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Doorknob Comments

Doorknob Comments

By Dr. Fara White & Dr. Grant Brenner
Doorknob Comments was named for a phenomenon that sometimes happens at the end of a therapy session, when the patient may mention something important and riddled with conflict, right as you’re walking out the door. Equal parts frustrating and enlightening, it surfaces key issues which may--or may not!-- get addressed anytime soon.
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Episode 32: Creativity In Wonderland: A Conversation with Dr. Leanne Domash

Doorknob Comments

The Importance of Taking Breaks
As we wrap up season 1 of Doorknob Comments, Fara and Grant discuss the importance of taking calculated breaks as an act of self compassion and care. 
December 1, 2021
Boys and Friendship: No Exception To The Need for Human Connection
Dr. Niobe Way talks about her research showing the crucial importance of friendship for boys. Friendship is healthy and normal for boys even though they may be taught as they get older to play cool. There are many simple things parents and educators can do to alleviate the problem. Find more here:
November 3, 2021
Making the Most of Life by Facing Mortality
Fara and Grant discuss Terror Management Theory, which helps us understand  how we cope individually and collectively when fears of death are heightened, and ways people can cope with mortality and help others around them do so as well.
October 27, 2021
Health and Illness: At the Intersection of Psychiatry, Therapy and Wellness
In this episode, co-hosts Fara and Grant talk about their experience as psychiatrists who practice therapy. Listen in as we discuss important themes including the difference between treating illness and pursuing personal development, how to balance clinical care with coaching and self-help, and other key considerations in the complex, evolving landscape of wellness and self-care.
October 14, 2021
Episode 37: Navigating A Professional Relationship That May Feel Personal
Fara and Grant speak with Jacob Appel, psychiatrist, author, and bioethicist, about important ways that the therapist-patient relationships may feel like a friendship (or just feel confusing). Well-intentioned actions may have unintended consequences when they cross the boundaries between clinician and friend.  Dr. Appel helps give us clarity on how to manage when these moments come up, and advises us on how to preserve the treatment and act in the best interest of the patient. Find more on Dr. Appel here:
September 22, 2021
Episode 36: Back To School in COVID Times
Fara and Grant host a wide-ranging conversation about the many things to think about as kids are returning to school as COVID continues to linger, ranging from complex emotional considerations, to social factors, to the political context, and beyond.
September 8, 2021
Episode 35: Real Therapy, Virtually
Fara and Grant speak with therapist and psychoanalytic candidate-in-training Hannah Weiss about therapy during the pandemic, video and in-person, our relationships with our bodies, and the future of psychoanalysis. Read more: Hannah Weiss: Chicago Psychoanalytic Institute:
August 25, 2021
Episode 34: The Paradox of Change
Fara and Grant discuss reasons it can be so hard to change even when we know what needs to happen, ways to become more aware when we don't know, and ways we can connect our dots to catalyze growth and change.
July 28, 2021
How We Approach Interpersonal Problems: The Good, The Bad and the Lovely
Fara and Grant discuss common ways we approach challenges in personal and professional relationships. Using real-world examples, we bring in key concepts including attachment style, common pitfalls including ways we self-sabotage, and tips for successfully navigating tough situations. Read more:
July 14, 2021
Episode 32: Creativity In Wonderland: A Conversation with Dr. Leanne Domash
Fara and Grant speak with psychologist and psychoanalyst Leanne Domash about her new book Imagination, Creativity and Spirituality in Psychotherapy: Welcome to Wonderland (Psyche and Soul). Join us for a lively and pragmatic conversation about unleashing creativity in the pursuit of authenticity. Find Dr. Domash here: Dr. Domash's book:
June 30, 2021
Cats, Comedy and Caring: A Conversation with Comedian Liz Miele
Fara, Liz and Grant discuss relationships, hardship, and the crucial role of humour and empathy in overcoming challenges on the path to healing. Find Liz here: Guardian Article referenced by Liz:
June 16, 2021
Episode 30: The Many Faces of Dependency
Fara and Grant discuss the purpose of dependency, how it can be both problematic and useful, and work through ways of building mutuality through healthy interdependence. We also look at counterdependency, codependency, and the pattern of shared dysfunction called "irrelationship".
