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I was captivated by this show. I had the great fortune to come upon it twice while driving my car. This past Sunday morning, I was deeply moved by your story about your own struggles and your comment about being heartbroken. I had been having panic attacks the likes of which I had never known in the prior weeks. When you said broken heart, I realized that my panic attacks weren’t fear based but they were sorrow based. That broke the two week chain of insomnia and a feeling of being crushed. Listening to you and Dr. Post reminded me that compassion and unlimited love have been my quest since I was 18 (now 50+).I realized that I had narrowed my world to work and for my heart it wasn’t enough. I listened to Mrs. Badeau and started thinking about what constituency I have a heart for…it is children and people who want to learn. The show gave me the reminder that I am not a foolish idealist because I believe that genuine caring matters even in the workplace. Thank you for sharing from your heart. Thank you for your guests. Thank you for all the years that you have brought healing words through your radio program.
1. hi Susan,
Thanks so much for listening to the show (twice, no less!)
Very often underneath racing minds and powerful emotions like anxiety we can find more difficult emotions like grief, deep sadness, aloneness or helplessness.and once we find we open up to those feared emotions, we don’t have to work so hard to protect ourselves anymore.
I’m sorry to hear that compassion and unlimited love have been your quest.. Don’t look very hard, you were born with it and it still in there. is a matter fact, the title of my forthcoming book is:
“the wisdom we’re born with: rediscovering faith in ourselves”
take care and have a good week my friend!
Love the story of the glass and the seed.
I’m raising my 11 year old grandson and would love to hear a show about that. It has drastically affected my 13 year relationship with my partner.
the fact that you are raising your 11-year-old grandson suggests problems in both of your backgrounds – with his parents and your child. So this young man comes to your life in the shadow of unhappiness, perhaps trauma or grief. And you accept him into your life perhaps under the same shadow. I don’t know your age, but I will guess you have less energy than you did 20 years ago! And I will also guess that you never expected to be raising your grandson.
I don’t know a thing about your relationship with your partner and I would be happy to hear more. But I can understand where your partner might feel abandoned in this situation. And I can understand where you might feel exhausted and unable to take care of everyone.. I would need to know the difficulties in your relationship and if your partner has signed on to raising your grandson.
So instead of doing a show on this,, tell me a little more about Laurie
This is my new anthem, awesome
Loved this Dan. Not only does it quickly put things in perspective, it gives you hope and energy towards helping someone you care for get to this point. I will be sending this to a nurse who may come crashing down from the sentiment. This, my friend, is timely. Thank you!
Always inspirational Dan…”I am a happy boy today and most days. I am comfortable with my own vulnerability. As cognitive psychologist Brene Brown says, without vulnerability, there can be no intimacy. As a result, my vulnerability not only opens me up to having intimate relationships, it enables be to love more deeply than I ever could have when I was pretending to be strong.”
Much appreciated… such frankness is deeply valued
thanks so much for your comments.. This happy and brittle guy, is busy planning his next vacation.
There is an old Jewish parable that goes like this: when we die,, we meet God who asks us to give an accounting of all of life’s pleasures we did not partake in.. It’s as though God is saying: “hey, I built you these Alps, why didn’t you go see them?” So if I take that parable literally,, I don’t want to take a risk and disappoint the big guy!
For 7 years I have lived in the Philadelphia area, and lucky for me, I found you about 6 and 1/2 years ago and have been a devoted listener ever since. YOur bravery is a beacon to me, through days that are dark for one reason or another, and the warmth and loving care that you extend to others is, in my experience, rare and too wonderful for me to think of the right word. I am so,glad your doctors know and love you. Your recent experience with the reaction to medicine was frightening. I now will pray for your continued health and joy every day. Sally
Dan, simply put, beautiful.
I heard you read these beautiful words on Voices in the Family. They stopped me where I stood and made the hair on my arms stand up. It was exactly what I needed to hear and I had to find them, re-read, and share. Thank you for this beautiful gift about healing, releasing love, and rebuilding.
Dr dan ,,
we’re reading. Yours book. with our student at school. In class room , the power of yours words Inspire us . We feel the passion between the line .
So we hope that we can contact with you throw face time ore skype
I hope hear from you soon .
Me and my students waiting your answer
I listen to your show whenever I get the chance Dan. This poem touched my heart as did your topic on Transforming Trauma. Thank you for your courage, compassion, and love.
Tears are the words our hearts can’t find. You have given our suffering a voice; an inspiringl, kind expression of your humble wisdom. Thank you for including your reading as a separate audio piece on the WHYY Voices in the Family website. Listening to you brings a smile of hope and understanding to my soul.
