q. There is a famous quote, “Insanity is doing the same thing in the same way and expecting a different outcome.” Do you feel that people can easily get caught in behavioral patterns?
A. Absolutely. Like planets held in orbit by gravitational fields, human beings gravitate toward high-energy psychological dynamics—whether they’re conscious or not.
Unresolved emotional issues from the past create the most magnetic psychological force of all. Left to simmer underground, this force draws us back into the destructive patterns of emotion and behavior that first created it.
To choose a graphic example, if you were terrified of your father as a little girl and resolve to run away from that reality, you will habitually run right back into trouble. You will either gravitate toward one violent man after another (because those men will reawaken your intense childhood desire to be loved by your father) or try to stay safe by selecting men who are incapable of expressing any anger (and need, for example, to use alcohol to quell their repressed emotions). In either case, the relationships will be rooted in unexplored, powerful childhood anxieties, and your suffering will be reborn as the main character in one painful drama after another.
You can’t outdistance your past. The truth always wins.
Q. Do you think that simply changing the behavior will stop the pattern or, alternately, that it’s essential to find the source of the problem to really start a change?
A. It is absolutely essential to find the source of the problem. Otherwise, it’s like taking pain relievers to try to get rid of an infection; you’re treating symptoms while the real problem gets worse.
Look at women who have gastric bypass surgery to lose weight. Lots of them end up abusing alcohol or illicit substances when they never did before the surgery. Why? Because the underlying emotional reasons they were using food as a drug were never addressed.
LIVING THE TRUTH is all about finding the real psychological hurdles in your way to creating the life you deserve, clearing them and finding a new and wonderful future.
Q. Take me through the steps of LIVING THE TRUTH.
A. The chapters of LIVING THE TRUTH and the accompanying exercises make it possible for people to accurately identify what they want to change in their lives, to clearly see the life events, emotional defenses and behaviors that are preventing them from making those changes, and to then put into play proven strategies to realize their dreams.
Ultimately, this is about solving the mystery of your own existence. It’s about an organized and courageous search for what has made you who you are. Armed with that knowledge and the plan of action I lay out, you can truly achieve the goals you cherish and become the person you want to be.