About Kelly Brogan

KELLY BROGAN, MD, is a holistic psychiatrist, author of the New York Times Bestselling book, A Mind of Your Own, Own Your Self, the children’s book, A Time For Rain, and co-editor of the landmark textbook Integrative Therapies for Depression.

If you’ve chosen to take antidepressants, it’s probably because it made sense to you at the time of that decision. But does it need to be a lifelong commitment? Anne’s journey helps us to see that coming off of antidepressants can be the beginning of a next chapter, and a personal rebirth. Not only did she leave behind a decade of Cymbalta, but a year after her last dose, she is more vital than ever before, loving life and feeling her inner wildness.

Learn what the essential ingredients of this process were:

The Power of Letting Go: A Birth Doula’s Perspective on Life Transitions

By Anne Ferrier Crook

As a Certified Birth Doula & Holistic Health Coach, I often find myself noticing the familiar connection between our personal growth and the process of childbirth. In other words, a woman giving birth is a metaphor for life.

So, when asked to submit a piece of writing, I decided I would like to write about the power of letting go. As with most things in life, and especially with childbirth, there is no way OUT but THROUGH. At some point in the arduous task of labor, a woman must find the courage to let go, as her body opens up inside, and she gives birth to newborn life. I have witnessed this on so many different occasions while supporting my doula clients to give birth, and it never ceases to amaze me. The miracle of childbirth is certainly an act of courage, strength, and divine grace, all being channeled through a woman’s body at once. When this transition of birthing her baby finally takes place, life is never the same. Birth has happened, and the power of letting go is the divine grace that occurred to make it so.

In reflecting on these experiences with childbirth, I see life in the same exact form. The transitions we go through in life are calling us to let go. How we show up in these transitions is a choice. We can either fight it and struggle, intensifying the pressure, or we can simply choose to be with the process, allowing room for it to breathe. That is the true act of surrender. When we are finally able to give it up to a higher power, amazing things begin to shift in our lives. Real transformation occurs. So, think of it this way. Your lesson – in fact your LIFE PURPOSE – is to transform old beliefs that no longer serve you into your greatest triumphs. Wow. Now that is powerful!

Have you ever thought of actually turning it all around? What if? What if your greatest pain that you have carried inside throughout most of your life is actually your greatest GIFT to the world? You may be pondering this one. So, I’ll rephrase. Let’s dive deep. Think about the areas of your life where you have felt like the biggest failure. Does something in particular ring true? Once you have that clear inside, look at it like this. What if… What if that area where you feel like a failure, and continue to hold onto that belief, is actually in the process of BIRTHING your greatest success?  The pain you have carried all these years is actually your divine purpose.

This goes back to childbirth. As a woman experiences labor pains, the pressure in her body intensifies. Although the process leading up to birth may feel painful and never-ending, the final shift through transition brings the miraculous gift of new life, a new vision born of surrender. It is one of the most beautiful gifts in the world. It is God’s grace working through us, and how women for thousands of years have given birth through the miracle of their own bodies. It is the power of letting go.

So, what in your OWN life is calling you to let go? What kind of meaningful purpose are you being called to step into? To create? Is there an area of your life where you are feeling like a failure? If so, remember this: We must open up TO the pain inside to move beyond it – into the higher purpose. So, your prayer to release this pain and turn it into your own higher purpose is this: “Make me a channel for divine creativity. Use me as an instrument for higher will.” You can say it out loud, write it down, or meditate on this concept. Then your next step is to LET GO. Find the courage to simply let go. As you begin to see the power in this simple act, you begin to understand that vulnerability is our greatest gift. It is who we really are. Therefore, our true power lies in our vulnerability. As we begin to show up differently in our lives, taking new risks to be vulnerable, we are actually allowing room for a higher power to work through us. The universe is guiding you from feeling like a failure to experiencing extraordinary success. This simple yet powerful shift happens when we have the courage to surrender control. Just as a woman giving birth has the courage to let go, and her new baby takes its first breath…. Equally do we take our first breath of new life when we have the courage to let go during our own transitions.