I wish you well. The Bubbie in the Front Row
So enjoyed your words of wisdom today at Medford Leas. Especially liked your concluding poem.
All the best,
Beautiful, Dr. Dan. With the sun actually starting to shine now and the spring air filled with mulchy earthy smells, the timing for this poem is perfect is every way possible.
I love it. Keep these poems coming!
I enjoy reading an article that can make men and women think.
Also, many thanks for allowing me to comment!
Someone posted your link to my blog saying that mine reminded them of your poem here. Your poem is very beautiful (much more so than my prose), and it’s also much more optimistic. While both our writings contain similar elements, it’s as if mine ends where yours begins to describe emotional healing and love, which makes perfect sense because right now I’m very much still grieving all that I’ve lost, and I still feel vulnerable, and I still cry often. Hopefully, since my writing so closely matches yours, I can look forward to someday feeling less broken, able to love life and all the wonderful things it has to offer. Right now though, it seems like all there is to it is pain, loss, and grief. It’s difficult for me to look toward the future, because my greatest fear right now is not even that things will get worse (which is a very real possibility), but that they’ll never get better, and I’ll be trapped in this limbo and broken down body with no hope for the rest of my days. I try often to rekindle even the tiniest sparks of hope for a better future, but it’s not an easy task when everything around me and inside me is falling to pieces and I have no idea how to go on in such a shattered existence.
Will new book be on Kindle? Hard to handle a real book 🙂
“And the old man, smells the fresh cut grass of his lawn, feels the cool air touching his face, loving the richness of the life that surrounds him.” So well illustrated and warmly shared Dan… Grateful
You are the epitome of wisdom. A wisdom hard earned. Not many people reach such wisdom in a lifetime with such so many obstacles, and come out wise, happy and as incredibly compassionate as you are.
hi Clarissa and Raj,
thanks so much for your kind comments. These are the emotions that pour forth when I have time, when we have time, to sit back and observe life unfold before us..
as far as the book coming out in Kindle is concerned, I don’t know when that will happen. But it is available on iBooks if you have an Apple product.
Thanks everyone for reading my blog
Hi Dr. Dan,
I was very moved by your recent post on the Reeve site entitled “…behind closed doors”. Unfortunately the blog no longer seems to be available (or I can no longer access it) so I’ll comment here.
I can emphasize with the injured who feel that there may be no good reasons to go on. Pain often times can be invisible to others but profoundly crippling to the afflicted. Many web sites and videos show miraculous recoveries for SCI patients, with folks in wheelchairs jumping in and out of cars, pools, etc. But the reality for many of us is that even minimal activity can bring on a severe bout of pain and suffering. Life becomes severely restricted, in spite of the expectations of friends and family. I often feel that I have not only hurt myself, but I’ve hurt those that love me more.
Thanks so much for your follow. I will have to double check the Christopher Reeve people as I didn’t even know that discussion was no longer there.. I think it’s so important for all of us to take ownership of all of our lives-tthe good news and the bad news. We are good people and we do stupid things. We are capable of great love and compassion. And hatred and judgment. Quadriplegia has opened up so many doors for me and has opened up my heart even more. It has also caused great suffering and daily difficulties.
As the Zorba once said: “you know, the full catastrophe!”
Dan, your “Contact Dan” link seems to be broken so I’m posting here. Has there been much exploration of using acupuncture with electricity as a therapy for paralysis? Please email me back if you can – I was hoping to share some of what I know about this treatment method used in China (for various ailments not necessarily paralysis)
I’m in my 40s, so while I’m not quite ready to contemplate death, I have been thinking about a reduced lifespan. The data on SCI and life expectancy is not encouraging; as you indicate, our bodies seem to wear out quicker. That leaves us with a challenge – to make the most of the time we.
hi Shane. I’m not so sure the lifespan thing is all that it’s cracked up to be. All it does is give us the illusion that we have some control over when we die. We do, however, have some control over how we live. Maybe more to the point, we have control over how we experience our lives. Nearly 20 years ago when I took my first meditation class,, one of my fellow students had stage III breast cancer. Talk about a short life span.. I asked her why she was taking this course and I will never forget her response: “all my life wherever I was I was always somewhere else in my head.. In the time I have left, I want to be where I am.”
Me too. And I wish the same for you Shane
Thanks for paying tribute to a grandfather and grandson. Lovely story.
Dan, What beautiful thoughts you expressed. I am 71 years old, and over the past few years, I too have begun to feel that God is love. And that love is probably the most healing and inspiring and greatest power of all. You have added joy and wisdom to my life since I moved to the Philadelphia area, 8 years ago.
