Norman Doidge

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Norman Doidge
BornToronto, Ontario
OccupationPsychiatrist, Psychoanalyst, Author
Alma mater

Norman Doidge, FRCPC, is a psychiatrist, psychoanalyst, and author of The Brain that Changes Itself (2007) and The Brain's Way of Healing (2015). The former describes some of the latest developments in neuroscience, and became a New York Times and international bestseller.


Doidge studied literary classics and philosophy at the University of Toronto.[1] He obtained his medical degree at the University of Toronto, then moved to New York, where he had a residency in psychiatry and obtained a degree in psychoanalysis at Columbia University Department of Psychiatry, and the Columbia University Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research.[1] This was followed by a two-year Columbia University/National Institute of Mental Health Research Fellowship, training in empirical science techniques.


Returning to his native Toronto, Doidge served as Head of the Psychotherapy Centre and the Assessment Clinic at the Clarke Institute of Psychiatry (now part of CAMH).[1] He is currently on Faculty at the University of Toronto’s Department of Psychiatry, and Research Faculty at the Columbia University Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research, Columbia University, New York.[1]

In the 1990s, Doidge authored empirically based standards and guidelines for the practice of intensive psychotherapy that have been used in Canada and America. These were published in the "Standards and Guidelines for the Psychotherapies" edited by Cameron, Deadman and Ennis.[2]


Doidge has written over 170 articles, a combination of academic, scientific and popular pieces. Doidge has been sole author of academic papers on neuroplasticity, human limitations and notions of perfectibility, psychotherapy treatment outcomes, dreams about animals, Schizoid personality disorder and trauma,[3] psychoanalysis and neuroscience, e.g., a popular article he wrote for Maclean's magazine in which he argues, using empirical studies, that understanding unconscious thought is relevant in modern-day psychiatry and psychology.[4]

Doidge was editor of Books in Canada: The Canadian Review of Books from 1995-8, and editor at large for several years after that. From 1998-2001, he wrote a column, “On Human Nature,” in the National Post. His series of literary portraits of exceptional people at moments of transformation appeared in Saturday Night Magazine, and he won four National Magazine Awards, including the President’s Medal for the best article published in Canada in the year 2000.[1]


  • Doidge, Norman (2007). The Brain that Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science. Penguin. ISBN 9781101147115.
  • Doidge, Norman (2015). The Brain's Way of Healing: Remarkable Discoveries and Recoveries from the Frontiers of Neuroplasticity. Penguin. ISBN 9780670025503.


  1. ^ a b c d e "Biography". Norman Doidge. Retrieved 2015-03-10.
  2. ^ Jon Ennis; Paul M. Cameron; John Deadman (1998). Standards and Guidelines for the Psychotherapies. University of Toronto Press. ISBN 978-0-8020-7166-8.
  3. ^ "Diagnosing the English Patient: Schizoid Fantasies of Being Skinless and of Being Buried Alive". Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association. 49 (1). 2001.
  4. ^ Archived from the original on May 27, 2012. Retrieved June 15, 2011. Missing or empty |title= (help)

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