Elizabeth A. Stanley Ph.D.
Author and Professor of Security Studies
Elizabeth A. Stanley, Ph.D., is a professor of security studies at Georgetown University. She speaks, teaches, and writes about resilience, political psychology, civil-military relations, technology and security, and international security. She’s the author of Widen the Window: Training Your Brain and Body to Thrive During Stress and Recover from Trauma and Paths to Peace, which won the 2009 Furniss Award for “an exceptional contribution to the field of national and international security.” She’s also the co-editor of Creating Military Power.
After her own healing journey from chronic stress and trauma—during which she lost her eyesight temporarily—Liz developed an evidence-based approach to resilience called Mindfulness-based Mind Fitness Training (MMFT)®. She collaborated with neuroscientists to test MMFT’s efficacy among troops preparing for combat deployment. MMFT research has been featured on 60 Minutes, ABC Evening News, NPR, Time Magazine, The Washington Post, and many other media outlets. Liz has taught these tools to thousands in high-stress environments, including corporate leaders, first-responders, healthcare workers, diplomats, military service-members, and members of Congress. She has also partnered with Sounds True to create an online version of the MMFT course.
Earlier in her career, she served as a U.S. Army intelligence officer in South Korea, Germany, and on two peacekeeping deployments to the Balkans. Her research has been supported by many funders, including the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Defense, the Smith Richardson Foundation, and Woodrow Wilson Center. A long-standing practitioner of mindfulness practices—including months-long silent practice in the United States and Burma—she’s also a certified practitioner of Somatic Experiencing®, a body-based trauma therapy. She holds degrees from Yale, Harvard, and MIT.
Workshop Session 1
Building Resilience During the Coronavirus Pandemic
Our thinking brain and survival brain are at odds during the coronavirus pandemic. As a result, many choices to calm ourselves are actually exacerbating our stress and anxiety. This talk explains this paradox—and offers alternatives to build our resilience. Building on the core principles of my resilience training program, this talk explores how where we direct our attention—consciously or unconsciously—has tremendous ripple effects throughout our brain, nervous system, and body. Thus, by training our attention and adopting simple habits that help our survival brain feel safe, we can teach our thinking brain and survival brain to work together cooperatively. The more they do, the easier it is for us to function effectively during challenges and recover afterward. We can train ourselves to make wise decisions and access choice—even during times of incredible stress, uncertainty, and change.
This workshop is approved for 1-hour Renewal Credit/CEU for: IC&RC/NJ-AP Certification Board | NAADAC