Registration for Open Mind/#WOW events will be available one month prior to the event. Invitations will be sent to everyone on The Friends mailing list. To join our mailing list, email Wendy Kelman at: wkelman@mednet.ucla.edu

VIRTUAL OPEN MIND

Open Mind Program

Empty

Susan Burton and Danielle Keenan-Miller, Ph.D.

For almost thirty years, Susan Burton hid her obsession with food and the secret life of compulsive eating and starving that dominated her adolescence. "Empty" is the relentlessly honest, fiercely intelligent story of living with both anorexia and binge-eating disorder, moving past her shame, and learning to tell her secret. Binge eating is more prevalent than anorexia or bulimia, but there is less research and little storytelling to help us understand it. "Empty" is a profound look inside this experience. Bravely, sometimes brutally, Susan Burton makes the case that there is more power in telling a secret than in keeping it. The New York Times calls "Empty" "a book that wields a fearsome intimacy."

Susan Burton is an editor at This American Life. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Slate, The New Yorker, and others, and she is a former editor of Harper's. The film Unaccompanied Minors is based on one of her personal essays. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two sons.

Ms. Burton will be joined in conversation by Danielle Keenan-Miller, Ph.D. Dr. Keenan-Miller is a psychological scientist, teacher, therapist, and co-author of the upcoming book "The Binge Eating Prevention Workbook". She is the director of the UCLA Psychology Clinic, and associate adjunct professor of psychology at UCLA, where she trains graduate students in evidence-based psychotherapy.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

4:00 pm - 5pm PDT

Registration is required for this free live private Zoom event.

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For questions email WKelman@mednet.ucla.edu

#WOW@Home/Open Mind Virtual Program

 

Open Mind Program
Crazy is My Superpower

AJ Mendez with Katrina DeBonis, M.D.

Charting her journey from a scrappy Puerto Rican girl in an unstable home to empowered wrestling champion, Crazy Is My Superpower, a New York Times bestseller, is an unflinchingly honest and bravely confessional story about the long road to self-acceptance. As a child struggling with poverty, homelessness, and mental illness, AJ Mendez found escape through comic books and video games. Determined to become the superhero she'd always needed, AJ trained and sacrificed for years to finally achieve her dream of becoming a WWE athlete. Motivated by the tough and unconventional female characters of the stories that saved her, she would fight to reclaim her weaknesses as her greatest strengths.

In addition to being an accomplished writer, AJ is a mental health advocate and speaker, and former championship wrestler with the WWE. She is an ambassador to The Jed Foundation and the National Alliance on Mental Illness, awarded NAMI National’s 2018 Multicultural Outreach Award. She is also the co-author of IDW's GLOW comic book series.  A social media influencer, AJ has 6 million engaged followers across Twitter and Instagram @TheAJMendez.

Katrina DeBonis, M.D., a psychiatrist at the Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital at UCLA,  will join AJ in conversation.  Dr. DeBonis is the Director of Residency Education for the Department of Psychiatry at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.  She has been the medical director of UCLA Student Behavioral Health Services since 2012.

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Program begins at 5:00 PM PDT

Registration is required for this free live private Zoom event.

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For questions email WKelman@mednet.ucla.edu

 

VIRTUAL OPEN MIND

Open Mind Lecture
The Power of Showing Up

Daniel J Siegel, M.D.

In The Power of Showing Up, Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson explain how to be really present for our kids. Even if we don’t have a committed co-parent or know exactly what we’re doing every moment, the research demonstrates that when children have secure attachment with a caregiver—which is developed through the quality of a parent’s presence—they build social and emotional intelligence, leadership skills, meaningful relationships, and happiness.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Program begins at 5:00 PM PDT

Registration is required for this free live private Zoom event.

For questions email WKelman@mednet.ucla.edu

 

VIRTUAL OPEN MIND

Open Mind Lecture
On Grief and Grieving

David Kessler with Rabbi Steven Leder

In this groundbreaking new work, David Kessler—an expert on grief and the coauthor with Elisabeth Kübler-Ross of the iconic On Grief and Grieving—journeys beyond the classic five stages to discover a sixth stage: meaning.



 

In 1969, Elisabeth Kübler Ross first identified the stages of dying in her transformative book On Death and Dying. Decades later, she and David Kessler wrote the classic On Grief and Grieving, introducing the stages of grief with the same transformative pragmatism and compassion. Now, based on hard-earned personal experiences, as well as knowledge and wisdom earned through decades of work with the grieving, Kessler introduces a critical sixth stage.



 

Many people look for “closure” after a loss. Kessler argues that it’s finding meaning beyond the stages of grief most of us are familiar with—denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance—that can transform grief into a more peaceful and hopeful experience.



 

In this book, Kessler gives readers a roadmap to remembering those who have died with more love than pain; he shows us how to move forward in a way that honors our loved ones. Kessler’s insight is both professional and intensely personal. His journey with grief began when, as a child, he witnessed a mass shooting at the same time his mother was dying. For most of his life, Kessler taught physicians, nurses, counselors, police, and first responders about end of life, trauma, and grief, as well as leading talks and retreats for those experiencing grief. Despite his knowledge, his life was upended by the sudden death of his twenty-one-year-old son.