I almost died in a car accident about a year ago. Were it not for the enduring love of my wife, who stood by me in my darkest hour despite the tumult of our lives immediately preceding my car accident, I am confident that I would not be alive and fully recovered today. Love never ends.
Dan, what a beautiful message, thank you for sharing. You teach all of us the importance of gratitude & thankfulness by sharing yourself and your deepest emotions with the world. I have and will continue to learn so much from you.You have made my life richer in so many ways. So thankful to call you my friend! Love you!
Dr. Dan you are such an inspiration, have a happy belated birthday with many more love filled years to follow. Thank you for being you.
” And close your eyes and hold your life and you realize all of this love comes through the
scar tissue in your broken heart” Always inspiring and uplifting Dan. Deeply appreciated.
You may find Tagore of interest
“Vulnerability is not a weakness.”
How about it’s not a weakness or a strength but a tool, tactic, or skill?
“Brown says vulnerability is the only way we can have truly intimate, honest relationships.”
That’s fine but do we want all relationships the same? Familial ones are existential and business ones are more conventional. I’d like to hear more about effective listening (Reflective?) so we can better know the difference.
Hers is most certainly one of the best Ted talks ever. Barry Schwartz too who has also been a guest.
Dr. Dan, I agree with your perspective wholeheartedly, and I went through the same growth process after a car accident 19 years ago left me with both spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries. One thing that helped me regain my perspective and my contentedness with my life was when I heard you speak at Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Hospital in Allentown a year after I “graduated” from Good Shepherd. I remember so clearly you saying that ultimately such traumas and injuries were liberating because it took so much energy to just “be” that there wasn’t enough left over to try to hide or be something you were not. I’m not sure in my sadness that I believed you at the time, but I certainly do now, and your insight helped me to find (or maybe rebuild) my wholeness and happiness. Thank you for sharing your experiences and helping me heal.
Grateful for your continued effort, passion and dedication Dan. So many people stand to benefit.
Most appreciative of your continued inputs Dan even on such delicate points. Grateful
What a wonderful lesson for all of us no matter what our situation. I do believe that in today’s day and age we are focused too much on what we DON’T have, or what we CAN”T do. I tiny shift in focus and a bit of gratefulness for what we DO have can make all the difference. Thank you as always for sharing your “Words of Wisdom”. You are truly a blessing to all of us!
Get well soon, Dan. Don’t worry about replying.
Healing mercies, Dr. Dan
May you have a rapid and complete recovery!
Love you Dan!! Circling you in white healing light!!
HEALING THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS BEING SENT UP FOR YOU!!!!!!!!
Get well soon Dr. Dan. You are in my thoughts.
Thank you for letting us know you are in the hospital. Take the best of care! With my love, Sally Birmingham
Dear Dr. Dan, I am keeping you in my thoughts and prayers for swift and thorough healing. Many blessings to you!
Beth Chamberlain *Emily Hauze’s mom*
So well stated Dan… Many thanks… always uplifting and genuine.
You brought a smile to my evening. Too often we focus on what we don’t have, can’t have..that we miss all that can be.
I’m so glad your OK!
Dr. Dan, I am so grateful that you are well again. And I am blown away by your grace, and inspired by your gratitude. You have given me more comfort that I could ever say.
You are so full of Life Dan… May the Sun always smile with you … Deep good wishes
Dr. Dan, you are inspiration to us all. Here’s one of the many reasons why, “the hospital staff wasn’t understanding that it was a crisis…get a doctor before all systems shut down my life would be over”. This speaks to the importance of sepsis awareness and education. My dad experienced something similar back in February when his heart rate and blood pressure were unstable. His long term acute care hospital called a Rapid Response code on him. All of this followed a weekend of severe mental confusion and a high fever. He was transferred to Jefferson hospital and promptly diagnosed and aggressively treated for sepsis. Unfortunately another bout of sepsis was the cause of my dad’s death in March. To read more about my dad’s battle with sepsis among a host of other health complications visit http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/bobskierski.
As a man with epilepsy I have had my bouts of depression. Twelve years ago I was in bad shape and going to a therapist was difficult, but therapy has been a great help. I think men are used to fixing problems and asking for help is a hard.
Dear Dr. Dan, Your life is one miracle after another … may the miracles continue for a long, long time. You are loved and needed here.
Dan, trying to remember the 2nd Ellen Bass poem you mentioned at the Sexuality and Aging conference. We were speaking after your storytelling, and you mentioned “Jack Gottlieb’s in love” in addition to the poem you read. If you get a moment to reply to my question..i’d be most appreciative! thanks so much for your sharing your insights and wisdom about us as individuals, couples, families, children, lovers, humans.
