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April 2024 Workshop: Intersections of Buddhist Psychology and Mental Health
Friday, April 05, 2024, 7:15 PM - 9:15 PM EDT
Category: Workshops

Presented by Matthew Brensilver, Ph.D.

This presentation will explore the synergy between Buddhist meditative traditions and contemporary psychotherapy. The lecture will offer a tentative taxonomy of meditative practice and elucidate the ways in which mindfulness is hypothesized to support mental health. Indeed, the hallmarks of mindfulness are diametrically opposed to the hallmarks of psychiatric distress. Next, we will explore some of the hypothesized mechanisms of Buddhist meditation and their overlap with evidence-based mechanisms of psychotherapeutic change. The presentation will include lecture and some guided meditation practice.

Matthew Brensilver teaches retreats at the Insight Retreat Center, Spirit Rock and other Buddhist centers.  He was previously program director for Mindful Schools and for more than a decade, was a core teacher at Against the Stream Buddhist Meditation Society. Matthew worked as a clinical social worker, serving severely and persistently mentally ill adults and adolescents. He subsequently earned a PhD from the Dworak-Peck School of Social Work at USC where he was a Provost’s Fellow. His dissertation examined the mechanisms of risk and resilience in maltreated adolescents in a large, longitudinal study in South Los Angeles.  Before committing to teach meditation full-time, he spent years doing research on addiction pharmacotherapy at the UCLA Center for Behavioral and Addiction Medicine. Each summer, he lectures at UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research Center on the intersections between mindfulness, science and psychotherapy.  He serves on the Board of Directors at Spirit Rock and the Insight Meditation Center.  Matthew is the co-author of two books about meditation during adolescence and continues to be interested in the unfolding dialogue between Buddhism and science.


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