I would like to conclude with the metaphor of a Monarch butterfly. I am fascinated and in awe of these beautiful creatures. If you have ever watched the step-by-step journey that a butterfly goes through during its transformation, it is nothing short of miraculous. It even changes the cellular blueprint of this little creature’s makeup. Unbelievable! So with that in mind, think of your life from this perspective: As life is calling you to let go, either in some big way or small, trust that God’s grace is intimately woven throughout the fabric of your life. Know this in your own cellular blueprint.

“Why,” you may ask?

There is too much greatness in store for you. That is why. As a Certified Health Coach and Birth Doula, I am holding the space for your greatness that is unfolding. It is unfolding in more ways than you can imagine.

Full Video Transcript

Dr. Kelly Brogan: Hi everyone! I have the tremendous pleasure to speak to Anne today. She is one of our course completers in Vital Mind Reset. And more than that, she is herself a health coach and a doula. I am so inspired by just about everything she’s shared in the group, but particularly her thoughts and reflections on this concept of rebirth—which of course has poetic meaning for her in her line of work.

So, I want to maybe start out, Anne, by just giving people an impression of what you conceive of as the beginning of your journey. How was it that you ever came into contact with the psychiatric system in order to begin to move through part of your process that then led you to me?

Anne Crook: Well, It’s been a journey, a journey through the birth canal

Dr. Kelly Brogan: Yes.

Anne Crook: So, 11 years ago, in 2005, I was working in Denver, Colorado in a teen pregnancy program. I had about 30 pregnant and parenting teens on my case load. I was very dedicated to my work. I was also working as a birth doula at night. So I’m kind of around-the-clock and kind of proud of having this real like “I can do it! I work hard. I’m out there changing lives.” And what happened as a result of being really passionate, yet not really having a strong sense of my own boundaries at the time and my own sense of self care—just putting on my own oxygen mask first—is I hit a major burnout.

And this is back in 2005. I had been job, at that point, for 3 ½ years. I really had to take a step back when I hit burnout and had to take a medical leave of absence—six weeks. I actually came back to Nashville and took a medical leave of absence to heal from the burnout. I had depression. I basically got a doctor’s note to say that I could take an FMLA to come home and recover.

And that was a real wake-up call for me both personally and professionally. I love being in the field of social work, yet I realize that doing that full-time is probably not the right recipe for me. I need balance in my life. It’s about work-life balance.

And so, it really gave me a chance to step back and make some changes in my professional life. I did go back to part-time on that job; and eventually left that job. However, the biggest wake-up call was the personal changes of seeing that nothing is more important than my health and my well-being. If my oxygen mask isn’t on first, I’m not taking care and filling myself up from the inside-out, then what good can I be to this world no matter how big my calling is?

Dr. Kelly Brogan: And that’s such a powerful point because I think many people imagine that they’re more susceptible to burnout just because they’re not doing purposeful work. But what you’re saying—and of course, what I echo—is that service-oriented work, helping others, gives a lot back, but it’s not a surrogate for self care.

That oxygen mask analogy is one of my favorites because it’s so simple and so true. Until you prioritize honoring your organism, your process, giving yourself room to really be in the experience of you in this lifetime—which can look in different ways for different people, but obviously, we share a definition of what self care looks like—until you do that, you cannot serve meaningfully.

Anne Crook: Absolutely! And that was the biggest takeaway for me, just really getting clear about that.

And then, things continued to unfold. I left Colorado. My sister was living in Hawaii at the time with my niece and nephew who were born out there; and she was going through a divorce. And I had this opportunity at the end of 2007, early 2008 to go live in Hawaii. And I remember thinking, “Hmmm… I have all my roots here in Colorado now. I grew up in Nashville. What am I doing in Hawaii?” But I just felt called to be near the water.

