Jud Brewer sees anxiety as a habit loop—an unrewarding reward that is experientially and neurobiologically similar to addiction. Jud presents his radical treatment model. Then we discuss the intersection of meditation and psychedelic research.
Psychiatrist, renown mindfulness and habit change researcher, Jud Brewer, MD, PhD once again disrupts conventional framing of mental health disorders and their treatment. This time the target is anxiety. Jud says you cannot think your way out of anxiety. Because anxiety is actually a habit loop—an unrewarding reward that experientially and neurobiologically mirrors addiction. Jud unpacks this brilliant and effective revisioning of anxiety and a radically beautiful treatment model, which is featured in his NY Times Bestselling new book, Unwinding Anxiety. Then Jud and I switch gears and discuss the intersection of meditation and psychedelic research. How these treatment models can complement each other and what top academic psychedelic researchers are learning from seasoned meditation researchers like Jud. This jam-packed episode delighted us both and we expect you too will love being along for the ride.
Unwinding Anxiety Book
Unwinding Anxiety App
Jud Brewer, MD PhD is the Director of Research and Innovation at the Mindfulness Center and associate professor in psychiatry at the School of Medicine at Brown University, as well as a research affiliate at MIT. Before that, he held research and teaching positions at Yale University and the University of Massachusetts’ Center for Mindfulness. Read more about his research here. Dr. Jud also serves as the executive medical director of behavioral health at Sharecare. He has developed and tested novel mindfulness programs for habit change, including both in-person and app-based treatments for smoking, emotional eating, and anxiety (Eat Right Now, Unwinding Anxiety and Craving to Quit). Dr. Jud is passionate about understanding how our brains work, and how to use that knowledge to help people make deep, permanent change in their lives — with the goal of reducing suffering in the world at large.