March 12, 2021
In this episode, Wendy speaks with clinical psychologist and contemplative researcher Sona Dimidjian. Sona’s work applies contemplative practices to improve mental health, with a focus on systems of inequality. Their conversation covers many topics, including:
- her path to contemplative practice and research;
- using collaborative teams in science to reduce bias;
- how she applies mindfulness to help with postpartum depression;
- working with young women around stereotypes about appearance;
- embodied practices delivered through peer instruction;
- community-engaged participatory research, working “with” and not “for”;
- creating digital platforms for more equitable dissemination of contemplative programs;
- and how she brings a lens of anti-racism to her research and teaching.
Sona Dimidjian, PhD is Director of the Renée Crown Wellness Institute and Professor in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of Colorado Boulder. Her research focuses on cultivating mental health and wellness among women, children, and families by engaging people’s capacities for learning to care for themselves and their communities. She develops and studies 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. Her current research projects focus on preventing depression and supporting wellness among new and expectant mothers, promoting healthy body image and leadership among young women, and enhancing mindfulness and compassion among youth, families and educators. She is the co-author of a book for new and expectant mothers, Expecting Mindfully: Nourish Your Emotional Well-Being and Prevent Depression During Pregnancy and Postpartum, and editor of Evidence-Based Practice in Action: Bridging Clinical Science and Intervention. Sona also serves on the board of the Mind & Life Institute.
- Book: Expecting Mindfully: Nourish Your Emotional Well-Being and Prevent Depression During Pregnancy and Postpartum
- Paper: Dimidjian et al. (2015). An open trial of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for the prevention of perinatal depressive relapse/recurrence. Archives of Women’s Mental Health.
- Paper: Segal, Dimidjian, et al. (2020). Outcomes of Online Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Patients With Residual Depressive Symptoms: A Randomized Clinical Trial, JAMA Psychiatry.
- Digital programs for mindfulness for depression and anxiety: Mindful Noggin and Mindful Mood Balance
- Anti-racism Commitment and Actions
- On the “rest cure”: The Yellow Wallpaper and an analysis
- Sona’s Keynote Lecture (ISCR 2018): To Be of Benefit: The Promise of Contemplative Research and Practice
- Sona in Education of the Heart: a multi-media summary of a Mind & Life dialogue with the Dalai Lama