June 9, 2021
Episode 29: Relationship Boundaries: What They Are and How to Negotiate Them
Fara and Grant talk about how people set the ground rules for relationships. Boundaries define areas which are off-limits, areas where we can freely interact, and the gray zone where effective communication is critical. With insightful examples, good humor and guidelines for how to navigate tricky situations, this episode is useful and engaging.
May 26, 2021
Episode 28: Understanding The Basic Elements Of The Therapeutic Relationship
Grant and Fara break down some basic tenets of therapy, and give listeners some insight about the inner workings of the process. On this episode, we explore how we can make the most of the time with our therapists as a path to growth and change.
May 19, 2021
Episode 27: Driving The Other Person Crazy
Fara and Grant discuss examples of how and why people drive each other "crazy", and what we can do about it. Read more here:
April 29, 2021
Episode 26: Everything Is Everything: Transpersonal Therapy, Complexity and the Self
Join Fara and Grant with Dr. Terry Marks-Tarlow, psychologist, scientist, artist, author, and yogini for an eye-opening discussion of how we can understand the deep interconnections between people through the lens of fractal mathematics and psychology. Fractals show how nature and the mind is structured, giving us in sight into who we are and how we move through the world. Read more at:
April 21, 2021
Episode 25: Smarter Parenting with Dr. Sarah Bren
Fara and Grant discuss how to approach parenting by valuing the child's perspective, keeping firm boundaries and exploring one's own inner child to build a healthy, open connection with one's kids to last a lifetime.
March 31, 2021
Episode 24: What We Owe Our Veterans
We speak with Andrew "Doc" Berry, a seasoned psychologist who specializes in working with combat veterans and first responders. We talk with him about what it is really like for veterans, and how we can best recognize and respond to the needs of those who offer great sacrifice and service.
March 24, 2021
Episode 23: What is A Doorknob Comment Anyway?
In this episode Fara and Grant discuss doorknob comments in more detail, the meaningful comments people make just as they are leaving a meeting when there won't be time to discuss them, and their implications for therapy.
March 3, 2021
Episode 22: Dr. Meggie Smith on Fertility and Family Planning
We hope you enjoy this fascinating conversation with Nashville-based reproductive endocrinologist Dr. Meggie Smith. She is everything you’d want your doctor to be: open, honest and transparent. We talk about the issues surrounding family planning and how we can best make use of the latest medical advances.
February 17, 2021
Episode 21: Miracles and Manifestations | A Conversation with Harvard Psychiatrist Srini Pillay
On this episode of Doorknob Comments, Fara and Grant talk with Srini Pillay, a remarkable coach, author and business person who is adept at opening up minds, fostering creativity and unhinging people in the most delightful and loving way. Learn about his book Tinker, Dabble, Doodle, Try, including simple ways to optimize your creative problem-solving skills, and join in our lively and mind-altering conversation. Learn more from Srini Pillay here: and
January 25, 2021
Episode 20: Personality Talks
Grant and Fara discuss the different models of personality and break down some of the major traits.  Where do these traits come from? More importantly- can they be changed?
January 18, 2021
Episode 19: Jonathan Demar on the Importance of Intimacy and Meaningful Collaboration
We are joined by this talented producer, singer-songwriter, and native New-Yorker for a discussion on how to design a fulfilling career and a supportive peer group alongside.
January 11, 2021
Episode 18: The Arts and Mental Health with Rachel Maran
Grant and Fara speak to an old friend who's leaving entertainment after nearly a decade of managing actors, and hear about why shifting to a career in therapy makes a lot of sense.
December 16, 2020
Episode 17: Moving On From 2020
Grant and Fara discuss how to let go of (and heal from!) a pretty rough year.  We touch on what it means to reflect during this time and think about ways that 2021 can be better for us- on both an individual and collective level.
December 9, 2020
Episode 16: Vanessa Calderon On Dance, Movement and Messages
Vanessa is a multi-talented artist with a lot to say about violence towards women.  We hear how she uses performance to shine the spotlight on difficult topics.
November 27, 2020
Episode 15: Holidays or Holi-daze? Connecting in the Time of COVID
Fara and Grant offer up strategies for coping with difficult family dynamics, accepting and embracing "the new normal", and making the most out of the season this year.
