A Trick of the Light

Unpublished draft psychoanalytic theory paper, 2006

Grant H Brenner MD DFAPA
67 min readJan 8, 2024
Photo Credit: Grant H Brenner, NYC Subway, December 2023

Author’s note: I saved this draft in 2006 after completing a writing mentorship with Sandra Beuchler as a mentor. That would make it almost 18 years old, according to algebra.

I am forever grateful to her. She said that I had found my “voice” — that was important to hear. I never tried to publish this paper, A Trick of the Light. The title refers to the way in which the psychoanalytic process, similar to other common and core processes, reminds us that to a signicant extent reality is how you look at it, and what you make of it. I see I managed a classic rock reference, Peter Gabriel — I tend to do this. Needless to say, the influence of my analyst and “lineage” is evident to those within that group, and appreciated with endless gratitude, evidence of the long-term efficacy of psychoanalytic therapy.

In a sense, reality is a perceptual illusion in the illusion of self. There is surely reality in existence, however, and we are a part of that objective reality, regardless of what it is like to reflect upon it from in the inside, as it were. A form of “telonomic matter” — matter which has evolved to have purpose.

A Trick of The Light

As I sit down to write this paper, I’m poised on the brink of finishing analytic training…



Grant H Brenner MD DFAPA

Psychiatrist, Psychoanalyst, Entrepreneur, Writer, Speaker, Disaster Responder, Advocate, Photographer