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Doctor On Demand Blog

Dr. Marc Kossmann is a licensed psychologist who graduated from the Institute for Graduate Clinical Psychology at Widener University in PA in 1993. He studied psychology as an undergraduate at New York University. Dr. Kossmann is in private practice in the Philadelphia area and works with Doctor On Demand by Included Health. He works primarily with adults and has worked for many years in medical settings, particularly with patients undergoing treatment for cancer.

What lead you to your career?

I have always had an intense curiosity about why we do what we do, and I want to understand my own behavior as well as the behavior of other people. This need to figure things out psychologically was personal; I was also interested in trying to understand the patterns of my own family. When I went to college, I took a deep dive into psychology. I actually ran out of undergraduate psychology classes by my junior year and got permission to start taking graduate courses in my senior year. From there, I made it my career.

What topics are you passionate about and what is your focus area?

I am very interested about what our western perspective can learn from eastern and Buddhist perspectives. For example, I have been a student of mindfulness meditation before it became the popular practice that it is today. I experienced the power of learning to sit with our thoughts and feelings and to look deeply at them in order to understand and make sense of them in a larger context.

I am also passionate about bringing an evolutionary context into our understanding of how we think and feel. Strong emotional experiences are often tied to very old parts of our brain that run survival-based “programs.” Our ancient ancestors were fighting to stay alive on a day-to-day basis, which explains the way our brains are wired today. Once we learn to accept how the primitive part of our brain functions, we save ourselves from wasting energy when we try to control the way we feel.

What advice would you give someone to live life well emotionally?

The most important advice I can give is to stop being afraid of your emotions. The more you try to alter, suppress, change, or ignore your emotions, the more problems you will accidentally create in your life. Your feelings are guiding you toward a path of fulfillment and meaning, and they warn you when you are deviating from that path.

Learn more about Dr. Marc Kossmann on LinkedIn.