November 26, 2020
Episode 14: Reality-based Thinking with Mardoche Sidor
Dr. Sidor is an esteemed colleague, psychiatrist, and educator who joins Grant and Fara to discuss the science of suffering and the importance of a good team. Find more about his work here:
November 19, 2020
Episode 13: Family Matters with Dr. Harvey White
Dr. Harvey White, psychiatrist and family therapist talks to us about how to stay connected (but not too connected!) to our families during COVID-19.  Managing stress, isolation and uncertainty is challenging but made easier with these sound suggestions.
November 9, 2020
Episode 12: Your Brain on Food with Uma Naidoo, MD.
 We are honored to be joined by psychiatrist Uma Naidoo, a trained chef and leader in the field of nutritional psychiatry.  Here, she graciously talks about some of the most important parts of the mind-gut connection.
October 30, 2020
Episode 11: How to Deal with Existential Overload
Drs. Brenner and White talk about everything that is going on nowadays - COVID, global events, the US election, and how to navigate the great sense of uncertainty, even dread, with which so many are confronted.
October 29, 2020
Episode 10: You Are What You Sleep with Josh Tal, PhD.
Sleep expert Josh Tal, PhD joins us to discuss some common sleep issues and treatment options for insomnia.  We were delighted to hear about his boot camp approach, which incorporates CBT-I to effectively improve sleepless nights.
October 23, 2020
Episode 9: Breaking Up is Hard To Do. And Undo.
Grant and Fara discuss the many reasons that people break up and get back together.  We explore how self-concept clarity plays into our relationship habits.
October 16, 2020
Episode 8: Finding your Therapist: What Nobody Tells You
Fara and Grant discuss key elements of traditional insight-oriented talk therapy, focusing on what to consider when searching for a well-suited therapist.
September 7, 2020
Episode 7: Working through Conflict to Enhance Personal and Professional Relationships
Mark Borg joins us to reflect on years of co-authorship with Grant Brenner and Danny Berry. Hear different perspectives on the same experience to learn how the "Three Amigos" have produced two books together, with a third on the way!
September 7, 2020
Episode 6: Healing from Trauma with Johanna Dobrich
Johanna Dobrich talks to us about dissociation, disabled siblings, and how to navigate complicated family dynamics and challenging life experiences.
September 7, 2020
Episode 5: The Performing Art of Therapy
Mark O’Connell explains how acting techniques can enrich the experience of insight-oriented psychotherapy. His methods help us understand the importance of finding our most authentic selves inside the therapy session, as well as outside of it. Find more on Mark O'Connell here:
August 18, 2020
Episode 4: Self-Care: More Complicated Than It Sounds
Drs. White and Brenner discuss self-care, compassion, and the promises and challenges of cultivating a deep and fulfilling relationship with yourself. Treat yourself right and others will treat you right, too.
August 7, 2020
Episode 3: Profile: Jacob Appel, Writer, Psychiatrist, and Social Critic Discusses his Area of Expertise: Bioethics
Join us for a unique conversation between Drs. White and Appel. Hear from this thought leader as he asks tough questions, and unpacks some of the complexities of human decision-making. Find more on Jacob Appel here:
August 7, 2020
Episode 2: Real lessons from a Fake Therapist: with Special Guest Lisa Levy
Lisa Levy is a performing artist and comedian with her irreverent radio show “Dr. Lisa Gives a Shit”.  Here we speak with her about the trials and tribulations of a marketing pro turned artist, performer, and comedian as she discusses her experiences with various therapists over the years and how she uses her own experience to help her live audience. Find more on Lisa Levy here:
August 7, 2020
Episode 1: What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and How Can It Help Me?
Cognitive Behavior Therapy is a straightforward approach to addressing underlying problems by seeking to change how we think about ourselves. Learn how CBT works from expert therapist Dr. Gluhoski. Find more on Vicki Gluhoski, PhD here:
August 7, 2020
Doorknob Comments: Season 1 Trailer
Welcome to Doorknob Comments! Doorknob Comments was named for a phenomenon that sometimes happens at the end of a therapy session, when the patient may mention something important and riddled with conflict, right as you’re walking out the door. Equal parts frustrating and enlightening, it surfaces key issues which may--or may not!-- get addressed anytime soon.
August 1, 2020