March 23, 2022
Invisible Virtue w/ Willoughby Britton Ph.D.
Willoughby Britton Ph.D. is a clinical psychologi…
Willoughby Britton Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist, an Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at Brown University Medical School, and the Director of Brown's Clinical and Affective Neuroscience Laboratory.
Her clinical neuroscience research investigates the effects of contemplative practices on the brain and body in the treatment of mood disorders, trauma, and other emotional disturbances. She is especially interested in practice-specific effects, individual differences, and moderators of treatment outcomes.
She is probably best known for her research on adverse effects, and creating best practices around harms monitoring and reporting.
As a clinician, she has been trained as an instructor in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), and the Somatic Experiencing (SE) approach to trauma. She now specializes in helping meditators who are experiencing meditation-related difficulties and providing meditation safety training to providers and organizations.
Throughout this first half of their two-part conversation, Rachel and Willoughby find common ground discussing where their specialties intersect and help each other fill in the gaps of knowledge in their respective fields. Dr. Britton shares about her personal relationship with meditation, how it relates to her work, and the surprising results of her comprehensive study on the adverse effects of meditation. Rachel helps Dr. Britton unpack the cult dynamics and the societal structure that may explain the panic and very unscientific response of the meditation and science communities as a result of Dr. Britton's studies.
Before You Go: Rachel reflects on the problematic and dangerous issues Dr. Britton points out, relating it to her personal experience in a mindfulness and meditation course she participated in for a continuing education program.
Watch Dr.Britton's TED talk on meditation and neuroscience here:
To learn more about Cheetah House and their work helping those experiencing meditation-related distress please visit:
If you are a meditator who has suffered from adverse effects, you can book a consultation with the Cheetah House care team including Dr. Britton here:
Find Rachel's book "Now I Know: Kids Talking To Kids About Divorce..." here:
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