I attended this seminar this afternoon and was blown away. I came in not knowing what to expect or how to feel. By the end of it, I was almost overwhelmed by the amount of love and understanding I felt – love and understanding towards myself, others and life itself. Hearing Dr. Gottlieb, in that room, among my peers, I felt a healing energy that I hope will stay with me throughout my life.
I urge anyone, no matter what your situation, to check Dr. G. out if you have the opportunity.
The poem Dan referred to (about his father) is “Jack Gottlieb’s in Love” from my book, Mules of Love (published by BOA editions in 2002). It’s easy to get online or in bookstores. You’ll enjoy the poem. It’s easy to see that Dan is his son! Ellen
Dan, all i wanted to say is that you are wonderful. Thank you for doing what you do.
Beautiful post…thank you.
I am not able to attend the upcoming 30th anniversary event. However, as a long time listener to “Voices in the Family” I wish to express how much I appreciate Dan’s show. I believe Philadelphia has something very special in Dr. Gottlieb, a one of a kind person. I say this for several reasons. First, I am continually impressed by the depth and breadth of Dr. Gottlieb’s knowledge. I say this as a mental health professional myself. Dr. Gottlieb can discuss almost any topic with almost any guest or caller with sensitivity and a strong knowledge base that I think is uncommon. Second, Dan does not appear to have an online persona but seems to be “the real deal.” We are all trying to figure out how to overcome the sigma surrounding mental health issues. Dan’s person to person approach that does not erect a professional wall, an us and them mentality, I believe is a large part of the solution. Dan holds honest conversations free of teaching and preaching. Lastly, over the years I feel like I have a good idea of how he comes down on different schools of thought within the field not because he has broadcasted his beliefs but they are embedded in his personal, humanistic approach. There is an internal consistency to his views that inspires trust. As you can see I can’t say enough good things about Dr. Gottlieb and Voices in the Family. I believe Philadelphia truly has a great gift in Dan and his show. He and his show are irreplaceable. Thanks Dr. Gottlieb for such an extraordinary show and thanks WHYY for broadcasting it. My last comment–It is valuable to me to hear from a multigenerational staff. I want to hear the views and the work of people of all age groups. Barbara
A book has been written called Cupid’s Broken Arrow – the telltale signs of a doomed relationship and it deals with what to look out for BEFORE a relationship ends. It is based on the author’s experience of his wife Daisy Divoka, a solicitor from Milton Keynes in England, who had an affair with another solicitor Daniel Belsham for almost a year shortly after she was married. It also shows how she was caught out and guides you to seeing the signs of your relationship possibly failing before it does. Full details are at http://www.cupidsbrokenarrow.co.uk.
Dear Dr. Gottlieb, Greetings from India! This is to thank you for this very clear explanation of anger. I found it very useful. I have just finished re-reading your Voices in the Family and it is one of the best books I have ever read on healing. I look forward to exploring and learning from your website. Do take care, you too and best wishes, Simrita
Aww Dan, you will be missed. And not only for your wise and compassionate words, but because with hearing your voice and sound advice, I would immediately bring to my heart, my first and dearest client/employer/friend, Faye Soften. She loved you and always told me how incredibly astute you were. I have listened to you whenever I could since then. Thanks for both your knowledge and for always opening up the flood of memories of working with Faye. I will miss you, and wish you the best in your future work. Faye always said that though her body failed her, she relished the opportunity to use her mind and help others. As you have proven to us as well. Thank you for being so human to me. With much respect, Rosemary P Costello
I will miss your weekly broadcasts, but I so understand your reasons for cutting back. You have brought such wisdom, grace, wit, and vulnerability to the airwaves. You have influenced so many, including me and our entire MSW Program faculty, staff, and students at West Chester University, which has now moved to a recovery, resiliency, and capacity building framework for our entire curriculum. This is in part because of some of your shows especially the one that featured Dr. Arthur Evans and Dr. Patricia Deegan and Molly Kreider Viscardi on Innovations in Behavioral Health. I thank you and wish you the very best!
You are a kind and gentle man . The sound of your voice is compassion itself. You’ve helped so many people enriching their lives with your insights and love. Thank you Dan Gottlieb.
I was instantly very sad when I heard today about you leaving your weekly radio program. I almost wrote “radio show” BUT, since a “show” is usually associated with a performance I would never dare use that word to describe what have have been doing on WHYY over these many years. Hardly!…since you address heart and soul issues with knowledge, experience and a generous amount of compassion, all coming from a very genuine person, YOU! Again, I’m sad to hear of your leaving but I’m sure you know what’s best for you and your future. Since your topic today was thankfulness, I want you to know that I am (and have been for many years) very thankful for you and the work you have done. May you find blessing and peace in the weeks and months to come. Dan from Reading, PA
Thank you Dr Dan for sharing your life experiences so openly, with all of us. It is an act of kindness and generosity that I have personally benefited from,as have many others. It truly is a day to celebrate your “being” here. I loved the last line,” Now, go love somebody today that you didn’t love yesterday!” That person may even turn out to be oneself!
