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From Anxiety to Smartphones to Snacking
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Join Jud Brewer, New York Times best-selling author and thought leader in the field of habit change, for this thought-provoking keynote. Drawing on his clinical work, research studies, and development of next-generation digital therapeutics for habit change, Dr. Brewer will discuss the underlying behavioral and neurobiological mechanisms of why habits are formed and how mindfulness can paradoxically tap into these very processes to uproot them. 

Dr. Brewer struggled for years to help his patients overcome anxiety, overeating and severe addictions. After over a decade of laboratory research on habit change, someone using a digital therapeutic that he had developed for habitual eating innocently asked him to develop a program for anxiety. This led to a lightbulb moment for him that forever changed is clinical practice and his research, leading to new (and now evidence-based) treatment paradigms and a New York Times best-selling book on treating anxiety as a habit. 

After this talk, you will have a simple, pragmatic, 3-step process that you can use with clients and patients to help them unwind unhealthy habits and build healthy habits—without willpower. 

Judson Brewer, MD, PhD

Jud Brewer, MD, PhD (“Dr. Jud”) is a New York Times best-selling author and thought leader in the field of habit change and the “science of self-mastery,” who blends over 20 years of experience with mindfulness training and a career in scientific research. He is passionate about understanding how our brains work, and how to use that knowledge to help people make deep, permanent change in their lives – with the goal of reducing suffering in the world at large.

Dr. Brewer is the director of research and innovation at Brown University’s Mindfulness Center, where he also serves as an associate professor at the Schools of Public Health and Medicine at Brown University. Additionally, he is the chief medical officer at Sharecare, a digital health company, and a research affiliate at MIT.

As a psychiatrist and internationally known expert in mindfulness training for treating addictions, Dr. Brewer has developed and tested novel mindfulness programs for habit change, including both in-person and app-based treatments for anxiety, emotional eating, and smoking. Based on the success of these programs in the lab, he co-founded MindSciences, Inc. – acquired by Sharecare in 2020 – to create app-based digital therapeutic versions of these programs for a wider audience, working with individuals, corporations, and health systems to put effective, evidence-based behavior change guidance in the hands of people struggling with unwanted behaviors and “everyday addictions.”

Dr. Brewer has published numerous peer-reviewed studies, trained U.S. Olympic athletes and coaches, foreign government ministers and corporate leaders. His research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health and American Heart Association, among others.

He is the author of The Craving Mind: From Cigarettes to Smartphones to Love, Why We Get Hooked and How We Can Break Bad Habits (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2017) and Unwinding Anxiety: New Science Shows How to Break the Cycles of Worry and Fear to Heal Your Mind (Avery/Penguin Random House, 2021).

 

Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Dr. Judson Brewer has an employment relationship with Brown University and is a consultant with Sharecare. He receives funding from Tiny Blue Dot Foundation, Peter G. Peterson Foundation, Richard King Mellon Foundation, and the NIH. Dr. Brewer receives royalties as a published author. He receives a speaking honorarium and recording royalties from PESI, Inc. He has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: Dr. Judson Brewer serves as an associate editor for Frontiers in Psychology and is a reviewer for several publications, for a complete list contact PESI, Inc.

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