My Visit With Nathaniel Branden

Nathaniel Branden and I share a laugh in his Los Angeles home

I was honored to meet with psychotherapist and philosopher Nathaniel Branden in his Los Angeles home today. Nathaniel is a renowned lecturer, practicing psychotherapist, and author of twenty books on the psychology of self-esteem, romantic love, and the life and thought of Objectivist philosopher Ayn Rand.

I had interviewed Nathaniel twice for my blog and had thoroughly enjoyed our discussions. He and his wife, Leigh, graciously welcomed me into their home upon my arrival from Minneapolis. Jenny, my college friend, picked me up at LAX and we headed right over to the Brandens.

I’ve long admired Nathaniel’s work in the fields of romantic love and self-esteem. I also throughly enjoyed reading his account of his days with the legendary Ayn Rand. During our talk today, I told him how mesmerized I was by his account of the day his then-wife, Devers Branden, visited Ayn Rand at her New York home and went toe to toe with her . . . and won in a knockout! Nathaniel laughed and said, ‘That’s my favorite story, too.” Click here to read that story. Honest to God, it pulls you in like a suspense novel. I was holding my breath as i read it!

I also enjoyed telling Nathaniel that I liked reading about how he shocked Ayn when she showed him an early draft for Atlas Shrugged and he immediately fingered an unnamed character as John Galt, the story’s hero. He grinned and told me more about that incident.

I asked Nathaniel if he had originated the concept of the sentence-completion exercise, which in my view is a highly effective and powerful tool for drawing out the secrets of your subconscious. He said, yes, as far as he knew, he originated it and certainly didn’t take it from anyone else. Click here for an example of his sentence-completion technique.

It was a real treat to sit with Nathaniel for forty-five minutes and discuss ideas and incidents that I had encountered in his work as long as twenty years ago. I never dreamed I’d have the chance to sit down with him face to face and hear him elaborate on some things I had been wondering about. Thank you, Nathaniel, for being so generous with your time. It’s been a real pleasure getting to know you!

Click here to view all my posts about Nathaniel Branden.

Click here to see all my posts featuring my life stories.


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4 Responses to “My Visit With Nathaniel Branden”

  1. patti Storozuk Says:

    Met Nathaniel at Freedom Fest 2007, I had been introduced to his books prior to that by my best friend, so it was awesome to meet him face to face. What a beautiful person!

  2. Phil Bolsta Says:

    Yes, it was an honor for me to meet him as well. Glad you had that opportunity, Patti!

  3. Roger Wasson Says:

    Met him years ago at a lecture he gave in Dallas. What a guy. While people on the surface splash and make a lot of noise about helping others, a few people like Branden quietly probe the depths for a few priceless pearls—and enrich the lives of millions. Myself included.

    Thank you for this post, Phil.

    “Moved by a passion they don’t understand
    for a goal they seldom reach, people are
    haunted by the vision of a distant possibility
    that refuses to be extinguished.”
    –Nathaniel Branden

  4. Phil Bolsta Says:

    You’re very welcome, Roger! I’m glad you have found so much value in Nathaniel’s work. I hope you check out my other posts about him, including our interviews.

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