I have published on a variety of psychiatric topics including:

  • Ultra-brief therapy
  • Conjoint couples therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Doctor-patient relationships
  • Psychiatric training programs
  • Psychopharmacology
  • Hypnosis

A detailed bibliography of these publications is available upon request.

Breaking Free: How Chains From Childhood Keep Us From What We Want contains many of the ideas I have found useful to both patients and therapists.

“In clear, non-technical language Dr. Kardener draws on his considerable psychiatric teaching and practice experience to illustrate not only how—but especially why—experiences as a child can seriously impact and impair later functioning and how as an adult desired goals may be restored and achieved.”

Harold Gould, Five time Emmy award winning stage, screen, and television actor


Some of the issues addressed in the book include:

  • Why do our best intentions so often go awry?
  • What prompts people to engage in behaviors that have the opposite outcome from what they wished to have happened?
  • What attracts us to our mates and then alienates us from them—only to find similar difficulties in subsequent relationships?
  • How and why do we get in our own way of success? What contributes to distress within a person, between people, communities and nations?

When what one needed as a child is different from what one wants as an adult, a tension is created that is manifested in symptom formation. The unresolved issues from the past are held onto tenaciously despite the conflicts that result.

I introduce this concept by first reviewing the current contributions from the neurosciences and infant observation which support the thesis of individuals desperately clinging to what may have been necessary then but is counterproductive now. It is in this framework that the Child’s Needs, now a state of mind for the grown adult, compete with the healthy state of mind of what the Adult Wants.

The central thesis of the book is the tension between these states and how profound a step of growth it is for a person to be able to break free from the chains that bind them to Needs at the cost of what is Wanted.

Several common concepts, such as guilt, anger, and prejudice are discussed in a unique and jargon free way. A chapter includes case discussions to demonstrate the material presented.

Having defined and described these terms, my succinct summary is, “May you know the Child but be the Adult. May you know what you Need, but have what you Want.”

Breaking Free: How Chains From Childhood Keep Us From What We Want

Available on Amazon