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Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Lasting Inner Strength and Peace

Saturday, November 16, 2013
UC Berkeley Campus, International House | Map It

Registration for this event has closed.

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Registration for this event has closed. Please look for video highlights on the Greater Good website in the future. You can download Dr. Hanson’s slides from this event here.

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

Based on neuropsychologist and renowned teacher Rick Hanson’s latest book, Hardwiring Happiness, this seminar will offer concrete, research-based strategies for using everyday positive experiences to develop lasting inner strength.

Dr. Hanson will discuss how the brain has evolved a “negativity bias,” making it like Velcro for bad experiences but Teflon for good ones. This bias causes over-reactivity, needless worries, depression, and interpersonal conflicts. It also hampers childrearing, psychotherapy, mindfulness training, and addiction recovery.

To solve this problem, Dr. Hanson will illustrate how we can imprint positive experiences in the brain and benefit from the phenomenon of “neuroplasticity,” whereby over time our thoughts and experiences literally change the shape and functioning of our brain. He will teach methods for internalizing positive experiences in our memory systems—a process he calls “taking in the good”—which help us heal from traumas and develop and maintain inner strengths—including resilience, positive emotions, and confidence. Participants will explore methods to lower anxiety and stress, lift mood, develop calm and contentment, and fundamentally hardwire happiness into the brain.

20% discount for GGSC members. Join here!

Attendees will be able to:

•  Identify how and why the brain has a “negativity bias,” making it like Velcro for bad experiences but Teflon for good ones, and the effects this has on our well-being

•  Learn Dr. Hanson’s four-step HEAL method that imprints everyday positive experiences in the memory system, helping you feel strong, happy, peaceful, and loved

•  Adapt the HEAL steps to improve motivation, childrearing, depression, and recovery from trauma

•  Process “antidote experiences,” including those useful for healing old pain

•  Explore methods to lower anxiety and stress, lift mood, develop calm and contentment, and fundamentally hardwire happiness into the brain

•  Gain a deeper scientific understanding of “self-directed neuroplasticity,” where we can use our minds to change the shape and functioning of our brains over time—the basis of long-term health and happiness

Event 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.

Live Webcast

If you can’t make it to the San Francisco Bay Area, never fear: This event will be webcast live!

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 a hard-wired Internet connection. You will be emailed prior to the event with course materials and a login and password for the webcast.

About Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

Rick Hanson, Ph.D., is a neuropsychologist, acclaimed teacher, and author of the new book Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm, and Confidence (Random House, October 2013; in 4 languages). His prior books include Just One Thing: Developing a Buddha Brain One Simple Practice at a Time (New Harbinger; in 12 languages), Mother Nurture: A Mother’s Guide to Health in Body, Mind, and Intimate Relationships (Penguin), and the best-selling Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom (New Harbinger; in 24 languages).

Dr. Hanson is the founder of the Wellspring Institute for Neuroscience and Contemplative Wisdom and an advisory board member of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley. He has been an invited speaker at Oxford, Stanford, and Harvard, and taught in meditation centers worldwide.


8:30 - 9:00 a.m. Registration and check-in
9:00 - 10:30 Self-directed neuroplasticity, neural factors of mindfulness, and self-compassion
10:30 - 10:45 Break
10:45 - 12:00 Our negativity bias and the evolving brain
12:00 - 1:00 p.m. Lunch (on your own)
1:00 - 2:45 Using the HEAL steps to hardwire happiness and other inner strengths
2:45 - 3:00 Break
3:00 - 4:00 Using positive experiences to heal old pain
4:00 - 4:30 Coming home to our natural peace, contentment, and love

Continuing Education

This seminar is approved for 6 CE hours.

*Attendees can receive 6 CE credit hours for attending in-person or online.* Continuing Education for this event 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) CE hours.

Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists (MFTs), and Counselors:
California: 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.

R. Cassidy Seminars is an approved provider for Social Work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Board (ASWB) through the Approved Continuing Education (ACE) Program. ACE Provider #1082. Approval Period April 15, 2012 – April 15, 2015.  6 CE hours.

R. Cassidy Seminars is a National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC) Approved Continuing Education Provider (ACEP™) and may offer NBCC approved clock hours for events that meet NBCC requirements. The ACEP solely is responsible for all aspects of the program. (NBCC Provider #6375).

Nurses: Provider approved by the CA Board of Registered Nursing, Provider #CeP12224, for (6) contact hours.

Alcoholism & Drug Counselors: Provider approved by CFAAP/CAADAC.  Provider 4N-00-434-0214 for 6 CEHs.  CAADAC is an ICRC member which has reciprocity with most ICRC member states.

Event Co-Sponsors

Presented by the Greater Good Science Center.
Continuing Education is co-sponsored by R. Cassidy Seminars.

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

UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Medicine

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