About

Ben Bernstein, PhD

Ben Bernstein, Ph.D., is an educator and performance psychologist. Trained as a teacher in inner city schools in New York and London, he was a prominent figure in the progressive education movement in the early 70s, and has since gone on to teach at every level of the educational system.

Over the last 50 years he has coached thousands of clients, from high school students to business executives to Pulitzer Prize, Tony and Academy Award winners. He has received numerous awards and grants from the U.S. and Canadian governments, and has been a speaker at national and international conferences. He was the first director of improvisation at Robert Redford’s Sundance Institute in Utah.

His current client list includes athletes, opera singers, dentists, instrumentalists, attorneys, actors, physicians, business executives, and many students taking tests (SAT, ACT, LSAT, MCAT, DAT, GMAT), and professionals sitting for licensing and certification exams.

Bernstein is the creator of The Bernstein Performance Model (BPM), an original system of nine core tools used to reduce stress and improve performance. The BPM is the basis of his book,Crush Your Test Anxiety  (Familius, 2018). He is the author of A Teen’s Guide to Success: How to Be Calm, Confident and Focused (Familius, 2013), and co-author of Stress Free (Kodansha, 1991), and Stressed Out! For Parents (Familius, 2014).

Dr. Bernstein is a highly praised keynote speaker and workshop leader. He is regularly invited to give keynote addresses to major national organizations, particularly in healthcare and education. Dr. Charles Bertolami, Dean of the School of Dentistry at NYU, has publicly recognized Dr. Bernstein’s work as “highly innovative.”

Educated at Bowdoin College, with a Ph.D. from the University of Toronto, Bernstein also has a Master’s degree in music composition from Mills College. He has produced diverse creative projects such as making films with psychologically disturbed teenagers in an Australian hospital, and training opera singers in his ongoing workshop, The Singer’s Gym, in Oakland. He is a master teacher in the Adler Fellowship and Merola Programs at the San Francisco Opera.

Bernstein’s wife, Suk Wah, is a novelist. The couple divide their time between northern California and southern India.