Welcome to The Inner Gathering, I’m glad you’re here! Allow me to introduce myself.

Here’s my “official” bio, snagged from the back cover of The Inner Gathering:

Dr. Kelly Flanagan is an author, speaker, personal growth and relationship coach, and a licensed clinical psychologist. His writing has been featured in Reader's Digest, Huffington Post, and The 5 Love Languages, and he has appeared on the TODAY Show with his daughter. He is the author of two non-fiction books, Loveable and True Companions, both of which debuted as a #1 New Release in Interpersonal Relations on Amazon. His first novel, The Unhiding of Elijah Campbell, was released in October 2022 and made the ECPA Bestseller List. His second novel, The Keeper of Crimes, is slated for a 2024 release. In the meantime, he’s turning the publishing process upside down by writing his next non-fiction book on Substack, with the editorial feedback of his faithful readers. Kelly is married to another clinical psychologist named Kelly, and they have three children who are nineteen, fifteen, and thirteen years old. They live in a small town outside of Chicago where, on any snowy morning before dawn, the street light across the road is reminiscent of the lamp post in Narnia where Lucy met Tumnus.

And here’s my “unofficial”—and therefore much more raw and real—bio, adapted from the back cover of The Inner Gathering:

Fifteen years ago, I was a successful clinical psychologist with a wonderful wife and two beautiful boys. And I was clinically depressed. Concerned that my mood and resentment were destroying my marriage and wounding my sons, I tried an experiment. For a year, I would read no self-help books—I would only engage in self-reflection. I would go on an inward journey of meditation, contemplation, and prayer in the hopes of salvaging my outer world.

Six months into that experiment, during an apocalyptic morning at a U.S. Marine base, I discovered I was not who I thought I was. For the first time, I stepped out of the false self I’d been crafting since I was a boy. And seeing my false self for the first time, I had the experience of inhabiting my true self—the part of me doing the seeing.

After that, I began a deep dive into the nature of the false self (a term first coined by Catholic monk Thomas Merton), later called the ego by Father Richard Rohr, and something I now call “the crafted self.” In The Inner Gathering, I’m going to share everything I’ve learned in the last fifteen years about the anatomy of the human soul and psyche, including the three protective personas in everyone’s false self, the reason we form a false self in the first place, and the nature of our true self—or as I now call it, the “original self.”

I hope this book will become a roadmap for each of us, a guided encounter with our own humanity—an encounter that will leave you feeling whole, and wholly equipped for the rest of the journey ahead.

Why subscribe for free?

  • Never miss an update—every book post goes directly to your inbox in its entirety—on at least a monthly basis

  • Influence the book’s trajectory by commenting on any book post

  • Samples of Kelly’s three previously published books included in your welcome email

Why upgrade to a paid subscription?

  • Exclusive posts from me that include my musings about the writing process and being human

  • Monthly Zoom calls about the book content released that month

  • Member threads dedicated to conversations with me and each other about the themes of the book

  • Access to a podcast reading of each post, so you can listen on the go

  • Dive deeper into a community of people who share your interests and your passion for growing as a person

  • A way for people who appreciate my voice to support my work (there’s no publisher advance for this book!)

Why become a Super Supporter?

  • Kelly will personally send you a Loveable Bonus Bundle, including an exclusive 52-week companion guide to his book Loveable, links to access his Loveable Mini-Course, and links to his Loveable Podcast.

  • You will also have Kelly’s eternal gratitude

Last year, I closed my clinical practice as a psychologist to finally, after eleven years of writing publicly, jump into my calling as an author with both feet. Your paid subscription is like an inner tube, carrying me for a little while as I float down this river of creativity. Thanks for the extra support. I’ll feel it with each passing mile.

Much love,


Subscribe to The Inner Gathering by Kelly Flanagan

I don’t write books because I’ve arrived, but because I know there’s somewhere else I need to go. Go with me this time. This serial book is a guided encounter with your original self and its three protectors. Let's write it together.


Kelly Flanagan

Psychologist turned novelist. Featured in Reader's Digest, Huffington Post, The 5 Love Languages, and the TODAY Show. Writing my way toward wholeness.