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The Science of a Meaningful Life: Building Gratitude

October 22, 2010
International House, UC Berkeley | Map It

A day-long seminar, featuring Robert Emmons and Rick Hanson, teaching how (and why) to boost gratitude in yourself and others.

Check out the Greater Good Events Calendar.

This one-of-a-kind event will feature presentations by University of California, Davis, psychologist Robert Emmons, the world’s leading scientific expert on gratitude, and neuropsychologist Rick Hanson, author of the acclaimed book Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom.

The seminar will be led by Dr. Emmons, whose groundbreaking research has shown how gratitude can promote health, happiness, and strong connections to others. He will discuss the profound physical, psychological, and social benefits that come from practicing gratitude, and he will highlight research-tested methods for boosting gratitude in everyday life.

Dr. Emmons’ presentation will also explore: how and why gratitude boosts positive well-being and protects from poor mental health; whether gratitude is a cross-cultural, universal feature of human behavior; and why gratitude is vital to human society at large and perhaps even to flourishing across nations.

In his special guest presentation, Dr. Hanson will discuss how the brain has evolved a “negativity bias” that is like Velcro for bad experiences but Teflon for positive ones, tilting the mind toward feelings of anxiety, mistrust, and inadequacy.

His talk will explain how to “trick” the neural machinery of memory to weave positive experiences into the brain and the self more deeply, particularly by cultivating gratitude. The results include greater happiness, resilience, and depth in relationships.

Presented by the Greater Good Science Center. The Science of a Meaningful Life seminar series is made possible through a generous grant from the Quality of Life Foundation.

Co-sponsored by the International House at UC Berkeley, the Institute of Noetic Sciences; continuing education sponsorship by R. Cassidy Seminars.




(Sections led by Robert Emmons unless otherwise noted) 

8:30 - 9:00 a.m.  Registration and check in
9:00 - 10:15 What is gratitude and why does it matter?
10:15 - 10:30 Break
10:30 – 11:30 How gratitude can heal, energize, and transform
11:30 - 12:30 p.m. Lunch (on your own)
12:30 - 1:45 Rick Hanson, PhD, on “taking in the good”
1:45 - 2:45 Gratitude myths, challenges, and obstacles
2:45 - 3:00 Break
3:00 - 4:30 Practical steps for cultivating gratitude

Learning Objectives

  • Identify the psychological, social, and physical health benefits of gratitude
  • Practice everyday steps for cultivating gratitude
  • Teach others, especially children, how they can boost gratitude
  • Practice concrete strategies for boosting positive experiences while reducing the effects of negative ones

Continuing Education

Course approval for Psychologists, Social Workers, Therapists, Counselors and Nurses

This seminar is approved for 6 CE hours.

Continuing Education is co-sponsored by R. Cassidy Seminars.

Psychologists R. Cassidy Seminars is approved by the American Psychological Association to offer continuing education for psychologists.  R. Cassidy Seminars maintains responsibility for this program.  (6) hours.

Social Workers CA: Course meets the qualifications for (6) hours of continuing education credit for MFTs and/or LCSWs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences, Provider #PCE418. This course provides 6 CE hours.

Marriage and Family Therapists CA: Course meets the qualifications for (6) hours of continuing education credit for MFTs and/or LCSWs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences, Provider #PCE418. This course provides 6 CE hours.

Chemical Dependency Counselors Provider approved by CAADAC, Provider #4N-00-434-0210 for (6) CEHs.

Occupational Therapists: Occupational therapists will receive a certificate of attendance for 6 CE hours.

Nurses - CA: Provider approved by the CA Board of Registered Nursing, Provider #CEP12224, for (6) contact hours.

Register now!

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