 

How does the grief expert handle such a tragic loss? He knew he had to find a way through this unexpected, devastating loss, a way that would honor his son. That, ultimately, was the sixth state of grief—meaning. In Finding Meaning, Kessler shares the insights, collective wisdom, and powerful tools that will help those experiencing loss.



 

Finding Meaning is a necessary addition to grief literature and a vital guide to healing from tremendous loss. This is an inspiring, deeply intelligent must-read for anyone looking to journey away from suffering, through loss, and towards meaning. 

Rabbi Steven Leder, senior Rabbi of Wilshire Boulevard Temple and renowned author of the best-selling book, More Beautiful Than Before:  How Suffering Transforms Us, will join David Kessler in conversation following his presentation.  

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Program begins at 5:00 PM PDT

Registration is required for this free live private Zoom event.

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For questions email WKelman@mednet.ucla.edu

VIRTUAL OPEN MIND

 

Open Mind Lecture
The Madwoman and the Roomba:  My Year of Domestic Mayhem

Sandra Tsing Loh

The Madwoman and the Roomba: My Year of Domestic Mayhem by author Sandra Tsing Loh is the follow up to her New York Times bestselling book, The Madwoman in The Volvo
 

In this witty new book, written prior to the coronavirus and lockdown, Sandra Tsing Loh chronicles the indignities, hilarities, and unexpected joys of life in the so-called golden years.  With deadpan wit and fearless honesty, Loh navigates the realities of what it means to be a middle-aged, “downwardly-mobile,” woman in America, living what feels like a “disorganized twenty-five-year-old’s life in a malfunctioning eighty-five-year-old’s body.”  Loh manages to capture the side-splitting humor and unexpected joys of a life that might be falling-short of youthful, starry-eyed expectations but is still rich in love, gratitude, and serendipity. While balancing the various demands of midlife work, motherhood, friendship, and romance (while also embracing her inner goddess),  Loh finds herself repeatedly marveling at the often ludicrous realities of modern American life and its #SecondWorldProblems.
 

Reading The Madwoman and the Roomba  now, while in lockdown and wearing masks,  also creates what book reviewer, Shana Nys Dambrot says is a "nostalgia for the innocent dysfunctions of the time before", our "nutty normal"  before COVID-19!

Susan Y. Bookheimer, Ph.D., Joaquin Fuster Distinguished Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience and Director, Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center, UCLA School of Medicine , will join Sandra Tsing Loh in discussion. 

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Program begins at 5:00 PM PDT

Registration is required for this free live private Zoom event.

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For questions email WKelman@mednet.ucla.edu

VIRTUAL OPEN MIND

 

Open Mind Lecture
The Beauty of What Remains

Rabbi Steve Leder

From the author of the bestselling More Beautiful Than Before comes an inspiring book about loss based on his most popular sermon.

As the senior rabbi of one of the largest synagogues in the world, Steve Leder has learned over and over again the many ways death teaches us how to live and love more deeply by showing us not only what is gone but also the beauty of what remains.

This inspiring and comforting book takes us on a journey through the experience of loss that is fundamental to everyone. Yet even after having sat beside thousands of deathbeds, Steve Leder the rabbi was not fully prepared for the loss of his own father. It was only then that Steve Leder the son truly learned how loss makes life beautiful by giving it meaning and touching us with love that we had not felt before.

Enriched by Rabbi Leder's irreverence, vulnerability, and wicked sense of humor, this heartfelt narrative is filled with laughter and tears, the wisdom of millennia and modernity, and, most of all, an unfolding of the profound and simple truth that in loss we gain more than we ever imagined.

Pre-order  your copy of The Beauty of What Remains now. 

About the Author
Steve Leder is the senior rabbi of Wilshire Boulevard Temple in Los Angeles. After receiving his degree in writing and graduating cum laude from Northwestern University, and spending time studying at Trinity College, Oxford University, Leder received a master's degree in Hebrew letters in 1986 and rabbinical ordination in 1987 from Hebrew Union College. He is the author of three books: The Extraordinary Nature of Ordinary Things, More Money Than God: Living a Rich Life Without Losing Your Soul, and the bestseller More Beautiful Than Before: How Suffering Transforms Us.

Monday, January 11, 2021

Program begins at 5:00 PM PT

Registration is required for this free live private Zoom event.

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For questions email WKelman@mednet.ucla.edu

ABOUT US

The Friends of the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and
Human Behavior at UCLA is dedicated to improving the lives of people with mental illness by supporting research to advance innovative treatments and sponsoring educational programs to raise awareness and erase stigma.*

The Friends of the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior
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Email: wkelman@mednet.ucla.edu

Phone: 310 825-3119
 

* The Friends of the Semel Institute is a 501(c)(3)  volunteer organization under the auspices of the UCLA Foundation.