Cassandra Vieten is Executive Director of the John W. Brick Foundation, Scholar-in-Residence at the Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination at the University of California, San Diego, and a Senior Fellow at the Institute of Noetic Sciences where she worked for 18 years and served as President and CEO from 2013-2019. She is a psychologist, mind-body medicine researcher, author of numerous articles in scientific journals, and an internationally recognized keynote speaker.
Her research has focused on spirituality and health, transformative experiences and practices, and the development of mindfulness-based interventions for emotional well-being. She received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies, and completed her research training in behavioral genetics at UCSF. She is the author of Mindful Motherhood: Practical Tools for Staying Sane During Pregnancy and Your Child’s First Year, and co-author of Living Deeply: The Art and Science of Transformation in Everyday Life, and Spiritual and Religious Competencies in Clinical Practice: Guidelines for Psychotherapists and Mental Health Professionals.
Her current projects focus on how mental health care be transformed so that it includes fitness/movement, nutrition, mind-body, and clients’ spiritual and religious beliefs and practices (when relevant) to foster mental and emotional fitness and well-being; what environmental and internal conditions, agents, practices, and states of consciousness stimulate imagination – in particular, the ability to see new possibilities; how cognitive, social and neuroscience along with practices from the world’s wisdom traditions can foster positive change in individuals and in our world (see Consciousness, Communication and Change program and Campaign Science for the political and activist arena), and how introducing people to awe-inspiring ideas and environments can stretch their imagination or help them see things from a new perspective, leading to self-transcendence, shifts in worldview and perspective on life, and other prosocial emotions and behaviors.
Discussion of this interview in the BatGap Community Facebook Group.
Interview recorded September 14, 2019
Video and audio below. Audio also available as a Podcast.