- IONS Film Project
"Neuroscience of Well-being Panel" with Cassandra Vieten, Rick Hanson, and Michael Spezio
Visionaries: Rick Hanson, PhD and Cassandra Vieten, PhD
IONS Research Director Cassandra Vieten leads a panel on the Neuroscience of Well-being with Rick Hanson and Michael Spezio for the Next Evolution of Health Summit.
Cassandra Vieten, PhD, is a licensed clinical psychologist, Director of Research at the Institute of Noetic Sciences, co-director of the Mind-Body Medicine Research Group at California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute, and co-president of the Institute for Spirituality and Psychology. Funded by the National Institutes of Health, the State of California, and several private donors and foundations, her research has focused on spirituality and health; development and pilot testing of mindfulness-based approaches to cultivating emotional balance (primarily in the areas of addiction and pregnancy/postpartum well-being); and factors, experiences, and practices involved in psychospiritual transformation to a more meaningful, compassionate, and service-oriented way of life. Her primary interest lies in how psychology, biology, and spirituality interact to affect experience and behavior. She completed her pre- and post-doctoral research training at The University of California, San Francisco, working primarily on the biological and psychological underpinnings of addiction and alcoholism. She received her PhD in clinical psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies, where her clinical training focused on the integration of Eastern philosophy and spirituality into psychotherapy. She has conducted workshops, groups, and individual psychotherapy with victims of trauma, adolescent, adult and pregnant drug addicts, violent offenders, trangendered and HIV+ individuals, and adults seeking personal growth. She has authored books, chapters, and academic articles, as well as presenting at numerous international scientific conferences, trainings for colleagues and students, and workshops and events for the lay public. She is co-author of Living Deeply: The Art and Science of Transformation in Everyday Life (New Harbinger/Noetic Books 2008) and author of Mindful Motherhood: Practical Tools for Staying Sane During Pregnancy and Your Child's First Year (New Harbinger/Noetic Books 2009).
Rick Hanson, PhD, is a neuropsychologist, founder of the Wellspring Institute for Neuroscience and Contemplative Wisdom, and author of the best-selling Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom (in sixteen languages). A summa cum laude graduate of UCLA, his work has been featured on the BBC and NPR, and he’s been an invited presenter at leading universities, including Oxford, UC Berkeley, and Stanford. An authority on self-directed neuroplasticity, he edits the Wise Brain Bulletin, has a weekly e-newsletter, Just One Thing, and his Your Wise Brain blog is on Huffington Post, Psychology Today, and other major websites. He has several audio programs with Sounds True, and his first book was Mother Nurture: A Mother's Guide to Health in Body, Mind, and Intimate Relationships (Penguin, 2002). Dr. Hanson is currently a trustee of Saybrook University, and a member of the Board of the Tricycle Foundation. He also served on the board of Spirit Rock Meditation Center for nine years. He enjoys rock-climbing and taking a break from emails. He and his wife have two children.
Michael L. Spezio is Assistant Professor of Psychology & Neuroscience at Scripps College and Visiting Faculty in Affective and Social Neuroscience at the California Institute of Technology. His research seeks to understand how the brain contributes to empathic, moral, and political cognition and action, with a focus that includes the influence of contemplative practices on these processes in the mind. He is Research Director of the Center for Engaged Compassion at the Claremont School of Theology, and a Senior Fellow with the Mind and Life Institute. He is also an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), and works to facilitate the positive engagement of religious and scientific perspectives. He is co-editor of the Routledge Companion to Religion & Science (2011), and of the forthcoming Religion & the Science of Moral Action: Virtue Ethics, Exemplarity, and Cognitive Neuroscience.