I remember drawing a card that night as I was praying and reflecting on this decision to leave Colorado and go out to Hawaii. I remember the card saying, “Go to the water.” And when I got out to Hawaii, it was the first time in my life I’d been completely surrounded by water for almost a year of my life. I was out there for eight months.

I just had this explosion of creativity and ideas just coming through my spirit about the healing power of water and how it was shifting out of this mindset of being in control, “I can do it,” the mountain girl mentality pushing through no matter what the cost is to letting go and surrendering. And I realized that my birth doula background in Colorado had been preparing me all these years for this deeper understanding of birth.

It was just a beautiful awareness. It was really a spiritual awakening for me during those eight months in Hawaii just connecting with the water in these profound ways and starting to see that I don’t have to carry this weight on these two shoulders any more, that I can let go. I have a tribe of people that are healing friendships and healing helpers for me. And when I am able to do this self care and really nurture myself at the root, then I can be of greater service to this world.

Dr. Kelly Brogan: Absolutely, absolutely.

And so, where did that experience in Hawaii fit in the trajectory of your unfoldment? Was that more recently or was that at the beginning of your process?

Anne Crook: I would say it was in 2005, so eleven years ago or twelve years ago I guess now that I broke down from health and had the real 2 x 4 debilitating, “I can’t function” kind of stress and depression that was going on for me that year. It was just the most overwhelming, debilitating thing I think I’ve ever been through.

I’ve always been this really high achiever. I got things done. And I really had a lot of pride in that sense of accomplishment. And I remember, it got so bad in 2005 that somebody asked me to go make a copy to get my insurance approved for something, and I just melted. I just said, “I can’t do it! I can’t get from here to the copy machine. It’s too overwhelming.”

And so, that was the wake-up call, “Okay, I need to take a step back.” And so, that’s when I got the medical leave of absence and started going into my recovery work. I started getting counseling, acupuncture. That’s what started my journey with the Cymbalta, where I went on Cymbalta which was back in 2005. And then, by the time I got to Hawaii—this was about three years later.

However, I really think Hawaii was an important, pivotal point in this process because it’s what helped me get to that deeper understanding of birth and how—oh, my gosh—that anti-depressant was not the answer for me. There’s something deeper going on. And I really want to open up to this because it’s not about contraction, it’s about expansion. So how can I let my fear become a catalyst for birth, for expansion?

I had assisted around 200 babies into this world during those 5 1/2 years in Colorado. I was working on two hospital doula-based programs in Denver. I had just seen so much birth and had seen all these women contract in fear. They would wind up with medical interventions and c-sections. But then I saw these other stories where these women were just letting go. And what I realized is it wasn’t about how many centimeters or dilation. It was: Are are we letting go?

And the takeaway for me was that’s the same thing in our lives. When we go through transitions in life, how are we going through those transitions? Are we contracted in fear or are having the courage to let go.

And so, I really took the wisdom I learned from assisting all of that childbirth into my own personal life and see how it started to come back full circle back to my own health and how I was going through my life transitions and what it was causing with my symptoms of health.

I later found out in 2010, I’m hypothyroid, Hashimoto’s. I think that was brewing the whole time during this process. Of course, I didn’t know it until 2010. And that’s been a whole other part of my healing journey. But I really think it’s this birth doula background that led me to this deeper understanding of now being a health coach and going through my own healing journey, of how it’s an opportunity.

Our body is sending us a message that something needs to shift. We have an inner healer right inside of us.

And so, to come across you, Dr. Brogan, has been one of the biggest gifts in my life. Like you said, you just blew it. And then, we take the information, and we use it for transformation. And so for me, birth is not just about bringing a child into this world—which is a really beautiful expression of birth—it’s about holding sacred space for people to come into a greater emotional healing and transformation. And you’ve held that space for me. I just can’t express how grateful I am in my heart for that.

Dr. Kelly Brogan: It’s exactly as you described. We need these just very subtle reminders. All we have to do you is trust a process and get out of the way of it, so that it can unfold.

