After winning the E.J. Pratt Prize for Poetry at age 19, Doidge won early recognition from the literary critic Northrop Frye, who wrote that his work was “really remarkable... haunting and memorable.” At the University of Toronto, he studied classics and philosophy, and graduated with high distinction, then earned his medical degree. In New York, he simultaneously completed psychiatric and psychoanalytic training at the Columbia University Department of Psychiatry, followed by two years as a Columbia-National Institute of Mental Health Research Fellow, and another year as a Clinical Fellow in Psychiatry at Columbia.


In 1994, Doidge won The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation/Saturday Night Literary Award, the most important award for an unpublished work in Canada, for his personal memoir, “The Suit.” He became editor-in-chief of Books in Canada—The Canadian Review of Books from 1995 to 1998 and, from 1998 to 2001, a newspaper columnist, writing “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 won four Canadian National Magazine Gold Awards, including the National Magazine Award President’s Medal, for the best article published in Canada in the year 2000. That account of his intimate conversation with the Nobel laureate Saul Bellow, called “Love, Friendship and the Art of Dying,” was “brilliantly sustained from beginning to end,” said the judges, who continued, “This multi-leveled piece about writing, friendship, life and death opens a door into the complex lives of two extraordinary literary figures.”
    It was out of these kinds of portraits—and Doidge’s conviction that neuroplasticity represents the single most important new idea in our understanding of the human brain in hundreds of years, with immense consequences for our understanding of human nature, human and therapeutic possibilities, and human culture— that The Brain That Changes Itself emerged. 


Dr. Doidge served as Head of the Psychotherapy Centre and the Assessment Clinic at the Clarke Institute of Psychiatry, and taught in the departments of Philosophy, Political Science, Law and Psychiatry at the University of Toronto. He has published on trauma, problems in love, psychiatric diagnoses and intensive psychotherapies, and is the author of standards and guidelines for the practice of intensive psychotherapy that are widely used in Canada. 
    In 1993 he presented his early research at the White House in Washington, D.C., and is credited with helping preserve these treatments as part of the Canadian and Australian health care systems. 
    He is a Training Analyst (a trainer of psychoanalysts) in the Canadian Institute of Psychoanalysis. Dr. Doidge has won a number of scientific awards, including the U.S. National Psychiatric Endowment Award in Psychiatry; the American Psychoanalytic Association’s CORST Prize in Psychoanalysis and Culture; the Canadian Psychoanalytic Association’s M. Prados Prize; and election to the American College of Psychoanalysts for “many outstanding achievements in psychiatry and psychoanalysis... and national leadership in psychiatry.” He was recently awarded the Mary S. Sigourney Prize, the highest award in international psychoanalysis, and the National Association of Mental Illness Ken Book Award. He is a reviewer for the Harvard Review of Psychiatry. 


He has written over 170 articles, both scientific and popular. His popular writing has appeared in The Wall Street Journal,  Harvard Business Review, U.S. News and World Report, the back-page essay for Time Magazine, Reader’s Digest, The Daily Telegraph, L’Unita, UPI, Saturday Night,  National Post, The Globe and Mail, Maclean's, Books in Canada, Gravitas, The Medical Post, The Melbourne Age,  The Weekly Standard and the Chicago Sun-Times, and his work has been frequently anthologized in college texts as examples of how to write well. 


He and his work have been profiled and cited in, among others, The New York Times, Newsweek,  International Herald Tribune,  The Washington Post, Scientific American Mind, Melbourne Age, The Guardian, Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian, Psychology Today, O The Oprah Magazine, National Review, Association for Advancement of Retired People, Rotman School of Management: The Magazine, Vogue,  Ability Magazine, Men’s Health, Men’s Health: Best Life, Maclean's, The Globe and Mail, The Toronto Star, and the National Post.


Dr. Doidge has been described by The Globe and Mail, as “a master at explaining science to the rest of us.” The PBS special, The Brain Fitness Program, which featured him, and his book, became the most successful TV fundraising drive in PBS’s history, and was aired over 10,000 times. He hosted the TVO Mysteries of the Mind, 25 hours of brain television broadcast in 2009. He has been a guest to discuss the brain and human nature on BBC World News TV, BBC TV,  PBS,  CBS, CNN, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, SBS, CBC, CTV, Global, and TVO, which has devoted three entire television shows to  his plasticity work: The Agenda with Steve Paiken, Allen Gregg in Conversation, and Big Ideas. He has appeared on hundreds of radio programs including NPR, BBC Radio, CBC, ABC, and Public Radio International. A film of The Brain That Changes Itself, co-written by Norman Doidge and Mike Sheerin, appeared on Canada’s most watched science program, The Nature of Things With David Suzuki, and in Europe and Australia. It won the 2009 WorldFest-Housten International Film Festival Jury Award, the second highest award for a film at the festival, and has just been nominated for the the Best Science/Medical Documentary at the Yorktown Sheaf Film Festival. It was followed by a second film, “Changing Your Mind.” 


Dr. Doidge is a frequent keynote lecturer in North America, Europe and Australia. He has lectured at major universities including conferences sponsored by Harvard, MIT,  Yale, and in Princeton, New Jersey. He has presented his research at the United Nations, the White House, Washington D.C., London School of Economics, Royal Society of Arts London, Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience, Dublin, The East West Pain Conference Neuroscience Research Institute, Peking University, Beijing, Goethe University, Frankfurt Germany, the Genoa Science Festival, McLuhan Galaxy Celebration, Universita La Splenza,  Roma, Italy. He has lectured throughout Europe, Australia, South Africa, the United States and Canada.http://www.theage.com.au/national/the-brain-man-20080909-4d2o.html?page=-1shapeimage_1_link_0

  1. Norman Doidge, M.D., is a psychiatrist, psychoanalyst, researcher, author, essayist and poet. He is on faculty at the University of Toronto’s Department of Psychiatry, and Research Faculty at  Columbia University’s Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research, in New York. He lives in Toronto.