Dr. Sternberg, the author of The Balance Within: The Science Connecting Health and Emotions, is chief of the Section on Neuroendocrine Immunology and Behavior at the National Institute of Mental Health. She is internationally recognized for her discoveries in brain-immune interactions and the effects of the brain’s stress response on health—the science of the mind-body interaction. Recognized by her peers as a spokesperson for the field, she translates complex scientific subjects in a highly accessible manner, with a combination of academic credibility, passion for science, and compassion as a physician. For more information, visit


As I was writing the book proposal at my new house on a rainy March afternoon, my next-door neighbors, Tarja and Dean Pappavasiliou, rang the doorbell to introduce themselves, carrying moussaka and all kinds of delicious Greek food. When they asked me if I was a writer, I said, “I guess I am. I’m just starting to write a book proposal. Why do you ask?” They said they had always wanted a writer to stay at their cottage in Crete. I said, “Well then, yes, I guess you could call me a writer.” And so I soon went with them to stay at their cottage, an experience that was life transforming.

Scientist and author DR. ESTHER M. STERNBERG gains insights into the role of belief in healing after meditating in the archaeological ruins of an ancient Grecian temple.

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Dr. Esther Sternberg’s BOOK

Photograph taken by B. Vartan Boyajian