And it’s one of the hardest things I think in the human experience—literally just to stand by and bear witness. It’s so hard. It’s really, really tough not to feel like there’s something we have to do, something we can fix, something we can make better, more comfortable, easier. It’s the way our psyches have been entrained. This is a great spiritual practice.

And so, I’m interested in what you’re describing because it sounds like over the course of your—10 years, right, on Cymbalta?

Anne Crook: Mm-hmmm…

Dr. Kelly Brogan: …there were these little reveals, that there were all of these layers potentially contributing to your burnout and crisis, that you had probably an endocrine/immune layer—as was ultimately diagnosed as Hashimoto’s (and we know that the endocrine and immune system don’t operate in isolation. So that’s a reflection of sort of a request on the part of your body to take a look perhaps at what you’re eating, the toxicant exposures you might have, and the way that you’re relating to stress), but there was also this psycho-spiritual process where you began to see that your life’s work was trying to tell you something personal. It was like all of these threads coming together.

So, I wonder how and why you got to a point ultimately where you had the courage to consider coming off medication. If you could tell us a little bit about that process…

Anne Crook: Yes. Okay, so three times is a charm. This is my third time coming off Cymbalta. And this time, it’s a charm. I just celebrated my one year birthday off Cymbalta April 11th, I’m proud to say…

Dr. Kelly Brogan: Love it! You should be.

Anne Crook: There had been two other occasions back in 2008. When I was actually in Hawaii, I was off of it for six months. I was doing a lot of deep healing work out there. The water was very healing for me. Yet when I moved back to Nashville in 2009, I ultimately had to go back on a low dose. I was just taking 20 mg. But even just taking that 20 mg. Was just sort of a protection. I still had my shield that was protecting me from the world. And it just psychologically was doing something for me.

And then, I decided to become a Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. That was in 2011, 2012. And I thought, “OKay, I’m going to go off it again because now I’m becoming a health coach and I’m learning about nutrition.”

But at that time, I still didn’t have the correct treatment for my hypothyroid. I was just taking Levothyroxin. I didn’t know about the T3/T4. I just didn’t have all the pieces together. I was still really reactive to stress.

And I think one of the biggest takeaways of what I’ve learned from you is sending a message of safety to the body on a regular basis. I was making all these positive changes in my health coaching program, but I still don’t know if I got at that deeper level how important and critical it is to get that message of safety to my body every day.

And so, I was pushing myself to get through school. And I was working at the same time. I had all these things going on. I actually facilitated a healing water retreat at the end of that program (which was amazing). Yet ultimately, what happened is I had to go back on a low dose of Cymbalta again. And after six months of going through that withdrawal syndrome, the symptoms just got too overwhelming.

I think what would happen is I would get so afraid when they would bubble up and just overwhelm me that I just thought I can’t function.

Dr. Kelly Brogan: What were your withdrawal symptoms? So many people have them in common, and sometimes, it takes on a very personal flavor. So what were the worst of them?

Anne Crook: For me, it feels like a tidal wave of grief and fear that just—whoosh! It feels like when it comes up, it just takes me down. There had been moments where—I don’t know if I would call it an “anxiety attack” or just having tremendous fear come up where I just wake up at three in the morning just paralyzed by the fear, and trying to settle myself, get back to bad, and then I wind up in tears, just beside myself. I feel like in those moments that if I feel the depths of these feelings, I’m going to die, I’m not going to come out of it.

I know that’s not true. It makes me think of having a contraction. You know right when somebody is like, “Okay, I can’t do this anymore. Let’s just throw the towel in. Give me the Cymbalta,” whatever it is, “Get me the drugs!”, I just have to remind myself that this breakdown I’m having right now is a breakthrough. It’s a shedding of ego structures, survival structures, old layers that need to go, and I’m expanding into something greater.

And so, that’s what has helped me get through those scary moments—coming back to my breath and being that birth doula for myself, holding that sacred space.

