Can we break bad habits by being more curious about them? Psychiatrist Judson Brewer studies the relationship between mindfulness and addiction — from smoking to overeating to all those other things we do even though we know they’re bad for us. Learn more about the mechanism of habit development and discover a simple but profound tactic that might help you beat your next urge to smoke, snack or check a text while driving. (Taken from official web site)

Who is he?

Psychiatrist and addiction expert Judson Brewer researches mindfulness techniques that effectively help quell cravings of all kinds. (Op. Cite.)

Why should you view?

Psychiatrist Judson Brewer is a thought leader in the “science of self mastery,” having combined nearly 20 years of experience with mindfulness and scientific research therein. An expert in mindfulness training for addictions, Judson has developed novel treatments to help individuals with substance abuse and eating disorders. He has also studied the neural mechanisms of mindfulness using standard and real ­time fMRI, and is translating these findings into clinical use.

In 2012, Judson founded Claritas MindSciences to combine mindfulness and neurofeedback techniques for a variety of conditions; the latest apps are Craving to Quit and Eat Right Now. Judson is currently an Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Medicine at University of Massachusetts School of Medicine, where he is Director of Research at the Center for Mindfulness. (Op. Cite.)

Discussion Questions:

  1. What did Brewer experience in learning to meditate?
  1. Brewer describes a relationship or sequence that is hard wired in the human brain “Trigger, behavior, reward”. That is ancient and has come to extend itself to all sorts of unexpected behaviors. Explain what he means in your own words.
  1. Through mindfulness we can become disenchanted with our behaviors. Give one of his examples of how that works.
  1. He describes “mindfulness” as being really interested in what’s happening in our bodies and minds at a given moment. Have you ever had a moment of mindfulness?
  1. Meditators have what he calls a neural network of self-referential programming. What does he call this?
  1. What does he mean by feel the joy of letting go, and how might it affect out behaviors?

Making Connections:

Here is a list of media that he recommends: ·  Mindfulness

60 Minutes
CBS News, 2014

You’re Already Awesome. Just Get Out of Your Own Way!

Judson Brewer
TEDxRockCreekPark, 2013

How Addiction Can Affect Brain Connections

Deborah Becker
wbur, 2014

Eat, Smoke, Meditate: Why Your Brain Cares How You Cope

Alice G. Walton
Forbes, 2011

Judson Brewer’s contributions to the Huffington Post

A Simple Way To Break A Bad Habit with Judson Brewer


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