Russell Kennedy, MD
-Neuroscientist (University of Victoria BSc 1987)
-Medical Doctor (University of Western Ontario MD 1991)
-Yoga teacher (Certified by Prana Yoga Vancouver BC – 2007)
-Stand up Comedian since 2004 with over 1000 appearances on stage
-Corporate speaker since 1999
Above are my professional qualifications. My personal qualification for being THEanxietyMD is that I have lived with anxiety most of my life and I have devoted my career to helping others get out of the hole I was in for a long, long time. I believe there is no better teacher than one who has been where you are and has found the way out. My anxiety started quite young as I grew up with a severely mentally ill father who was never abusive, but would lapse into psychotic depression and anxiety that would frighten me to the point that I developed an anxiety disorder.
I’ve always wanted to know what went on in his mind and what occurred in my mind that created this sense of impending doom. I’ve heard anxiety described by Dr Gordon Neufeld as “fear without eyes” and that description makes sense to me. As you can’t overcome what you can see or understand, my goal is to use my background in brain science and medicine to help the millions and millions of people who suffer from anxiety understand where their fear comes from, and share the strategies I have learned that have helped me find peace after many, many years of suffering.
I have degrees in brain science and medicine and have been a medical doctor for over 25 years. In that time, have helped thousands of people learn how to understand, and ease their own suffering. I have also travelled to India and studied there, and found Eastern practices and philosophy are not as ethereal as I originally thought. Applying my deep Western scientific training to Eastern practices I have found that there is just as much science to support both, and that Western and Eastern approaches are not only complementary to each other but very similar in many ways.
I know this sounds egotistical, but there are few people in the world who understand anxiety as well as I do. My deep understanding comes from my neuroscience and medical degrees, working with hundreds and hundreds of patients, countless workshops, trainings and courses, from becoming certified as a yoga teacher in Vancouver, to Byron Katie’s School for The Work in California, to Oneness University in India, reading hundreds of books, my experience with medications, both natural, plant medicines and pharmaceuticals, being a pro stand up comic for 10 years, and the countless hours I’ve spent in my own psychotherapy. My main influences are Dr Daniel Siegel MD, founder of The Mindsight Institute and Interpersonal Neurobiology, Dr Gordon Neufeld PhD, developmental psychologist and founder of the Neufeld Institute, Dr Kelly McGonigal PhD, health psychologist and neuroscientist, Dr Brene Brown PhD, shame and vulnerability researcher and Dr Joseph Ledoux PhD, neuroscience of anxiety researcher, among many others. Even though I’ve spent thousands of hours studying anxiety, I think my biggest attribute in teaching about anxiety relief comes from deeply experiencing the condition myself. I believe there is a unique understanding and healing perspective in being both doctor and patient.