And so, one thing I have learned to do is to hold space for that inner child of me. I feel like it is that younger self in me that has traumatic stress. It’s experiencing those feelings. So, when I can kind of be the loving inner parent, “It’s okay, sweetheart. Feel your fear. Let it out. I’ll get my pillows, and I’ll just scream and just moan…”

I think you actually wrote an article. Maybe it’s the Wild Women article, about why we need her. And I told a friend recently I feel like a wild animal coming back into my primal senses when I go through these moments where these feelings come. But then when I get through it, I feel so much lighter and freer.

Dr. Kelly Brogan: It’s the complimentarity. It’s the poles of actually feeling the human experiences. You don’t get the exalted emotions of joy and gratitude and even ecstasy without being able to move through those darker corridors of fear and pain and grief. It’s the nature of this experience.

And it’s so interesting to me because in the withdrawal process, there are a lot of biochemistry that we could apply to explain why it is that people cry all the time, why they have electric shocks through their body, why they maybe have flares of autoimmune conditions, why they have pain, why they’re not sleeping. We can explain that and we’re increasingly able to find in the medical literature, explanations for these complex and sometimes long-term withdrawal processes.

But what we can’t really speak to outside of these kinds of conversations is what is it to elect not to feel what you’re feeling which is embedded in the choice to take psychiatric medication. I think we could all agree that that’s part of the decision—what you’re feeling is unacceptable, it’s interfering with your life, it’s scaring you, scaring other, and so we’re going to arrest that.

So, where does that felt experience go the whole time that you’re on medication? And 10 years is very commonplace today—10 or 20 years.

And so, there’s this tidal wave—I love that you called it that—of emotion that emerges in the wake of medication taper. Maybe it’s just processing. Maybe it’s catch-up. And if you have that mindset where you can say, “This is going to grow me actually. This is so hard. It’s so hard. It’s maybe the hardest work I’m ever going to have to do in my life, but it’s purposeful,” when you have that mindset, then you can do it.

Anne Crook: Absolutely!

Dr. Kelly Brogan: It’s like a laboring mom. When she’s about to give up, when you know that the baby’s about to crown, if you tell her, “I see the baby’s head,” she’s going to do it. She’s not going to ask for an epidural.

So, it’s framing it as part of a process that has a beginning, middle and end. It’s like a wave. It’s exactly the analogy you’re drawing.

So, maybe help us understand what do you think were the elements of the program that made this more possible on a permanent level? I believe you’re done with medication for good. So what are the elements? You collected a lot of these elements on your own as a certified nutritionist and your work in the holistic space, even psycho-spiritually through your birth processes. So what were the elements that brought that added ingredient do you think?

Anne Crook: I recently heard somebody say it’s a multifactorial approach. You can’t just look at it from one angle. It’s multiple things that, all of a sudden, everything fits together and there’s a click, and it’s like, “Okay, I got this.”

So, your program was that instrumental portal for me to say, “I got this!” I honestly don’t think that we’re meant to go through this kind of healing on our own. It’s too scary. It’s too overwhelming. And so, there were so many things about your program that really have clicked in for me. And to me, it becomes about a journey of empowerment. It’s really framing and saying, “You know what? Yeah, this has been hell to pay, going through this. It’s been the hardest thing I’ve ever been through my whole life. But it’s a story of empowerment. And now I have an opportunity to create a new story. And that’s going to be one of courage and empowerment, so I can be a stronger life force in this world to inspire other people.”

And so, I think for your program, the thing that I thought was so awesome in the beginning before the dietary changes started is to get clear what are your fears, what kind of mindset do you have. If that’s not onboard, then the dietary changes aren’t going to stick.

And being a certified health coach nutritionist, I get the power food. Food is information. It’s medicine. But it’s not everything. There’s this psycho-spiritual process. A lot of us are healing from traumatic stress—myself included. So when you have trauma involved, that goes beyond food.

