Dr. Ellen Kenner
Clinical Psychologist
host of "The Rational Basis® of Happiness"
 
 

 

How to Ask
Dr. Kenner
a Question

(This has been a free public service since 1997)

Ask by phone:
The toll-free number is
1-877-Dr-Kenner
(877-375-3663)
Why free? See below.

Ask by e-mail:
Although you won't receive as thorough an answer as if you were to phone in live, you can still email Dr. Kenner a question

When to call:
Call any time before 10pm (Eastern Time). If she is not available, she will return your call as soon as she is free.

Call or e-mail?
You will receive the fastest, most accurate answer if you ask by phone. Most calls are answered. Not all emails are answered due to their large quantity.

What you can not ask:
Dr. Kenner does not take calls regarding suicide, medication, legal issues or any matter that threatens life or property and you must contact a local mental health professional, lawyer, doctor or the police if this is the case.

Why for free?
This has been a free public service since 1997. Why would a well known clinical psychologist answer your question for free and pay for the phone call too? Because Dr. Kenner makes her answer available on her podcast / talk show so others with the same issue can benefit. The show is a public service and is question-driven; your questions are the motor of the show.

This is not therapy
Although you will be receiving helpful advice from Dr. Kenner, remember that this is not therapy and cannot replace a fully contextual one-on-one relationship with a mental health professional.

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    Today's
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How can I stop intrusive unwanted thoughts from hijacking my current thoughts?
(all podcasts)

   
   
   
         
    Yesterday's
Podcast
   
   

1-Why some people are happy or miserable winning the lottery.
2-I am unable to deal with difficult co-workers.
(today's podcasts)
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Enjoy all of Dr. Kenner's short podcasts on many topics.

   
   
   
         
    Today's Romance Quote    
   


(Scroll for more)

   
     
       
   

All quotes are from Ellen's and Ed's romance book:
The Selfish Path to Romance - How to Love With Passion and Reason
   
   
Buy now through Amazon
Table of Contents


   
   
   
         
    This Week's Article    
   

Secrets Happy Couples Know About Selfishness

Sara, like many others, has bought into the code of self-sacrifice: She feels good only when she martyrs herself, but that “good” feeling is short-lived and is soon replaced by feelings of self-betrayal (her shakiness) and resentment toward the man she once adored. ...(more)

   
   
   
         
         
         
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  What is Happiness?  
     
 

A puzzling situation:
    Billy won the lottery. A cool $25 million! He appeared to be a good man with a good character. Of the many types of people who might have won, his friends were happy it was Billy. But two years later he was arrested for drunk driving, resisting arrest, soliciting a prostitute, and having  drugs in his car. The arrests continued over the next few years. The excitement of winning did not grow into a lifelong happiness.
    Tom, a successful businessman, was a loner who worked  long hours, saving and re-investing most of his profits. He was disliked for his independence and envied for his wealth. Yet his was a life full of contentment and happiness. Why does wealth bring happiness to some and misery to others?
    If wealth is not a shortcut to happiness, what about sacrificing for others? Terry volunteers at the soup kitchen 6 days /week, 52 weeks a year, but hates it, hates her life, and has grown especially bitter towards the people she serves. Dora, an engineer, never does volunteer work. If she gives to charity, she does so very selectively and sparingly. Acquaintances envious of her success call her selfish. Yet Dora is very happy.
    There are many people who we think should be happy but are not. (Billy the "lucky" lottery winner and Terry the "serious" volunteer.)
    There are many people who we think should be miserable but are not. (Tom the "loner" businessman and Dora the "selfish" engineer.)
    Some people who seem to have nothing are very happy. Some people who seem to have everything are not. Some jet-setters seem happy while some moral crusaders have become miserable old grouches. Happiness seems very unpredictable, inconsistent, irrational.
    What follows is an explanation as to the rational basis of happiness.

Happiness
   
Happiness is an emotion. So is sadness, love, hate, curiosity, revulsion, excitement, jealousy, contentment, depression, anxiety, fear, guilt and anger. All emotions have causes, causes which can be understood and controlled.
    The emotion of happiness is not caused simply by entertaining your whims. (Whims are an obstacle to happiness.) Happiness is not merely a life lived by accumulating moments of pleasure. On the contrary, happiness is a long lasting enduring enjoyment of life, it is being in love with living. It is your reward for achieving a good character and personal rational values in life. Some important values are a productive career, romance, friendship and hobbies.
    Achieving these values requires rationality and takes effort and skill. Two types of skills you can use are thinking skills and valuing skills.
    Once you learn to have confidence in your own mind and once you discover the virtues that make it possible for you to achieve your values and that make your life worth living, then you will experience the result - an earned pride and a genuine self-esteem. And of course happiness.
    For more information on achieving happiness through rationality, follow the links on this page. If you feel you need professional help, go to "How to Choose a Therapist". You can also ask Dr. Kenner a question, listen to her radio show, and view her Recommended reading list.

Definition
"Happiness is not the satisfaction of whatever irrational wishes you might blindly attempt to enjoy. Happiness is a state  of non-contradictory joy - a joy without penalty or guilt... Happiness is possible only to a rational man, the man who  desires nothing but rational goals, seeks nothing but  rational values, and finds his joy in nothing but rational actions...  there are no victims and no conflicts of interest among rational men, men who do not desire the unearned..."AYN RAND

 
     
     
     
     
     
         
 
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  Publications Dr. Kenner has written many articles and presented many seminars and courses around the country. She is co-author of a serious guidebook on romance and has produced over 500 podcasts. See search bar above for topics.    
 

Articles
Courses and Seminars
Books
What is Happiness
Romance
Parenting
Career
Relaxation
Friendship

Humor How humor can help or hurt your chances for happiness
Emotions Emotions and logic are allies in your search for happiness
Morality
Terrorism Sometimes the way we cope with terrorism in our own minds and the way we deal with it socially have the opposite effect we intend

           
           
  Therapy
Self-Help
Dr. Kenner is a licensed psychologist with an active private practice. Below you can find a therapist and good self-help books. Cognitive Therapy is the gold standard of psychology. Find a Cognitive Therapist anywhere in the country.    
 

Therapy In Rhode Island
Therapy Outside Rhode Island
How to Choose a Therapist
About Dr. Kenner
What is Happiness

Ask Dr. Kenner a Question
Definitions Explanations of various
points discussed in this web site
Self-Help Articles

Obstacles to Happiness are not always obvious
Understand Your Emotions Emotions and logic are allies in your search for happiness

Thinking Skills (Under Construction) Happiness requires that you are satisfied that your mind deals with people and events in a rational manner
Valuing Skills (Under Construction) Happiness requires that you choose only rational values to seek out and work to obtain
Self-Help Books Dr. Kenner reviews books and audio she recommends on parenting, therapy, self help, career, romance, happiness and other topics.
Self-Help CDs

           
           
  Radio Show Hear Dr. Kenner's show The Rational Basis of Happiness® on many radio stations coast to coast and online. Times of day and days of week vary from station to station. In her 15th year on air, she has been a "top 250" talk show host for the past six years.    
 
About the Show
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Ask Dr. Kenner a Question
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The Rational Basis of Happiness® and The Rational Basis® are registered trademarks of Dr. Ellen Kenner. This web site and its contents are copyrighted and are proprietary products of Dr. Ellen Kenner. Any  unauthorized use, reproduction, or transfer of this web site or its contents, in any medium, is strictly prohibited.
   
           
           
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