Pioneer in Integrative Medicine and Human Potential
This distinguished pioneer in integrative medicine is a world-renowned expert in the mind/body connection. Her work has been foundational in an international health-care revolution that recognizes the role of meaning, and the spiritual dimensions of life, as an integral part of health and healing. Eloquent and inspiring in settings that range from hospitals to hospices, from theaters to conference venues, and from boardrooms to houses of worship, she is a credible bridge between faith and reason. Her brilliance, humor, and authenticity—in combination with the latest research—make her a compelling and inspiring speaker and writer.
After graduating magna cum laude from Bryn Mawr College in 1967, Dr. Borysenko earned her doctorate in Medical Sciences from the Harvard Medical School, where she completed post-doctoral training in cancer cell biology. Her first faculty position was at the Tufts University College of Medicine in Boston. But after the death of her father from cancer, she became more interested in the person with the illness than in the disease itself, and returned to Harvard Medical School to complete a second postdoctoral fellowship, this time in the new field of behavioral medicine. Under the tutelage of Herbert Benson, M.D., who first identified the relaxation response and brought meditation into medicine, she was awarded a Medical Foundation Fellowship and completed her third post-doctoral fellowship in psychoneuroimmunology.
Mind / Body Connection
In the early 1980’s Dr. Borysenko co-founded a Mind/Body clinic with Dr. Benson and Dr. Ilan Kutz, became licensed as a psychologist, and was appointed instructor in medicine at the Harvard Medical School. Her years of clinical experience and research culminated in the 1987 publication of the New York Times best seller, Minding the Body, Mending the Mind, which sold over 400,000 copies. The 20th anniversary edition, newly revised, was published in 2007. Author or co-author of 16 other books and numerous audio and video programs, including the Public Television special Inner Peace for Busy People, she is the Founding Partner of Mind/Body Health Sciences, LLC located in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Dr. Borysenko’s warmth and credibility- plus her lively sense of humor- create a compelling presence. One of the most frequent comments from people at her programs is that her teaching is a transmission- a living experience- that transforms their life. One of the most popular and sought after speakers in the field of health, healing, and spirituality, Joan’s engaging and well researched presentations are perfect both for professionals and for the general public.
The Art and Science of Resilience: From Surviving to Thriving
Resilience is more than the ability to bounce back from adversity. It’s a transformative process that reveals our inherent nobility, a rite of passage from pieces to peace. Mythologist Joseph Campbell called this passage The Hero’s Journey. It consists of three parts. Separation: Change disrupts the status quo and plunges us into the unknown. Liminal Time. This is the Unknown, wherein we can either despair and lose hope or- if we’re resilient- discover new strengths. The journey of resilience ends with giving back the wisdom we’ve gained to family, friends, work, community, nation, and the world. Modern psychology and neuroscience have clearly identified the attitudes and practices that support resilience. Both adults and children can learn these skills and help bring one another and our planet through the challenging times we live in.
Mindfulness: The Practical Neuroscience of Leadership
Recent research indicates that mindfulness training reduces stress, increases emotional balance, resilience, equanimity, and creativity through stimulation of the left and medial prefrontal cortex (PFC). It brings our Wise Self online. Mindfulness also decreases mental rigidity and enhances relationality, allowing for better decision-making. The health benefits of mindfulness range from reprogramming the brain and nervous system to reducing inflammation. In this daylong training (also available in shortened format as a lecture or short workshop) the focus will be 3-fold involving theory, practice, and discussion.
The Cutting Edge of Mind-Body Medicine: From Immunology to Neuroscience
The most important determinant of physical health is mental health. In this research-based practical presentation, participants will learn how adverse childhood experiences set the stage for chronic illness and substance abuse later in life through epigenetic changes, neurochemistry, immune function, and brain wiring. Dr. Borysenko will examine how evidence-based psychological interventions can rewire neuro-hormonal circuitry and help restore both physical and mental balance. Some of the interventions covered include the modification of explanatory style, stress hardiness and resilience training, narrative medicine, meditation and mindfulness techniques, imagery, cognitive approaches, and the all-important gut-brain connection. Since the quality of the provider-client relationship is key to healing, there will be a focus on how to optimize the therapeutic bond in professional presentations.