I will miss listening to you on Monday afternoons but look forward to your specials.
May you know Peace and Happiness, Dear Dr Dan!
I really loved the book – letters to sam.
Thank u for inspiring me!
I love your generosity. I also am writing for the same reason – it would be wrong to not share my story (incest survivor and recovery) with a larger audience. Love your most recent book.
Are you related to Fanny Gottlieb? She was the grandmother of my best friend in high school, Debbie Lehrich. After playing racquetball, Debbie and I often went to see Grandma Fanny.
Yes. Opening up to feeling, I think. It may rain to flood stage for a little while but like Noah’s bird one does find land eventually. Then step by step the healing can come.
Extraordinary and wonderfully said. Dan, you are truly an amazing man and an inspiration of what we really need and value. Much love
Dear Dr. DAN; human,
From where I sit you live more than many people that do not have the challenges you have. When I grow up, I want to ‘live’ like you; as much as you do. Im sorry for the woman with a challenged past. I wish her trust in the process of life and and in death. We are ok even, perhaps, when we dont feel so. Much gratitude and honor to know you and your work. Happy New Year as Im just reading this Jan 2, 2017.
May we love ourselves through. May we be our own best friend. May we support each other in doing so! Thank you.
And as we exchange carbon dioxide and oxygen with the plant, as we breathe our breaths, we experience all of being human. We r supposed to. If I can be a good person, do something nice, be a little productive, love and be compassionate towards myself and others … these are mighty good breaths! Thank you. You are marvelous to me -and my heart and soul! I love you.
Children do not have the baggage that we adults tend to hold on to and carry. Perhaps, as we drop the baggage, we too know about awe and happiness. Live in this breath without any baggage. Be free. Live free. Love free. Let love lead us. Thank you. Beautiful. I set my baggage down as often as possible and live in the moment. Whoop. Whoop! I do think children seem to get younger all the time when they do ‘find’ that baggage. May we teach them by showing them life without grasping the baggage.
Wish you could offer this online for those Philly ex-pats and others who know and love Dr Dan’s work.
I first ‘met’ Dan Gottlieb in the early 90’s – looked forward to his WHYY shows eagerly. My daughter presented me with 2 of his ‘Sam’ books which I have shared with those I knew would appreciate and understand them. Having retired from ministry, I’m back in Baltimore – a little too far to take advantage of this new project – and I’m so sorry! I will always remember his wisdom and the love with which he accepts and relates to his patients!!!
i would like to know about your event on april 1st. i miss hearing you on public radio.youre a sensible voice in this time of doubt.
You’re the best.
Have you heard of Open Focus (Les Fehmi In
Princeton) for pain management? I have found it very
Helpful over the years.
You’re the inspiration for us all. So happy for you and Joan.
Wonderful! I just watched Real Rail Adventures (Swiss Winter Magic) on TV. Lake Geneva and the Matterhorn look sublime. I can see myself there before I depart. Thank you for sharing your Swiss Adventure!
Wonderful! Sounds wonderful! Happy and proud!!! In awe! So glad you went and had such wonderful experiences! Thank you for sharing.
We love your letters to sam. So warm, filled with love and joy. Thank you soooo much for sharing this with the world.
This is beautiful, Dan. Your thoughts are elegant, so human, compassionate, and truthful. Thank you for writing it.
I just re-read Dr. Gottlieb’s column for the Inquirer in 2008. I wondered what he was doing with himself. I’m happy to see he’s still active. I so enjoyed his columns throughout the years. Stay well.
Dan, your show got me through the first harrowing weeks and months of caring for an infant alone. I am a single mother. I looked forward to your Monday shows. Thank you.
This makes me sad. I will miss you!
Hearing your story has made a difference in my life.
Dr. Dan, we are in your debt for headlining DMAX Foundation’s inaugural public event in 2015 with Congressman Patrick Kennedy, and contributing your insights and obvious caring. And for your interviewing us as well for your wonderful “Voices in the Family”. Philadelphia will miss you…you will always be in our hearts.
Your thoughts while looking out the window are beautiful, Dan. And somehow very comforting. I love the gray, and your conclusion that even the broken tree is beautiful. And your other conclusion that we all have our brokennesses and blemishes.
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