And so, I think that it’s getting clear like, “What are my fears? And how am I going to reframe that?” and say, “My fear is my ally. It’s actually a companion to help show me my deeper truth.” And so it’s getting clear about mindset.

And then, just learning about the anti-inflammatory foods—like the ancestral diet, I love that. And I also envision having a healing center where we go back to our ancestral roots. And traditional healing wisdom around the world has always been a passion of mine. I travel a lot through South America and Central America. I’ve lived in Costa Rica, in Hawaii. I traveled to Peru. And I’ve just always been fascinated by these indigenous cultures that just have this deeper understanding of healing.

And so, food is huge. I’ve been drinking Katie’s smoothies every day for the past three months. I’m addicted to them. And that sure is a better alternative to coffee.

Dr. Kelly Brogan: Yes! Yes, I’d say. It’s a kinder, gentler one anyway.

Anne Crook: So, just balancing my blood sugar and making sure I’m getting healthy fats and protein and breakfast as the most important meal of the day.

And then, the other things I’ve been doing is the meditation. I’m not generally a meditator…

Dr. Kelly Brogan: That’s what I thought.

Anne Crook: I grew up as an athlete. So for me, to go out and run three miles feels a lot more innate than “I’m going to sit and meditate.”

Dr. Kelly Brogan: That’s why it’s your challenge, your particular challenge.

Anne Crook: But what I’m seeing, I’m re-framing, is that I’m not just sitting here. I’m actually sending a message of safety to my body. So when I meditate and I’m thinking of all the other things I could be doing, it’s like, “No, this is my self care. This is self love.”

Dr. Kelly Brogan: Exactly. Exactly, exactly.

Anne Crook: So, that’s something I’m still working on. There are days where I’m good at it, getting the meditation; and days not so good. But I’m aware. I’m conscious how important it is.

Dr. Kelly Brogan: Exactly, exactly, yeah.

Anne Crook: So, that’s huge. And I get acupuncture once a week. I have a really great relationship with my acupuncturist. He’s awesome. And I really get a lot of benefit from that.

And then, I’ve actually had three brains spotting sessions which have been incredibly powerful. They’ve gotten right into the trauma, and I’ve really felt this release.

So, those have been some things I’ve done with assistance, with support. But as far as what I’m doing on my own, it’s mostly just having a daily ritual of balancing my blood sugar, getting Katie’s smoothie in the morning, drinking a lot of water, being really aware of my body signals, making sure I prioritize sleep—that’s huge.

Oh, my goodness! Sleep is a big one for me. I’m usually a night owl. And so I had to look at, “Okay, being a night owl is not such a good thing when you get older and you’re healing.” And so just setting the clock back an hour and saying, “I’m in bed by 10, not 11” makes a huge difference.

Having what I call my “power down hour” where I dim the lights down, I take a bath with Epsom salts, I really see that as my special time of the day where I can just unwind and just bring everything back in. It’s sort of a sacred time. I light candles. And I feel like this is an investment for the next day when I wake up because that’s when my body can re-calibrate and can heal.

And then, it’s reaching out to community, your Facebook. I mean, your Facebook group is such an enormous benefit of this process. Just to be able to share with other women on the platform and say, “Is this something you’ve experienced? “ or “What do you think of this? “ it normalizes the experience. So when you have those moments where you feel like you’re kind of losing your mind and coming undone, it’s like, “No, you’re actually just learning to let go.” And this is where your deeper truth and your power is, when you can reframe that.

I think it’s really important to have safe people to reach out to and to get support from because it can feel really isolating if there aren’t other people that can get this experience. So, for me, just having that community has been so comforting and so empowering.

Dr. Kelly Brogan: One hundred percent! It’s like you said, I don’t think we’re meant to do this alone, to have these self-initiatory experiences alone. When you look at these indigenous cultures you’re talking about, even a woman’s natural birth was accompanied by other women in the community as you’re—as you know given your line of work. But every initiatory right was part of a community process. We’re used to having many eyes on us, reminding us of our highest potential, of who we really are at times when our fear might tell us something else.

