SM Posters 3

Bernard Beitman, MD – The Anatomy of a Meaningful Coincidence

How do you use and interpret meaningful coincidences?


Each of us has more to do with creating coincidences than we think. In this comprehensive exploration of the potential of coincidences to expand our understanding of reality, psychiatrist Bernard Beitman, MD, explores why and how coincidences, synchronicity, and serendipity happen and how to use these common occurrences to inspire psychological, interpersonal, and spiritual growth.

Through a complete catalogue of coincidence patterns with numerous illustrative examples, Dr Beitman clarifies the relationship between synchronicity and serendipity and dissects the “anatomy of a coincidence.” He defines coincidence types through their two fundamental constituents—mental events and physical events. He analyzes the many uses of meaningful coincidences as well as their potential problems, emphasizing that synchronicity and serendipity are not only positive but can also carry shadow sides. Detailing how to record your experiences in a Coincidence Diary, he explains how you will see patterns guiding your life decisions and learn to expect that coincidences are more likely to occur during life stressors, high emotion, and strong need, which helps you be ready to use them when they occur.

Exploring the crucial role of personal agency—individual thought and action—in synchronicities and serendipities, Dr Beitman shows that there’s much more behind these occurrences than “fate” or “randomness.” They can be clues to the functioning of the psychosphere, our mental atmosphere through which many of them happen. By sharing our personal coincidence stories, we help each other to grow through the incremental mapping of our connections to other people, to other living beings, and to the Earth itself.

About the speaker:


Bernie Karlen photo

Bernard Beitman, MD, is the first psychiatrist since Carl Jung to systematize the study of coincidences. A graduate of Yale Medical School, he did his psychiatric residency at Stanford University. The former chair of psychiatry of the University of Missouri-Columbia medical school for 17 years, he writes a blog for Psychology Today on coincidence and has edited two issues of Psychiatric Annals on meaningful coincidences. The founder and president of The Coincidence Project, he lives in Charlottesville, Virginia.


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Wed, 30 November 2022
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7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Local Time

  • Timezone: America/New_York
  • Date: Wed, 30 November 2022
  • Time: 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm


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  • Bernard Beitman
    Bernard Beitman

    Bernard Beitman, MD,  is the author or editor of seven psychiatry books, recipient of two national psychiatry awards for his psychotherapy training program, and former chair of psychiatry at the University of Missouri-Columbia. He is the Founding Director and President of The Coincidence Project. His first coincidence book, Connecting with Coincidence (2016) was followed by a second, Meaningful Coincidences: How and Why Synchronicity and Serendipity Happen (2022). He is working on a coincidence autobiography.