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[Virtual] Unwinding Anxiety: New Science Shows How to Break the Cycles of Worry and Fear to Heal Your Mind

February 6, 2022 @ 10:30 AM 12:00 PM

Judson Brewer, M.D., Ph.D., will speak on the topic of his book, Unwinding Anxiety: New Science Shows How to Break the Cycles of Worry and Fear to Heal Your Mind.  Can anxiety and worry be perpetuated like a habit?  Anxiety levels are increasing individually and collectively in modern day.  Faced with uncertainty and an overabundance of information (and misinformation), among other challenges, our minds struggle to keep up. Our brains default to old survival mechanisms to help us deal with anxiety, which can lead to the development of unhealthy coping habits (e.g. stress eating) and, ironically, feed anxiety as a habit itself.  Drawing on his clinical work, neuroscience research studies and development of next-generation digital therapeutics for habit change, Dr. Brewer will discuss the underlying behavioral and neurobiological mechanisms for why anxiety and other habits are formed and how we can paradoxically tap into these very processes to uproot them.  He will also discuss how we can apply these insights to improving clinical treatments and improving our own lives.

Jud Brewer is the Director of Research and Innovation at the Mindfulness Center and associate professor in Behavioral and Social Sciences at the School of Public Health and Psychiatry at the Medical School at Brown University.  He also is a research affiliate at MIT.  A psychiatrist and internationally known expert in mindfulness training for addictions, Brewer has developed and tested novel mindfulness programs for behavior change, including both in-person and app-based treatments for smoking, emotional eating, and anxiety.  He has also studied the underlying neural mechanisms of mindfulness using standard and real-time fMRI, and source-estimated EEG, and is currently translating these findings into clinical use (see www.drjud.com for more information). He has published numerous peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, presented to the US President’s Office of National Drug Control Policy and to foreign Parliaments, and trained U.S. Olympic athletes and coaches.  He also has been featured on 60 Minutes.


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