I just think that the element of awareness you bring to this is really your greatest power. We can’t get too far off track as long as we are mindful. We can’t spiral too far in the wrong direction as long as we’re watching.

I imagine that this gives you a sense, like you said, that you’ve got it. Bring it on! Whatever life is going to deliver you, you have these tools. You know how to recruit them into action. And you know what it feels like to be supported in a process that may not be unicorns and rainbows, that may actually be quite deeply challenging of your held beliefs or activating of your greatest fears or past traumas. There is capacity to re-frame it. And that’s obviously what you do with birthing women all the time, I imagine.

So, I just have to ask before we close, Anne, do you think of yourself as still being a mental patient?

Anne Crook: No! No, I think of myself as coming through this incredible birth canal and awakening to my deeper truth.

Dr. Kelly Brogan: I love that. Amen! And that’s really what I think is still really big news, like headline news. I imagine you had a number of formal psychiatric diagnoses—perhaps two, maybe three, I don’t know, maybe just one—that were in your charts and that your providers were aware of. And you identified as being broken or sick in this quasi-permanent way. You’re really breaking down a pretty powerful paradigm to say, “I don’t think of myself as having this diagnosis anymore. It’s been a year. I have not taken a single dose of psychiatric medication. And guess what? I’m doing better than ever.”

That simple reality flies in the face of so much dogma that I just love to throw it back out there. I got to showcase it, put it in neon lights.

Anne Crook: Well, I think that those of us that have gone through this this type of “health crisis,” if you call it that, you get these messages—at least I know, for a long time, I carried shame and felt like there’s something broken in me or there’s just something that’s just not right or different. That can be really destructive to have that kind of thinking. It was for me for a long time.

And I think that when I started to re-frame this and see, “You know what? There’s nothing broken about me,” there’s just a deeper process unfolding in my body. I just need to hold sacred space to let it out and to let it through.

And when I started to see it as a birth, it really helps me to re-create a story of courage and empowerment.

And that’s the message I would get out to other people going through this, it’s to see this as a journey of courage and empowerment. When we can start to see our struggles, and everything, all the suffering that we’ve gone through to get to this place, or whether we’re in the throes of the birth canal, when we can re-frame it, that’s a game changer. It’s an absolute game-changer.

And you’re providing the opportunity for us to re-frame that. My gratitude for you is so heartfelt because I have never met another doctor that sees emotional healing and transformations birth. And when I found you, I was in tears because I realized, “This is exactly who I need to be working with. This resonates from soul to soul for me.” To hear a psychiatrist speaking of healing in this way is the biggest gift I could ever ask for in my life.

Dr. Kelly Brogan: It’s a powerful idea until you experience it yourself. And that’s where this becomes a spark that spreads. It was maybe a nice idea the first time you heard me running my mouth about something, but the truth is you’ve embodied it, you’ve made it real. And now that you’ve done that, every person you encounter and who listens to this interview knows that it’s more possible. It’s not just a theoretical notion.

And so, that’s the poetry embedded in this, being a collective process of sharing the truth, and really reminding people what they already know—and particularly women. As you know, it’s my advocacy that what has been labeled as pathology and problematic experiences is really the portal to our wildness. I love that you resonate with that concept.

Anne Crook: Absolutely! I just read Wild Women: Why We Need Her Yesterday. It’s like, “This article rocks! I love this.”

Dr. Kelly Brogan: Makes sense, right? Awesome! I just love that. I can’t get over the layers of metaphor in your personal life. It’s so profound that you have the language to articulate this, and then share it with every woman you work with in your own practice and beyond. It’s so meaningful.

So, it takes the courage you’re talking about to even have this conversation. That’s further evidence that it’s real. I want to I want to thank you so much—and from the bottom of my heart—for being on this path with me.

Learn more about Anne here!