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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Part II Interview with Dr. Judith Orloff

When and how did you get involved with medicine? While working in Thelma’s lab I had an amazingly specific dream which announced, “You’re going to become an MD, a psychiatrist, to help legitimize intuition in medicine.” The last thing I envisioned doing was medicine. But because I was beginning to trust my intuition, I enrolled in a junior college just to see how it would go. So one course became two, became fourteen years of medical training--USC medical school and a UCLA psychiatric internship and residency.

Did you use your intuition doing your medical training? The irony was that during my medical training, I strayed far from the intuitive world again. Traditional psychiatry equates visions with psychosis. Working in the UCLA emergency room, I’d keep seeing psychotics who were wheeled in screaming, strapped to gurneys, accompanied by cops with billy clubs. These patients professed to hear God and to be able predict things. They also felt their food was poisoned, and that the FBI was on their tail. No one tried to sort through this mishmash of claims. Typically, patients would shoot up with Thorazine, hospitalized on lock-down inpatient units until their “symptoms” subsided. Seeing this so many times I doubted whether it was safe or appropriate to integrate my intuitions in medicine.

So what made you change your mind? In my private practice, I had a patient on antidepressants. I had an intuitive thought that she was going to make a suicide attempt. Because she was doing so well--nothing supported my hunch--I dismissed it. Within a week, she overdosed on the antidepressants I’d prescribed and ended up in a coma for nearly a month. (Had she not survived I would’ve been devastated.) The hardest part, though, was that I thought I’d harmed her by not utilizing a vital piece of intuitive information. This was intolerable for me. From then on, I knew, as a responsible physician, I had to integrate my intuition into my work.

Any words of wisdom for the reader? These days, no matter what I’m going through, especially when my heart is torn in a million pieces my intuition has sustained me. I hope that my journey in my book “Second Sight” can help you. One thing I’m certain of: if you follow your intuitive voice, you can’t go wrong. Stay true to it. Intuition is about empowerment, not having to conform to someone else’s notion of who you should be. It’s about being true to yourself, and all the goodness that comes from that.

Second Sight BookTour

March 21, 2009 Talk 10AM,
Workshop and Book Signing 12:30-2:30PM
The Ventura Center for Spiritual Living
Ventura, California (near Los Angeles)
To enroll: or 805-643-1933

March 25, 2010 7PM Talk and Book Signing
Second Sight Book Tour
Mystic Journey Bookstore
1319 Abbot Kinney Blvd
Venice, California or 310-399-7070

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