About the Book

Everyone experiences drama and unexpected changes in their lives. We’ve all exulted and endured. We’ve had loves and losses. We’ve tasted joys and sorrows and successes and setbacks. But each person reacts differently to these issues. In Our Emotional Footprint, author Dr. Saul Levine examines humans’ reactions to relationships, life changes, and unexpected events.

Levine introduces ten unique people who are passengers in a single rail car and details their fascinating life stories. He looks at how the passengers fared at different points in their lives, how they may have been courageous at times and fearful at others, or were both caring and callous at different times. Through the lens of the Four Bs—Being, Belonging, Believing, and Benevolence — Our Emotional Footprint examines their lives and our own, how they’ve affected others in the course of their lives, and how they may have been resilient in the face of defeat and gracious in times of success.

A celebration of so-called ordinary people, Our Emotional Footprint offers a collection of stories that provide a unique glimpse at life’s pathways and complexities and how we deal with our hopes and expectations.

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Praise for Our Emotional Footprint

“This is quite a wonderful and original book. The stories are compelling and the writer’s observations on the stories are wise and compassionate. Congratulations on this superb work.”

Irv Yalom, MD


“Our Emotional Footprint is a rare treasure that reminds us of the often nightmarish traumas of everyday life and the inspirational triumphs that “common” people have achieved over the harsh hands that have been dealt to them.  Some childhood traumas – neglect, abuse, belittlement, parental substance abuse, poverty, injury and death to loved ones – occur so commonly behind closed doors that we grow numb to the painful toll they take on the individual.  Dr. Levine, one of the most gifted and respected psychiatrists and psychotherapists in the country, has written a masterful book that invites us to appreciate and praise the silent heroism that everyday people show in refusing to let their lives be defined by their past traumas.  The book resonates with deep compassion and rare wisdom, and leaves us feeling proud of the triumphs that we have all achieved over our own inescapable setbacks and tragedies.   In writing this book, Dr. Levine also teaches us to open our hearts and minds to the strangers sitting down the aisle from us, to learn of their hidden hardships and horrors, and to celebrate with them in the heroism of everyday life.”

Dean Delis, PhD


“Our Emotional Footprint reflects the author’s lifetime of psychiatric experience in a variety of settings.  Although we tend to be obsessed with the private lives of the rich and famous, Dr. Levine demonstrates that the private lives of all of us are equally as interesting.  In analyzing the lives of ten individuals, Dr. Levine helps us to analyze our own ‘life tapestry’ and to assess the ‘emotional footprint’ that will be our heritage.  The book is well written and leaves the reader with important questions to ponder.  Strongly recommended.”

E. Fuller Torrey, MD