Description: Enormous challenges exist in our world today. Mental health problems and adversity are prevalent and impairing, including among parents, children, and youth. Few who need support receive it, and many existing interventions do not offer lasting help. The social and personal costs of inattention to these problems are clear. Commitment to creating a better future draws many of us to the study and practice of compassion and related contemplative practices. How can researchers and practitioners most effectively do this work in a way that promotes individual healing and social change? In this presentation, I explore a conceptual and methodological framework and present empirical findings that help us to realize our potential during these critical times. I focus on ways in which we can work in interdisciplinary partnerships with one another and with engaged communities, guided by an intention to create a better future for all.
About the speaker: Dr. Sona Dimidjian is a professor in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of Colorado Boulder. Her research focuses on cultivating mental health and well-being among women, children, and families by engaging people’s capacities for learning skills and promoting community change. She studies and develops programs and practices in education and healthcare settings, with an emphasis on navigating key developmental transitions, such as the perinatal period, early childhood, and adolescence. She also has a longstanding interest in expanding access, scaling, and sustaining effective programs, using both digital technology and community-based partnerships. Current projects in her lab focus on promoting healthy body image among young women, preventing depression and supporting well-being among new and expectant mothers, and enhancing mindfulness and compassion among youth, families and educators. Her research is funded by the National Institutes of Health, philanthropists, and foundations that are dedicated to supporting positive social and community impact. She is the recipient of numerous awards acknowledging her teaching and clinical research. She received her B.A. in psychology from the University of Chicago and her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Washington.
For more information on Dr. Dimidjian, click here.
For more information on the CREST (Clinical Research for Evidence-based Services and Training) Initiative, click here. This is part of Compassion Week events hosted by the Edna Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center.