The Science of a Meaningful Life: Taking in the Good

This day-long seminar, led by best-selling author Rick Hanson, will present strategies for boosting positive emotions and positive experiences. Will be webcast live!

  • Venue: International House, UC Berkeley Campus
    OR Live Webcast
  • Date: October 15, 2011

We are saddened to announce that our guest speaker for this October 15 seminar, Dr. Lee Lipsenthal, has passed away. We send heartfelt condolences to his family, friends, and colleagues.

The GGSC’s Dr. Christine Carter will present in his place. She will honor Dr. Lipsenthal’s work by sharing research-based ideas for savoring life, drawing on his forthcoming book, Enjoy Every Sandwich: Living Each Day as if it Were Your Last, which will be published in November. Watch an inspiring video of Dr. Lipsenthal here.

Event description

Want to make good feelings last? This seminar will offer concrete, research-based strategies for turning quick positive emotions into long-lasting positive experiences.

It will be led by neuropsychologist Rick Hanson, the renowned teacher and best-selling author of Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom. Dr. Hanson, who is also an Affiliate of the Greater Good Science Center and a Greater Good columnist, will discuss how the brain has evolved a “negativity bias,” making it like Velcro for negative experiences but Teflon for positive ones. This gives us a heightened response to threats and stress and tilts the mind toward feelings of pessimism, anxiety, mistrust, and inadequacy.

Yet through mindful attention to his four steps of “taking in the good,” we can internalize positive experiences in our memory systems, which can improve our mood and coping skills and heal painful, even traumatic, experiences—in effect, changing our outlook on ourselves and the world around us. The results include greater happiness, resilience, and depth in relationships.

This event will be webcast live! Attend in-person or online.

With the webcast, you’ll watch real-time video of the event, including slides, be able to submit questions to the presenter online, and receive CE credits—all from the comfort of your home, office, or anywhere with an Internet connection. You must have a hard-wired connection to the Internet. You will be emailed prior to the event with course materials and a login and password for the webcast.

*Attendees can receive 6 CE credit hours for attending in-person or online.*

Workshop Topics:

  • How memory works: the brain has evolved toward a negativity bias.
  • This results in heightened reactivity to threats and stress, anxiety and depression.
  • The result may include limited gains in psychotherapy.
  • ‘Tricking’ the neural processes into internalizing positive experiences.
  • Three steps of ‘taking in the good’ to make the brain like Velcro for positive experiences.
  • Fourth, optional, step to heal painful, even traumatic, experiences.
  • Special consideration for using ‘taking in the good’ with children or for trauma.

(All sessions led by Rick Hanson unless otherwise noted)

8:30 - 9:00 a.m. - Registration and check in
9:00 - 10:30 - Rick Hanson on self-directed neuroplasticity and the brain’s negativity bias
10:30 - 10:45 - Break
10:45 - 12:00 - Rick Hanson on mindfully internalizing positive experiences
12:00 - 1:00 p.m. - Lunch (on your own)
1:00 - 2:45 - Rick Hanson on using positive experiences to heal old pain
2:45 - 3:00 - Break
3:00 - 4:30 - Christine Carter on savoring life and living it fully

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify ways that brains have a negativity bias and resulting consequences.
  • Review steps for internalizing positive experiences in memory systems.
  • Practice concrete strategies for boosting positive experiences while reducing the effects of negative ones.
  • Develop neurophysiological strategies for shifting emotion away from worry toward gratitude

Continuing Education:
This seminar is approved for 6 CE hours. 
Course approval for Psychologists, Social Workers, Therapists, Counselors and Nurses. More details on continuing education here.
Continuing Education is co-sponsored by R. Cassidy Seminars.

Presented by the Greater Good Science Center
Co-sponsored by the International House at UC Berkeley

The Science of a Meaningful Life seminar series is made possible through a generous grant from the Quality of Life Foundation.