Brian Pennie PhD

Neuroscientist & Resilience Specialist

Dr Brian Pennie is neuroscientist and resilience specialist, and also works as an advisor and business coach to some of Ireland’s leading CEOs. Through a combination of his own inspiring story alongside the application of proven tools and techniques, he is determined to identify and unleash the hidden potential in others. From corporate programmes and keynote speaking to one-on-one coaching, Brian offers a range of services to companies and organisations of all sizes. His story will draw you in and inspire you.

My story

One autumn day in October 2013, my life changed forever. By then, I had been a heroin addict for more than 15 years and it was slowly killing me. That day, in what seemed like an instant, the world seemed to glow.
Captivated by this sudden change, I started to question why I felt so alive. I didn’t see it at first, but then it hit me. It had tortured me my entire life. The voices in my head, the stories that I spun myself – the ones that drove my anxiety and, in turn, my addiction. They were gone.
For as long as I could remember, thinking had consumed me – my mind racing about what I needed to do, tirelessly working out ways to escape my bodily agitations. But now, the voices were silent. My anxiety was gone. The race was over and my new life had begun.

A second chance at life, my bonus time

This sudden shift in perspective set me off on an amazing journey, and with a newfound love of learning, I went to university to study the human mind. I had so many questions: What is a perspective shift? Why did I feel so alive? What is the relationship between anxiety and the voice in our heads? Why do people suffer? How can I help others escape their suffering?

Life had gifted me a second chance, but after so many years of addiction, I had no idea how to live in the real world. With that, I began to develop what I called a ‘Programme for Life,’ a framework that would help me to master my mental, emotional, and external world.
It worked, helping me to become a doctor of psychology, a neuroscientist, a published author, a lecturer at the top two universities in Ireland, and a coach to some of Ireland’s most influential leaders. Most importantly, I now have a beautiful relationship with anxiety, helping me to live life in an energetic, emboldened, and carefree way.

A new purpose

Now that I’d conquered my own struggles, I wanted to share my programme with others who might need it. I began speaking in schools, and after one talk in 2016, a 14-year-old kid approached me after a talk. With incredible enthusiasm and energy, he told me “I’m going to do this. I’m going to do everything you said.” This sparked something visceral inside of me. I’d never felt so alive. With fire in my belly and a mission to share what I’d learned, I began refining my Programme for Life (link to PFL page), creating my own business called Change is Possible. Through this company, I deliver workshops and keynote talks to some of the world’s largest organisations. But I never forgot my roots, and I provide mentorship programmes, talks, and workshops to schools and prisons around Ireland.


Brian Pennie

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Brian Pennie PhD

Dr. Brian Pennie

With a PhD in Psychology from Trinity College Dublin, Brian is a published author and trained neuroscientist. By combining lived experience with academic expertise, he develops programmes for blue-chip brands to help people gain full control over their mental, emotional, and external world.