Dr. Siegel, who prefers to be called Bernie, not Dr. Siegel, attended Colgate University and Cornell University Medical College. His surgical training took place at Yale New Haven Hospital, West Haven Veteran’s Hospital and the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. He retired from practice as an assistant clinical professor of surgery at Yale of general and pediatric surgery in 1989 to speak to patients and their caregivers.
In 1978 he originated Exceptional Cancer Patients, a specific form of individual and group therapy utilizing patients’ drawings, dreams, images and feelings. ECaP is based on “carefrontation,” a safe, loving therapeutic confrontation, which facilitates personal lifestyle changes, personal empowerment and healing of the individual’s life. The physical, spiritual and psychological benefits which followed led to his desire to make everyone aware of his or her healing potential. He realized exceptional behavior is what we are all capable of.
In 1986 his first book, Love, Medicine & Miracles was published. This event redirected his life. In 1989 Peace, Love & Healing, and in 1993 How to Live Between Office Visits followed. He is currently working on other books with the goal of humanizing medical education and medical care, as well as, empowering patients and teaching survival behavior to enhance immune system competency. Bernie’s realization that we all need help dealing with the difficulties of life, not just the physical ones, led to Bernie writing his fourth book in 1998 Prescriptions for Living. It helps people to become aware of the eternal truths and wisdom of the sages through Bernie’s stories and insights rather than wait for a personal disaster. He wants to help people fix their lives before they are broken, and thus not have to become strong at the broken places.
Published in 2003 are Help Me to Heal to empower patients and their caregivers and 365 Prescriptions for the Soul, in 2004 a children’s book about how difficulties can become blessings, Smudge Bunny, in 2005 101 Exercises for the Soul and out in the Fall of 2006 a prescriptions for parenting book Love, Magic & Mud Pies. Published in 2008 Buddy’s Candle, for children of all ages, related to dealing with the loss of a loved one, be it a pet or parent, and published in 2009 Faith, Hope & Healing with inspiring survivor stories and his reflections about what they teach us. Also out is Words Swords, his poetry and chance to write and react with your own. In the Fall of 2011 A Book of Miracles will be out with amazing stories and his comments.
Woody Allen once said, “If I had one wish it would be to be somebody else.” Bernie’s wish was to be a few inches taller. His work has been such a growth experience that he is now a few inches taller. His prediction is that in the next decade the role of consciousness, spirituality, non-local healing, body memory and heart energy will all be explored as scientific subjects.
As a physician, who has cared for and counseled innumerable people whose mortality has been threatened by an illness, Bernie embraces a philosophy of living and dying that stands at the forefront of the medical ethics and spiritual issues our society grapples with today. He continues to assist in the breaking of new ground in the field of healing and personally struggling to live the message of kindness and love. Bernie has been named one of the top 20 Spiritually Influential Living People on the Planet by the Watkins Review which is published by Watkins Books.