Personalizing Meditation Practice: Finding the Right Fit for Clients
As meditation practice is being integrated into psychotherapy more regularly, therapists too often have come to see it as a one-size-fits-all remedy. But these practices actually include a range of tools that can be more effective when tailored to a client’s history, personality organization, religious or spiritual orientation, cultural background, and presenting problems. We’ll explore how to help assure the right fit among three different families of practices (categorized by Dahl, Lutz, and Davidson) ---including attentional approaches that strengthen self-regulation, constructive approaches that strengthen emotional wellbeing and healthy thinking, and deconstructive approaches that lead to insight---to better address the problems clients present.
Psychotherapy of the Heart: An In-Depth Look at How We Help Others
In our increasingly fast-paced technological and data-based world, it’s easy to forget the non-linear wisdom of the heart. Caring relationship to self, others and a larger Whole is the crucible from which healing emerges. Learning to embody that crucible is an important, yet sometimes unarticulated and untaught skill that can transform and amplify the power of therapy. Intuitively, human beings understand that love heals. Sociologically and scientifically, we’re beginning to understand why. Data from the emerging fields of psychoneuroimmunology and neurobiology illustrate the effects of connection and compassion on health, emotional balance, and well-being.
Embodying Spirit: Ancient Wisdom Meets Modern Science
Ancient yogic wisdom created maps for the control of mind, body, and emotions. The new brain science builds on and expands these spiritual practices by providing an exciting window into the nature of consciousness, emotional balance, and physical health. The new field of interpersonal neurobiology describes how the mind is both embodied in our brain and nervous system as well as embedded in our relationships. The quality of those relationships- whether they evoke love, compassion, and mindfulness or fear, anger, and constriction- affects the release of informational molecules. These “mind molecules” in turn affect gene expression. The newest body-mind frontier concerns another intimate relationship- the food we eat. Nourishing ourselves wisely in accord with our unique physiological needs- while also being good stewards of the earth- is a missing piece in the puzzle of emotional and physical health.
All Joan Borysenko Books
The PlantPlus Diet Solution: Personalized Nutrition for LifePurchase Book
Inner Peace for Busy People: 52 Simple Strategies for Changing Your LifePurchase Book
The Power of the Mind to HealPurchase Book
Inner Peace for Busy Women: Balancing Work, Family & Your Inner LifePurchase Book
Minding the Body, Mending the MindPurchase Book
Saying Yes to Change: Essential Wisdom for Your JourneyPurchase Book
“Dr. Borysenko is a wonderful speaker! She incorporates evidence, life stories, and practical tips in a way that is meaningful and inspiring. We could not be happier with her as our keynote.”
- Carole A. Bartoletto, MA, RD | Kaiser Permanente, Regional Heath Education
“Joan was amazing. Really. Having her on the panel (with 9 other speakers) was a remarkable compliment to other points of view and specialties. Our accountants found her analytical approach and science based studies comforting (for lack of a better term); they really appreciated that the information she was providing was based upon facts. Her workshop has gotten good feedback as well; while we have not yet issued our formal survey, I’ve had many conversations myself and a number of people have shared how her ‘power of positive thinking’ and comments on ‘gratitude’ resonated with them and that they are much more conscientious about how they are thinking and interacting with people as a result.”
- Kristin Duncan | The Siegfried Group, Corporate Trainer
“Joan Borysenko has that rare ability to reach people—no matter where they are on their journey. Her presentations blend science and real-life experiences that leave the audience thinking, laughing, cheering. Joan is a beautiful, gentle spirit with a wisdom for a world so badly in need of healing.”
- Kathy Tilot | A Woman’s Place, St. Mary’s Hospital Medical Center
“Joan’s presentation at our conference was outstanding! Her warm presence and the depth of her knowledge were a remarkable combination. The experiential aspects of the workshop were beautifully woven into the teaching and her personal stories were a gift. Joan is extremely sensitive to the needs of the audience and our attendees left the workshop feeling inspired and enriched.”
- The Renfrew Center Foundation | Judi Goldstein, LSW, Conference Chair